Background The 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) recommend that chest compression be rotated every 2 min to prevent rescuer fatigue. However, the quality of chest compression using 2-min switched CPR tends to decrease rapidly due to rescuer fatigue. We aimed to compare the effectiveness of use of 2-min switched CPR and rescuer-limited CPR (the person performing compressions is allowed to switch with another rescuer prior to 2 min if feeling fatigued) in the setting of inhospital cardiac arrest.
Methods Using a randomised cross-over trial design, 90 medical students were grouped into pairs to perform four cycles of 2-min switched CPR and rescuer-limited CPR (495 s per technique). During each trial, the total number of compressions performed, mean depth of compression and proportion of effective compressions performed (compression depth >5 mm) were recorded for identification of significant differences and changes in pulse rate and RR were measured to determine the extent of exhaustion.
Results Compared with 2-min switched CPR, the mean compression was deeper (51 vs 47 mm, p<0.001), total number of compressions greater (476 vs 397, p=0.003) and proportion of effective compressions greater (56% vs 47%, p=0.004) during rescuer-limited CPR. Subgroup analysis by 30-s unit showed more consistent compression quality during rescuer-limited CPR. No significant differences in change in pulse rate and RR were found between the two techniques.
Conclusions Rescuer-limited CPR yields a greater number of effective compressions and more consistent quality of CPR than 2-min switched CPR. Rescuer-limited CPR might be a suitable alternative for treating inhospital cardiac arrest.
- cardiac arrest
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