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Relative effectiveness of dominant versus non-dominant hand position for rescuer's side of approach during chest compressions between right-handed and left-handed novice rescuers
  1. Je Sung You1,
  2. Hoon Kim2,
  3. Jung Soo Park2,
  4. Kyung Min Baek2,
  5. Mun Sun Jang2,
  6. Hye Sun Lee3,
  7. Sung Phil Chung1,
  8. SeungWhan Kim4
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Chungbuk, Republic of Korea
  3. 3Department of Biostatistics, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  4. 4Department of Emergency Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
  1. Correspondence to Dr S W Kim, Department of Emergency Medicine,Chungnam National University Hospital, 640 Daesa Dong Jung Gu, Daejeon 301-721, Republic of Korea; mailto:emdfire{at} & emfire{at}


Introduction The major components affecting high quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) have been defined as the ability of the rescuer, hand position, position of the rescuer and victim, depth and rate of chest compressions, and fatigue. Until now, there have been no studies on dominant versus non-dominant hand position and the rescuer's side of approach. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of hand position and approach side on the quality of CPR between right-handed (RH) and left-handed (LH) novice rescuers.

Material and methods 44 health science university students with no previous experience of basic life support (BLS) volunteered for the study. We divided volunteers into two groups by handedness. Adult BLS was performed on a manikin for 2 min in each session. The sequences were randomly performed on the manikin's left side of approach (Lap) with the rescuer's left hand in contact with the sternum (Lst), Lap/Rst, Rap/Lst and Rap/Rst.

Results We compared the quality of chest compressions between the RH and LH groups according to predetermined positions. A significant decrease in mean compression depth between the two groups was only observed when rescuers performed in the Rap/Lst scenario, regardless of hand dominance. The frequency of correct hand placement also significantly decreased in the Lap/Rst position for the LH group.

Conclusions The performance of novice rescuers during chest compressions is influenced by the position of the dominant hand and the rescuer's side of approach. In CPR training and real world situations, a novice rescuer, regardless of handedness, should consider hand positions for contacting the sternum identical to the side of approach after approaching from the nearest and most accessible side, for optimal CPR performance.

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Chest Compression
  • Handedness

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