Abstract

Introduction

Quality of external chest compression (ECC) is a key component of Basic Life Support. Different approaches to improve rescuers’ performance have been evaluated, but few attempts have been made to invent simple devices to improve performance. This study evaluates a new visual feedback system for ECC for healthcare professionals.

Methods

Ninety-three healthcare professionals volunteered (14 emergency medical technicians, 45 paramedics, 34 physicians; age 32±7.2 (range 21–61); 72% male) in this randomized cross-over study. All subjects were tested on a manikin (Skillreporter ResusciAnne®, Laerdal, Stavanger, Norway) in identical mock cardiac arrest scenario and asked to perform 2min of continuous ECC (secured airway): Group A (n=46): ECC with device first, followed by ECC without device a minimum of 45min later; group B (n=47): vice versa. Primary endpoints: mean compression rate 90–120min−1; mean compression depth 38–51mm. Data were analyzed using repeated measure logistic regression model for binary categorized endpoints and repeated measure ANOVA test for continuous endpoints.

Results

Correct compression depth was achieved by 45.2% of subjects (95%-CI: 30.5–64.9mm) without vs. 73.1% (95%-CI: 40.3–57.4mm) with device (p<0.001); correct compression rate was achieved by 62.4% (95%-CI: 78–147.8min−1) without vs. 94.6% (95%-CI: 87.3–126.6min−1) with device (p<0.001). Overall, 85% of the subjects thought the feedback system was helpful and 80.6% would use it if available.

Conclusions

The new visual feedback device significantly improved ECC performance (compression rate and depth) by healthcare professionals in simulated cardiac arrest. Most participants found the device easy to use.