Measuring forces and frequency during active compression decompression cardiopulmonary resuscitation: a device for training, research and real CPR

Resuscitation. 1999 Dec;43(1):17-24. doi: 10.1016/s0300-9572(99)00107-0.


Active compression decompression (ACD) cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is possibly a superior alternative to standard (STD) CPR, but an optimal compression and decompression pattern has to be ensured. ACD-CPR can be evaluated during CPR training sessions using commercially available manikins; however devices for recording compression and decompression forces or frequency during real CPR are lacking. Using the Ambu CardioPump without changing its mechanical characteristics, two force transducers were integrated into the ACD device. Using specially designed electronics and a portable computer, compression and decompression forces were measured and displayed continuously and compression frequency and the compression decompression phase are calculated on-line during real CPR action. All measured parameters were stored on a hard disk for later retrieval and analysis. Linearity of force measurement was better than 6% within a -250- +500 N range. The error in repeatability was below 5% thus outperforming the original mechanical force measurement system of the Ambu CardioPump. Compression frequency was calculated very accurately (error < 1%). The system has been successfully used during CPR training, during ACD-CPR in 37 corpses under research conditions and in five out-of-hospital CPR casualties. Simple and safe in use, our modified CardioPump with integrated electronics provides an important, technically advanced solution for monitoring ACD-CPR on-line. It warrants quality assurance during ACD-CPR training and in real CPR scenarios and guarantees accurate recording of compression and decompression forces and compression frequency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / instrumentation*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / methods
  • Compressive Strength
  • Humans
  • Pressure
  • Software
  • Transducers