Comparison of effects of different hand positions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Resuscitation. 2005 Sep;66(3):297-301. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2005.03.010.


Aim: The technique of chest compression recommended in the recent international guidelines is different from that which was traditionally used in Hungary. While compression force, location, frequency and duty cycle are all identical, the position of the hand on the chest is different. The aim of our study was to compare these two methods concerning the area and location of the surface compressed on the chest wall.

Methods: Thirty-eight doctors were trained in both compression methods. Compressions were carried out on an AMBU Man-C manikin. The compressed surface, marked by using a carbon paper, was projected on to a standardised 10 mm x 10 mm matrix to measure the area and location. The chest surface was marked subsequently as green, yellow and red areas to identify the correct position, incorrect position and dangerous areas. All subjects did chest compressions using both techniques (I, International; H, traditional Hungarian) in a random order each for 30 s.

Results: The surface area compressed was significantly larger by the H method than the I method (73.46 (+/-17.11) versus 41.75 (+/-11.08), p<0.005). 8.07 (+/-1.91) cm2 of an area considered dangerous were compressed by the H method compared to 2.93 (+/-0.78) cm2 by the I method (p<0.005).

Conclusion: Comparing the two different methods of chest compressions, the hand position recommended by the recent international guidelines seems to be more safe as it compresses a smaller area which might cause injury.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Surface Area
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / methods*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / standards
  • Female
  • Hand*
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hungary
  • Internationality
  • Male
  • Manikins
  • Posture
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome