Background: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) quality during actual cardiac arrest has been found to be deficient in several recent investigations. We hypothesized that real-time feedback during CPR would improve the performance of chest compressions and ventilations during in-hospital cardiac arrest.
Methods: An investigational monitor/defibrillator with CPR-sensing and feedback capabilities was used during in-hospital cardiac arrests from December 2004 to December 2005. Chest compression and ventilation characteristics were recorded and quantified for the first 5 min of resuscitation and compared to a baseline cohort of arrest episodes without feedback, from December 2002 to April 2004.
Results: Data from 55 resuscitation episodes in the baseline pre-intervention group were compared to 101 resuscitations in the feedback intervention group. There was a trend toward improvement in the mean values of CPR variables in the feedback group with a statistically significant narrowing of CPR variable distributions including chest compression rate (104+/-18 to 100+/-13 min(-1); test of means, p=0.16; test of variance, p=0.003) and ventilation rate (20+/-10 to 18+/-8 min(-1); test of means, p=0.12; test of variance, p=0.04). There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in either return of spontaneous circulation or survival to hospital discharge.
Conclusions: Real-time CPR-sensing and feedback technology modestly improved the quality of CPR during in-hospital cardiac arrest, and may serve as a useful adjunct for rescuers during resuscitation efforts. However, feedback specifics should be optimized for maximal benefit and additional studies will be required to assess whether gains in CPR quality translate to improvements in survival.