The physiological effect on rescuers of doing 2min of uninterrupted chest compressions

Resuscitation. 2007 Jul;74(1):108-12. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2006.10.031. Epub 2007 Feb 14.


Objectives: To analyse how rescuers tolerate the effort derived of giving uninterrupted chest compressions during 2min.

Materials and methods: Twenty-three healthy volunteers, nurses and doctors of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), members of the hospital cardiac arrest team, were enrolled in the study. Using a training manikin, participants were asked to perform chest compressions during 2min at a rate of 100min(-1). The oxygen saturation and cardiac rate of the subjects were monitored using pulse oximetry before and after one and 2min performing chest compressions. The percentage of the maximal heart rate of the rescuer over the theoretical maximum allowed in a conventional stress test was calculated, taking into account age and body mass index (BMI) of the subjects. Fatigue was measured using a visual analogical scale (VAS).

Results: The means (+/-S.D.) of chest compressions in the first and second minutes were 103+/-12, and 104+/-11, respectively. The mean percent of the maximum heart rate observed was 61+/-8%. None of the subjects had difficulties to complete the test. All subjects recovered their basal values in less than 2min, and the mean value recorded in the VAS was 3+/-2.

Conclusions: The practice of uninterrupted chest compressions during 2min by the same rescuer is well tolerated by health professionals trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / physiopathology*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Fatigue / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oximetry
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*