Aim of the study: The European Resuscitation Council (ERC) guidelines changed in 2005. We investigated the impact of these changes on no flow time and on the quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Materials and methods: Simulated cardiac arrest (CA) scenarios were managed randomly in manikins using ERC 2000 or 2005 guidelines. Pairs of paramedics/paramedic students treated 34 scenarios with 10min of continuous ventricular fibrillation. The rhythm was analysed and defibrillation shocks were delivered with a semi-automatic defibrillator, and breathing was assisted with a bag-valve-mask; no intravenous medication was given. Time factors related to human intervention and time factors related to device, rhythm analysis, charging and defibrillation were analysed for their contribution to no flow time (time without chest compression). Chest compression quality was also analysed.
Results: No flow time (mean+/-S.D.) was 66+/-3% of CA time with ERC 2000 and 32+/-4% with ERC 2005 guidelines (P<0.001). Human factor interventions occupied 114+/-4s (ERC 2000) versus 107+/-4s (ERC 2005) during 600-s scenarios (P=0.237). Device factor interventions took longer using ERC 2000 guidelines: 290+/-19s versus 92+/-15s (P<0.001). The total number of chest compressions was higher with ERC 2005 guidelines (808+/-92s versus 458+/-90s, P<0.001), but the quality of CPR did not differ between the groups.
Conclusions: The use of a single shock sequence with guidelines 2005 has decreased the no flow time during CPR when compared with guidelines 2000 with multiple shocks.