The impact of chest compression rates on quality of chest compressions - a manikin study

Resuscitation. 2012 Mar;83(3):360-4. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2011.07.012. Epub 2011 Jul 21.


Purpose: Chest compressions are often performed at a variable rate during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The effect of compression rate on other chest compression quality variables (compression depth, duty-cycle, leaning, performance decay over time) is unknown. This randomised controlled cross-over manikin study examined the effect of different compression rates on the other chest compression quality variables.

Methods: Twenty healthcare professionals performed 2 min of continuous compressions on an instrumented manikin at rates of 80, 100, 120, 140 and 160 min(-1) in a random order. An electronic metronome was used to guide compression rate. Compression data were analysed by repeated measures ANOVA and are presented as mean (SD). Non-parametric data was analysed by Friedman test.

Results: At faster compression rates there were significant improvements in the number of compressions delivered (160(2) at 80 min(-1) vs. 312(13) compressions at 160 min(-1), P<0.001); and compression duty-cycle (43(6)% at 80 min(-1) vs. 50(7)% at 160 min(-1), P<0.001). This was at the cost of a significant reduction in compression depth (39.5(10)mm at 80 min(-1) vs. 34.5(11)mm at 160 min(-1), P<0.001); and earlier decay in compression quality (median decay point 120 s at 80 min(-1) vs. 40s at 160 min(-1), P<0.001). Additionally not all participants achieved the target rate (100% at 80 min(-1) vs. 70% at 160 min(-1)). Rates above 120 min(-1) had the greatest impact on reducing chest compression quality.

Conclusions: For Guidelines 2005 trained rescuers, a chest compression rate of 100-120 min(-1) for 2 min is feasible whilst maintaining adequate chest compression quality in terms of depth, duty-cycle, leaning, and decay in compression performance. Further studies are needed to assess the impact of the Guidelines 2010 recommendation for deeper and faster chest compressions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Heart Massage / standards*
  • Humans
  • Manikins*
  • Professional Competence
  • Statistics, Nonparametric