Transport with ongoing resuscitation: a comparison between manual and mechanical compression

Emerg Med J. 2013 Jul;30(7):589-92. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2012-201142. Epub 2012 Jul 25.


Aim: In special circumstances it may be necessary to transport out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients with ongoing resuscitation to the hospital. External mechanical chest compression devices could be an alternative for these resuscitations. The study compares manual chest compression with external mechanical devices and a semiautomatic device in transport conditions using a resuscitation manikin.

Methods: Manual chest compressions were compared with LUCAS 2, AutoPulse and animax mono devices using the Ambu Man Wireless MegaCode manikin (10 series each). The measurements were performed in a standard ambulance vehicle during transport on a predefined track of 5.0 km.

Results: Mean compression frequencies in the manual group (117 ± 18 min(-1)) and in the animax mono group (115 ± 10 min(-1)) were significantly higher than in the LUCAS 2 group (100 min(-1), p=0.02) and the AutoPulse group (80 min(-1), p<0.01). Both mechanical devices worked absolutely constantly. Only the animax mono group reached with 51.2 mm the recommended compression depth. The quality of manual compressions decreased considerably during braking or change manoeuvres while the mechanical devices continued to work constantly.

Conclusions: During a patient transport with ongoing resuscitation, external mechanical compression devices may be a good alternative to manual compression because they increase the safety of the rescuer and patient. Yet, in this study only animax mono reached the guideline specifications regarding chest compressions' frequency and depth. Concerning constancy, the mechanical devices work reliably and more independently from motion influences. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of these devices in patient transport.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / instrumentation
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / methods*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / standards
  • Chest Wall Oscillation
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Medical Technicians / standards*
  • Germany
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Heart Massage / methods*
  • Heart Massage / standards
  • Humans
  • Manikins
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Time Factors
  • Transportation of Patients*