Improving the quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation by training dedicated cardiac arrest teams incorporating a mechanical load-distributing device at the emergency department

Resuscitation. 2013 Apr;84(4):508-14. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2012.07.033. Epub 2012 Aug 17.


Objective: Determine if implementing cardiac arrest teams trained with a 'pit-crew' protocol incorporating a load-distributing band mechanical CPR device (Autopulse™ ZOLL) improves the quality of CPR, as determined by no-flow ratio (NFR) in the first 10min of resuscitation.

Methods: A phased, prospective, non-randomized, before-after cohort evaluation. Data collection was from April 2008 to February 2011. There were 100 before and 148 after cases. Continuous video and chest compression data of all study subjects were analyzed. All non-traumatic, collapsed patients aged 18 years and above presenting to the emergency department were eligible. Primary outcome was NFR. Secondary outcomes were return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), survival to hospital admission and neurological outcome at discharge.

Main results: After implementation, mean total NFR for the first 5min decreased from 0.42 to 0.27 (decrease=0.15, 95% CI 0.10-0.19, p<0.005), and from 0.24 to 0.18 (decrease=0.06, 95% CI 0.01-0.11, p=0.02) for the next 5min. The mean time taken to apply Autopulse™ decreased from 208.8s to 141.6s (decrease=67.2, 95% CI, 22.3-112.1, p<0.005). The mean CPR ratio increased from 46.4% to 88.4% (increase=41.9%, 95% CI 36.9-46.9, p<0.005) and the mean total NFR for the first 10min decreased from 0.33 to 0.23 (decrease=0.10, 95% CI 0.07-0.14, p<0.005).

Conclusion: Implementation of cardiac arrest teams was associated with a reduction in NFR in the first 10min of resuscitation. Training cardiac arrest teams in a 'pit-crew' protocol may improve the quality of CPR at the ED.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / instrumentation*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Software