Background: Efficiently performed basic life support (BLS) after cardiac arrest is proven to be effective. However, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is strenuous and rescuers' performance declines rapidly over time. Audio-visual feedback devices reporting CPR quality may prevent this decline. We aimed to investigate the effect of various CPR feedback devices on CPR quality.
Methods: In this open, prospective, randomised, controlled trial we compared three CPR feedback devices (PocketCPR, CPRmeter, iPhone app PocketCPR) with standard BLS without feedback in a simulated scenario. 240 trained medical students performed single rescuer BLS on a manikin for 8min. Effective compression (compressions with correct depth, pressure point and sufficient decompression) as well as compression rate, flow time fraction and ventilation parameters were compared between the four groups.
Results: Study participants using the PocketCPR performed 17±19% effective compressions compared to 32±28% with CPRmeter, 25±27% with the iPhone app PocketCPR, and 35±30% applying standard BLS (PocketCPR vs. CPRmeter p=0.007, PocketCPR vs. standard BLS p=0.001, others: ns). PocketCPR and CPRmeter prevented a decline in effective compression over time, but overall performance in the PocketCPR group was considerably inferior to standard BLS. Compression depth and rate were within the range recommended in the guidelines in all groups.
Conclusion: While we found differences between the investigated CPR feedback devices, overall BLS quality was suboptimal in all groups. Surprisingly, effective compression was not improved by any CPR feedback device compared to standard BLS. All feedback devices caused substantial delay in starting CPR, which may worsen outcome.
Keywords: Basic life support (BLS); Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); Feedback device.
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