Background: Providing high-quality chest compressions and rescue breaths are key elements in the effectiveness of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
Aim: To investigate the effects of a strength training programme on the quality of prolonged basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a manikin.
Methods: This was a quasi-experimental trial. Thirty-nine participants with prior basic life support knowledge were randomised to an experimental or control group. They then performed a test of 10 min of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth ventilation on manikins equipped with a skill reporter tool (baseline or test 1). The experimental group participated in a four-week strength training programme focused on the muscles involved in chest compressions. Both groups were subsequently tested again (test 2).
Results: After training, the experimental group significantly increased the mean depth of compression (53.7 ± 2.3 mm vs. 49.9 ± 5.9 mm; p = 0.003) and the correct compression fraction (68.2 ± 21.0% vs. 46.4 ± 29.1%; p = 0.004). Trained subjects maintained chest compression quality over time better than the control group. The mean tidal volume delivered was higher in the experimental than in the control group (701.5 ± 187.0 mL vs. 584.8 ± 113.6 mL; p = 0.040) and above the current resuscitation guidelines. In test 2, the percentage of rescue breaths with excessive volume was higher in the experi-mental group than in the controls (31.5 ± 19.6% vs. 15.6 ± 13.0%; p = 0.007).
Conclusions: A simple strength training programme has a significant impact on the quality of chest compressions and its maintenance over time. Additional training is needed to avoid over-ventilation of potential patients.
Keywords: cardiopulmonary resuscitation; physical fitness; quality; strength training.