Background: Guidelines for neonatal resuscitation recommend a 3:1 compression to ventilation ratio. However, this recommendation is based on expert opinion and consensus rather than strong scientific evidence. Our primary aim was to assess whether continuous chest compressions with asynchronous ventilations would increase return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) rate and survival compared to the 3:1 chest compression to ventilation ratio.
Methods: This was a prospective, randomized, laboratory study. Twenty male Landrace-Large White pigs, aged 1-4 days with an average weight 1.650 ± 228.3 g were asphyxiated and left untreated until heart rate was less than 60 bpm or mean arterial pressure was below 15 mmHg. Animals were then randomly assigned to receive either continuous chest compressions with asynchronous ventilations (n = 10), or standard (3:1) chest compression to ventilation ratio (n = 10). Heart rate and arterial pressure were assessed every 30 s during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until ROSC or asystole. All animals with ROSC were monitored for 4 h.
Results: Coronary perfusion pressure (CPP) at 30 s of CPR was significantly higher in the experimental group (45.7 ± 16.9 vs. 21.8 ± 6 mmHg, p < 0.001) and remained significantly elevated throughout the experiment. End-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) was also significantly higher in the experimental group throughout the experiment (23.4 ± 5.6 vs. 14.7 ± 5.9 mmHg, p < 0.001). ROSC was observed in six (60%) animals treated with 3:1 compression to ventilation ratio and nine (90%) animals treated with continuous chest compressions and asynchronous ventilation (p = 0.30). Time to ROSC was significantly lower in the experimental group (30 (30-30) vs. 60 (60-60) sec, p = 0.021). Of note, 7 (77.8%) animals in the experimental group and 1 (16.7%) animal in the control group achieved ROSC after 30 s (0.02). At 4 h, 2 (20%) animals survived in the control group compared to 7 (70%) animals in the experimental group (p = 0.022).
Conclusion: Continuous chest compressions with asynchronous ventilations significantly improved CPP, ETCO2, time to ROSC, ROSC at 30 s and survival in a porcine model of neonatal resuscitation.
Keywords: Asphyxial cardiac arrest; Continuous chest compressions; Neonatal resuscitation; ROSC; Survival.
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