Temporal analysis of continuous chest compression rate and depth performed by firefighters during out of hospital cardiac arrest

Resuscitation. 2023 Apr:185:109738. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2023.109738. Epub 2023 Feb 16.


Background: Quality of chest compressions (CC) during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) often do not meet guideline recommendations for rate and depth. This may be due to the fatiguing nature of physically compressing a patient's chest, meaning that CPR quality reduces over time.

Objective: This analysis investigates the effect of CPR duration on the performance of continuous CCs delivered by firefighters equipped with CPR feedback devices.

Methods: Data were collected from a first responder group which used CPR feedback and automatic external defibrillator devices when attending out-of-hospital cardiac arrest events. Depth and rate of CC were analysed for 134 patients. Mean CC depth and rate were calculated every 5 s during two-minute episodes of CPR. Regression models were created to evaluate the relationship between applied CC depth and rate as a function of time.

Results: Mean (SD) CC depth during the investigation was 48 (9) mm. An inverse relationship was observed between CC depth and CPR duration, where CC depth decreased by 3.39 mm, over two-minutes of CPR (p < 0.001). Mean (SD) CC rate was 112.06 (5.87) compressions per minute. No significant relationship was observed between CC rate and CPR duration (p = 0.077). Mean depth was within guideline range for 33.58% of patient events, while guideline rate was observed in 92.54% of cases.

Conclusions: A reduction in CC depth was observed during two-minutes of continuous CCs while CC rate was not affected. One third of patients received a mean CC depth within guideline range (50 to 60 mm).

Keywords: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Chest compression performance; Temporal analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Defibrillators
  • Firefighters*
  • Humans
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest* / therapy
  • Time Factors