Differences in time to defibrillation and intubation between two different ventilation/compression ratios in simulated cardiac arrest

Clemens Kill, Matthias Giesel, Leopold Eberhart, Götz Geldner, Hinnerk Wulf
Resuscitation 2005, 65 (1): 45-8

OBJECTIVE: During basic life support (BLS) by a two-rescuer-team early defibrillation and ALS procedures should be performed without interruptions of the BLS-ventilation/compression sequence. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of a ventilation/compression ratio of 5:50 versus 2:15 on the time intervals "Start BLS to first shock" and "Start BLS to intubation".

METHODS: Using a random cross over design 40 experienced paramedics performed a standard BLS/ALS-algorithm according to ILCOR guidelines in a manikin model with ventricular fibrillation (resusci skillreporter anne, Laerdal, Norway) performing both the 2:15 and the 5:50 ventilation/compression ratio. BLS was started with bag/valve/mask ventilation, a semi-automatic defibrillator (corpuls 08/16S) was connected with the manikin, ECG-analysis and three shocks were performed and the tracheal intubation was prepared. Ventilation/compression sequence was only interrupted during ECG-analysis and defibrillation. Expiratory volumes and number of compressions were measured. Variables were compared using paired Students t-test. In addition paramedics were interviewed about work-flow and emotional stress during the tests.

RESULTS: The time interval "Start BLS to first shock" was 78 s (2:15-group) versus 63 s (5:50-group), p<0.0001, the time interval "Start BLS to intubation" was 183 s (2:15-group) versus 150 s (5:50-group), p<0.0001, mean ventilation volumes per minute were 4490 ml (2:15-group) versus 4370 ml (5:50-group), p>0.1, mean number of compressions were 65 min-1. (2:15-group) versus 68 min-1 (5:50-group), p>0.1. The work-flow and emotional stress was appraised by the paramedics to be significantly superior in the 5:50 ratio (p<0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: The ventilation/compression ratio of 5:50 compared with 2:15 during BLS with an unsecured airway reduces the time until the first defibrillation and tracheal intubation was performed without changes in ventilation volume and compressions per minute. The Paramedics stated that the 5:50 ratio improved the work-flow and reduced the emotional stress.

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