Quality of continuous chest compressions performed for one or two minutes

Renan Gianotto-Oliveira, Gustavo Gianotto-Oliveira, Maria Margarita Gonzalez, Ana Paula Quilici, Felipe Passos Andrade, Caio Brito Vianna, Sergio Timerman
Clinics 2015, 70 (3): 190-5

OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to assess cardiopulmonary resuscitation quality and rescuer fatigue when rescuers perform one or two minutes of continuous chest compressions.

METHODS: This prospective crossover study included 148 lay rescuers who were continuously trained in a cardiopulmonary resuscitation course. The subjects underwent a 120-min training program comprising continuous chest compressions. After the course, half of the volunteers performed one minute of continuous chest compressions, and the others performed two minutes, both on a manikin model. After 30 minutes, the volunteers who had previously performed one minute now performed two minutes on the same manikin and vice versa.

RESULTS: A comparison of continuous chest compressions performed for one and two minutes, respectively, showed that there were significant differences in the average rate of compressions per minute (121 vs. 124), the percentage of compressions of appropriate depth (76% vs. 54%), the average depth (53 vs. 47 mm), and the number of compressions with no errors (62 vs. 47%). No parameters were significantly different when comparing participants who performed regular physical activity with those who did not and participants who had a normal body mass index with overweight/obese participants.

CONCLUSION: The quality of continuous chest compressions by lay rescuers is superior when it is performed for one minute rather than for two minutes, independent of the body mass index or regular physical activity, even if they are continuously trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is beneficial to rotate rescuers every minute when performing continuous chest compressions to provide higher quality and to achieve greater success in assisting a victim of cardiac arrest.

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