The study of real-time CPR feedback appeared this week in the British Medical Journal. In this study, paramedics in Pittsburgh and Seattle tested defibrillators that measured the performance of CPR, and that provided automatic prompts to improve CPR (for example, "push faster" or "push harder"). Some ambulances used these defibrillators with the voice-feedback turned on and other ambulances used the same defibrillators with the voice-feedback turned off. This study observed CPR in 1586 people being treated for cardiac arrest (when the heart stops completely).
When the feedback feature was turned on, paramedics performed CPR more closely in line with the American Heart Association Guidelines. However, there were no differences in the percentage of patients who had return of pulses (45% vs. 44%) or who survived to be discharged from the hospital (12% vs. 11%). The rate of survival after CPR was excellent during this time, and higher than expected based on years prior to performing the study. We speculate that the increased attention to the quality of CPR in this and related studies has improved survival across the board.
This study was sponsored and organized by the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium.
Effect of real-time feedback during cardiopulmonary resuscitation outside hospital: prospective, cluster-randomised trial.
Hostler D, Everson-Stewart S, Rea TD, Stiell IG, Callaway CW, Kudenchuk PJ, Sears GK, Emerson SS, Nichol G; and the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium Investigators.
BMJ. 2011 Feb 4;342:d512. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d512. PubMed PMID: 21296838; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3033623.
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