A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that continuous chest compression (CCC) is not an improvement over standard CPR. This is the largest study of out-of hospital cardiac arrest ever conducted.
The researchers evaluated over 23,000 adults with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest for whom EMS crews responded. Study patients were randomised in eight participating communities to either the new continuous chest compression group or to the standard CPR. Standard CPR is 30 chest compressions with a pause for two ventilations while CCC CPR is uninterrupted chest compression with one ventilation every 10 compressions without a pause.
“We did not see any significant difference in neurologically intact survival to hospital discharge between patients receiving standard 30:2 CPR compared to those receiving CCC,” said Henry Wang, MD, professor in the UAB Department of Emergency Medicine and a study co-author. “The neurologically intact survival rate for patients receiving 30:2 CPR was 7.7 percent, against 7 percent for those receiving CCC.”
Some smaller scale studies have suggested that CCC may be as effective or more effective than standard CPR. Over the past ten years, there have been suggestions that CCC may be an easier and safer way to perform CPR. But till now, there was no study that actually tested this theory. These findings show that CCC and CPR are equally effective and that there is a need to further evaluate the role of ventilation in CPR.
The study concludes that EMS practitioners and their medical doctors should make the decision on an individual basis on whether they should use CCC or standard CPR.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons