Abstract 2003: More Chest Compressions and Fewer Shocks Are Given During Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation With the 2005 AHA Guidelines
Introduction Long pauses without chest compressions (CC) have been identified in CPR provided by EMS professionals for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OOHCA). The 2005 AHA ECC CPR guidelines emphasize CC. The 2005 AHA Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Professionals (HCP) course introduced a training method with more CPR skills practice during the DVD based course. The purpose of this before/after study was to determine whether CC rates increased after introduction of the 2005 course.
Methods This urban EMS system has 400 cardiac etiology OOHCA events annually. A convenience sample of 49 continuous electronic ECG recordings of VF patients was analyzed with the impedance channel of the LIFEPAK 12 (Physio-Control, Redmond WA) and proprietary software. A trained researcher verified the automated analysis. Each CC during the resuscitation attempt and pauses in CC before and after the first defibrillation shock were noted. The time of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was determined by medical record review and onset of regular electrical activity without CC. Medical records were reviewed for outcome to hospital discharge. The EMS patient care protocol for VF was changed on July 1, 2006 to comply with the 2005 AHA ECC guidelines. Cases were grouped by the OOHCA date: 9/2004 to 12/31/2006 (pre) and 7/1/2006 to 4/21/2007 (post). EMS personnel began taking the 2005 BLS for HCP course during spring 2006. Monthly courses over 3 years will recertify 1500 personnel.
Results 29 cases were analyzed from the pre group and 20 from the post group. Compressions per minute increased from a mean (±SD) of 47 ± 16 pre to 75 ± 33 post (P < 0.01). The mean count of shocks given per victim decreased from 4.5 ± 4.0 pre to 2.8 ± 1.8 post (P < 0.04). The CC pause before the first shock was unchanged (23.6 ± 18.4 seconds to 22.1 ± 17.9). but the CC pause following that shock decreased significantly from 48.7 ± 63.2 to 11.8 ± 22.5 (p=0.008). Rates of ROSC (55% pre, 50% post) and survival to discharge (15% pre, 13% post) were similar.
Conclusion Following introduction of the 2005 BLS for HCP course and the EMS protocol change, the quality of CPR delivered to victims of OOHCA improved significantly compared with pre-2006 CPR. The sample size was too small to detect differences in survival rates.