BACKGROUND: Active compression-decompression (ACD) CPR combined with an inspiratory impedance threshold device (ITD) improves vital organ blood flow during cardiac arrest. This study compared survival rates with ACD+ITD CPR versus standard manual CPR (S-CPR). METHODS AND RESULTS: A prospective, controlled trial was performed in Mainz, Germany, in which a 2-tiered emergency response included early defibrillation. Patients with out-of-hospital arrest of presumed cardiac pathogenesis were sequentially randomized to ACD+ITD CPR or S-CPR by the advanced life support team after intubation. Rescuers learned which method of CPR to use at the start of each work shift. The primary end point was 1-hour survival after a witnessed arrest. With ACD+ITD CPR (n=103), return of spontaneous circulation and 1- and 24-hour survival rates were 55%, 51%, and 37% versus 37%, 32%, and 22% with S-CPR (n=107) (P=0.016, 0.006, and 0.033, respectively). One- and 24-hour survival rates in witnessed arrests were 55% and 41% with ACD+ITD CPR versus 33% and 23% in control subjects (P=0.011 and 0.019), respectively. One- and 24-hour survival rates in patients with a witnessed arrest in ventricular fibrillation were 68% and 58% after ACD+ITD CPR versus 27% and 23% after S-CPR (P=0.002 and 0.009), respectively. Patients randomized > or =10 minutes after the call for help to the ACD+ITD CPR had a 3 times higher 1-hour survival rate than control subjects (P=0.002). Hospital discharge rates were 18% after ACD+ITD CPR versus 13% in control subjects (P=0.41). In witnessed arrests, overall neurological function trended higher with ACD+ITD CPR versus control subjects (P=0.07). CONCLUSIONS: Compared with S-CPR, ACD+ITD CPR significantly improved short-term survival rates for patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Additional studies are needed to evaluate potential long-term benefits of ACD+ITD CPR.
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