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Resuscitation. 1999 Jun;41(1):33-8.

Increased frequency of thorax injuries with ACD-CPR.

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Department of Anaesthesia, University of Innsbruck, Austria.


A prospective, randomised out-of-hospital study in a two-tiered system with active compression-decompression (ACD) cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) versus standard (STD) CPR in patients following non-traumatic cardiac arrest was planned to test the hypothesis that ACD-CPR by the first tier may increase the occurrence of ventricular fibrillation as compared with STD-CPR. Furthermore, in a later phase of the study, sternal and rib fractures induced by both CPR methods were determined by extensive autopsy. After enrolling 90 patients the study was terminated because of a high frequency of chest injuries found at autopsy. Forty-two patients received STD-CPR from the first tier and ACD-CPR from the second tier. Thirty-three patients received ACD-CPR only by the first and the second tier, while 15 patients received STD-CPR only from the first and second tiers. In order to obtain a sufficiently large control group for autopsy findings after STD-CPR, STD-CPR was performed in an additional 33 patients within a second period of 4 months. There was no improvement in the number of patients found in ventricular fibrillation after ACD-CPR as compared to STD-CPR performed by the first tier. In patients undergoing autopsy (n = 35) there were significantly more sternal fractures with ACD-CPR versus STD-CPR (14/15 vs. 6/20; P <0.005) and rib fractures (13/15 vs. 11/20; P < 0.05) In conclusion, ACD-CPR appears to cause more CPR-related injuries than does standard CPR, but as a result of a number of limitations on this study, this fact cannot be proven beyond doubt.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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