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Paediatr Anaesth. 2003 Feb;13(2):141-6.

A comparison of five techniques for detecting cardiac activity in infants.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesia, Kanagawa Children's Medical Center, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan. inagawa@med.yokohama-cu.ac.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The new guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation recommend that laypersons should begin chest compressions without checking for a pulse because the pulse check has serious limitations in accuracy. We determined the efficacy of the most suitable method to search for cardiac activity in infants.

METHODS:

Twenty-eight nurses tried to detect infants' cardiac activity and determined their heart rates with five different techniques: palpation of brachial pulse, carotid pulse, femoral pulse, apical impulse and auscultation of apical impulse with the naked ear (direct auscultation technique).

RESULTS:

The mean time interval required to find the pulse within 30 s in the auscultation, the apical, the brachial, the carotid and the femoral were 2.4 +/- 1.2, 3.5 +/- 2.7, 4.0 +/- 2.7, 9.9 +/- 7.0 and 9.1 +/- 5.9 s, respectively. The required time was significantly shorter in the auscultation method than in the palpation of carotid and femoral pulses. The percentage and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of pulses identified within 10 s (= the number of the correct identified within 10 s/the number of all cases) in auscultation, apical, brachial, carotid and femoral palpations were 100.0% (95% CI 51.8, 100), 75.0% (95% CI 28.9, 89.3), 73.1% (95% CI 52.2, 88.4), 50.0% (95% CI 30.6, 69.4) and 42.9% (95% CI 24.5, 62.8), respectively. These values were greater in the auscultation method than in all the palpation methods.

CONCLUSIONS:

The direct auscultation technique was more rapid and accurate than any other techniques to determine cardiac activity without instruments. It is suggested that direct a auscultation technique is also superior to the palpation of brachial artery in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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