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Aviat Space Environ Med. 2014 Jul;85(7):687-93.

Three methods of manual external chest compressions during microgravity simulation.



Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in microgravity is challenging. There are three single-person CPR techniques that can be performed in microgravity: the Evetts-Russomano (ER), Handstand (HS), and Reverse Bear Hug (RBH). All three methods have been evaluated in parabolic flights, but only the ER method has been shown to be effective in prolonged microgravity simulation. All three methods of CPR have yet to be evaluated using the current 2010 guidelines.


There were 23 male subjects who were recruited to perform simulated terrestrial CPR (+1 G(z)) and the three microgravity CPR methods for four sets of external chest compressions (ECC). To simulate microgravity, the subjects used a body suspension device (BSD) and trolley system. True depth (D(T)), ECC rate, and oxygen consumption (Vo2) were measured.


The mean (+/- SD) D(T) for the ER (37.4 +/- 1.5 mm) and RBH methods (23.9 +/- 1.4 mm) were significantly lower than +1 G(z) CPR. However, both methods attained an ECC rate that met the guidelines (105.6 +/- 0.8; 101.3 +/- 1.5 compressions/min). The HS method achieved a superior D(T) (49.3 +/- 1.2 mm), but a poor ECC rate (91.9 +/- 2.2 compressions/min). Vo2 for ER and HS was higher than +1 Gz; however, the RBH was not.


All three methods have merit in performing ECC in simulated microgravity; the ER and RBH have adequate ECC rates, and the HS method has adequate D(T). However, all methods failed to meet all criteria for the 2010 guidelines. Further research to evaluate the most effective method of CPR in microgravity is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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