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Ann Emerg Med. 2019 Feb 14. pii: S0196-0644(19)30025-3. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2019.01.018. [Epub ahead of print]

Transesophageal Echocardiography During Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Is Associated With Shorter Compression Pauses Compared With Transthoracic Echocardiography.

Author information

1
Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT. Electronic address: James.Fair@hsc.utah.edu.
2
St Charles Medical Center, Bend, OR.
3
Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT.
4
Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT; University of Utah Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Salt Lake City, UT.
5
Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT; Salt Lake City Fire Department, Salt Lake City, UT.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

Point-of-care ultrasonography provides diagnostic information in addition to visual pulse checks during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The most commonly used modality, transthoracic echocardiography, has unfortunately been repeatedly associated with prolonged pauses in chest compressions, which correlate with worsened neurologic outcomes. Unlike transthoracic echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography does not require cessation of compressions for adequate imaging and provides the diagnostic benefit of point-of-care ultrasonography. To assess a benefit of transesophageal echocardiography, we compare the duration of chest compression pauses between transesophageal echocardiography, transthoracic echocardiography, and manual pulse checks on video recordings of cardiac arrest resuscitations.

METHODS:

We analyzed 139 pulse check CPR pauses among 25 patients during cardiac arrest.

RESULTS:

Transesophageal echocardiography provided the shortest mean pulse check duration (9 seconds [95% confidence interval {CI} 5 to 12 seconds]). Mean pulse check duration with transthoracic echocardiography was 19 seconds (95% CI 16 to 22 seconds), and it was 11 seconds (95% CI 8 to 14 seconds) with manual checks. Intraclass correlation coefficient between abstractors for a portion of individual and average times was 0.99 and 0.99, respectively (P<.001 for both).

CONCLUSION:

Our study suggests that pulse check times with transesophageal echocardiography are shorter versus with transthoracic echocardiography for ED point-of-care ultrasonography during cardiac arrest resuscitations, and further emphasizes the need for careful attention to compression pause duration when using transthoracic echocardiography for point-of-care ultrasonography during ED cardiac arrest resuscitations.

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