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Resuscitation. 1998 Oct-Nov;39(1-2):67-74.

Carbon dioxide levels during pre-hospital active compression--decompression versus standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Langenbeckstr, Mainz, Germany.


In a prospective randomised study we investigated end-tidal carbon dioxide levels during standard versus active compression-decompression (ACD) cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) assuming that the end-tital carbon dioxide reflects cardiac output during resuscitation. In each group 60 patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were treated either with the standard or the ACD method. End-tidal CO2 (p(et)CO2, mmHg) was assessed with a side-stream capnometer following intubation and then every 2 min up to 10 min or restoration of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). There was no difference in p(et)CO2 between both patient groups. However, CO2 was significantly higher in patients who were admitted to hospital as compared to patients declared dead at the scene. All of the admitted patients had a p(et)CO2 of at least 15 mmHg no later than 2 min following intubation, none of the dead patients ever exceeded 15.5 mmHg. From these data we conclude that capnometry adds valuable information to the estimation of a patient's prognosis in the field (threshold, 15 mmHg), but we could not detect any difference in p(et)CO2 between ACD and standard CPR.

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