Using Device To Give CPR Does Not Improve Survival

Armen Hareyan's picture
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CPR Device

Researchers looking for methods to improve survival from cardiac arrest were surprised by the results of a study comparing manual CPR compressions with those given by an FDA-approved mechanical device.

The randomized study, conducted in five North American cities including Columbus, showed that victims of sudden cardiac arrest were more likely to be discharged alive from the hospital if they received manual cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) rather than CPR administered by the mechanical device.

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Results of the study are published in the June 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lynn White, clinical research manager in emergency medicine at Ohio State University Medical Center, coordinated the 34 medic crews involved in the Columbus study. "Everyone thought the device was a great idea and that its ability to provide compressions of much higher quality than those administered by humans would be lifesaving," said White. "The results are certainly not what we anticipated at the onset of the study."

The study involved 1,071 people who experienced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Columbus, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver and Calgary, Canada. The study, originally planned to last 12-18 months, was halted in March 2005, nine months after it began, when it became apparent that the study device was not improving long-term outcomes.

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