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High-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a fundamental intervention for cardiac arrest, yet health care providers rarely adhere to recommended guidelines. Real-time feedback improves CPR performance. It is currently unknown how Canadian emergency physicians assess CPR quality during cardiac arrest and if they use feedback devices. Our aim was to describe how emergency physicians assess CPR quality and to describe eventual barriers to implementation of feedback technology.
This was a cross-sectional survey that was distributed to attending and resident emergency physicians through the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians. Responses were summarized and analyzed using descriptive statistics.
The response rate was 19% (323/1735). Visual observation was the most common method of assessing CPR quality (41.2%), with leaders standing at the foot of the bed (67.4%). This was followed by real-time pulse check (29.7%) and end-tidal CO2 values (21.7%). Only 12% of physicians utilized CPR feedback technology. The most common perceived barrier to utilization was unavailability, inexperience with devices and lack of guidelines/evidence for their use.
Most Canadian emergency physicians that responded to our survey, assess quality of CPR by standing at the foot of the bed and utilize visual observation and palpation methods which are known to be inaccurate. A minority utilize objective measurements such as ETCO2 or feedback devices, with the greatest barrier being lack of availability.
We aimed to explore whether a) step stool use is associated with improved cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) quality; b) provider adjusted height is associated with improved CPR quality; and if associations exist, c) determine whether just-in-time (JIT) CPR training and/or CPR visual feedback attenuates the effect of height and/or step stool use on CPR quality.
We analysed data from a trial of simulated cardiac arrests with three study arms: No intervention; CPR visual feedback; and JIT CPR training. Step stool use was voluntary. We explored the association between 1) step stool use and CPR quality, and 2) provider adjusted height and CPR quality. Adjusted height was defined as provider height + 23 cm (if step stool was used). Below-average height participants were ≤ gender-specific average height; the remainder were above average height. We assessed for interaction between study arm and both adjusted height and step stool use.
One hundred twenty-four subjects participated; 1,230 30-second epochs of CPR were analysed. Step stool use was associated with improved compression depth in below-average (female, p=0.007; male, p<0.001) and above-average (female, p=0.001; male, p<0.001) height providers. There is an association between adjusted height and compression depth (p<0.001). Visual feedback attenuated the effect of height (p=0.025) on compression depth; JIT training did not (p=0.918). Visual feedback and JIT training attenuated the effect of step stool use (p<0.001) on compression depth.
Step stool use is associated with improved compression depth regardless of height. Increased provider height is associated with improved compression depth, with visual feedback attenuating the effects of height and step stool use.
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