Objective To evaluate the effect of spontaneous gasping on cardiorespiratory functions and the ability to resuscitate during experimental cardiac arrest.
Data Sources Studies in rat and pig models during cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Study Selection We retrospectively examined the role of spontaneous gasping during the course of experimental studies on cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Data Extraction The data were extracted to illustrate the mechanisms of spontaneous gasping and its effects on pulmonary gas exchange and blood circulation during CPR.
Data Synthesis Spontaneous gasping increased Pao2 and decreased Paco2 values during precordial compression in the absence of mechanical ventilation. The frequency of gasping during precordial compression was greater in successfully resuscitated animals. A significant linear correlation was established between coronary artery perfusion pressure and both the frequency (r2 = .90, p < .01) and the duration (r2 = 0.69, p < .01) of gasping during untreated ventricular fibrillation and before resuscitation was attempted. Like coronary perfusion pressure, the frequency and duration of gasping predicted the success of cardiac resuscitation attempts.
Conclusions Spontaneous gasping is associated with both pulmonary and hemodynamic effects during cardiac arrest in experimental animals. Spontaneous gasping is biologically useful and is predictive of a more favorable outcome of resuscitative efforts. (Crit Care Med 1994; 22:879–883)
© Williams & Wilkins 1994. All Rights Reserved.