The American Heart Association recommends minimizing pauses of chest compressions and defines high performance resuscitation as achieving a chest compression fraction greater than 80%. We hypothesize that interruption times are excessively long, leading to an unnecessarily large impact on chest compression fraction.
A retrospective study using video review of a convenience sample of clinically realistic in situ simulated pulseless electrical activity cardiopulmonary arrests.
Johns Hopkins Children’s Center; September 2013 to June 2017.
Twenty-two simulated patients.
A framework was developed to characterize interruptions. Two new metrics were defined as follows: interruption time excess (the difference between actual and guideline-indicated allowable duration of interruption from compressions), and chest compression fraction potential (chest compression fraction with all interruption time excess excluded).
Measurements and Main Results:
Descriptive statistics were generated for interruption-level and event-level variables. Differences between median chest compression fraction and chest compression fraction potential were assessed using Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Comparisons of interruption proportion before and after the first 5 minutes were assessed using the X2 test statistic. Seven-hundred sixty-six interruptions occurred over 22 events. Median event duration was 463.0 seconds (interquartile range, 397.5–557.8 s), with a mean 34.8 interruptions per event. Auscultation and intubation had the longest median interruption time excess of 13.0 and 7.5 seconds, respectively. Median chest compression fraction was 76.0% (interquartile range, 67.7–80.7 s), and median chest compression fraction potential was 83.4% (interquartile range, 80.4–87.4%). Comparing median chest compression fraction to median chest compression fraction potential found an absolute percent difference of 7.6% (chest compression fraction: 76.0% vs chest compression fraction potential: 83.4%; p < 0.001).
This lays the groundwork for studying inefficiency during cardiopulmonary resuscitation associated with chest compression interruptions. The framework we created allows for the determination of significant avoidable interruption time. By further elucidating the nature of interruptions, we can design and implement targeted interventions to improve patient outcomes.