This study aimed to determine whether personal protective equipment (PPE) results in deterioration in chest compression (CC) quality and greater fatigue for administering health care providers (HCPs).
In this multicenter study, HCPs completed 2 sessions. In session 1 (baseline), HCPs wore normal attire; in session 2, HCPs donned full PPE. During each session, they performed 5 minutes of uninterrupted CCs on a child manikin. Chest compression rate, depth, and release velocity were reported in ten 30-second epochs. Change in CC parameters and self-reported fatigue were measured between the start and 2- and 5-minute epochs.
We enrolled 108 HCPs (prehospital and in-hospital providers). The median CC rate did not change significantly between epochs 1 and 10 during baseline sessions. Median CC depth and release velocity decreased for 5 minutes with PPE. There were no significant differences in CC parameters between baseline and PPE sessions in any provider group. Median fatigue scores during baseline sessions were 2 (at start), 4 (at 2 minutes), and 6 (at 5 minutes). There was a significantly higher median fatigue score between 0 and 5 minutes in both study sessions and in all groups. Fatigue scores were significantly higher for providers wearing PPE compared with baseline specifically among prehospital providers.
During a clinically appropriate 2-minute period, neither CC quality nor self-reported fatigue worsened to a significant degree in providers wearing PPE. Our data suggest that Pediatric Basic Life Support recommendations for CC providers to switch every 2 minutes need not be altered with PPE use.