The present study evaluates whether the quality of advanced cardiac life support (ALS) is improved with an interactive prototype assist device. This device consists of an automated external defibrillator linked to a ventilator and provides synchronised visual and acoustic instructions for guidance through the ALS algorithm and assistance for face-mask ventilations.
We compared the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) quality of emergency medical system (EMS) staff members using the study device or standard equipment in a mannequin simulation study with a prospective, controlled, randomised cross-over study design. Main outcome was the effect of the study device compared to the standard equipment and the effect of the number of prior ALS trainings of the EMS staff on the CPR quality. Data were analysed using analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) and binary logistic regression, accounting for the study design.
In 106 simulations of 56 two-person rescuer teams, the mean hands-off time was 24.5% with study equipment and 23.5% with standard equipment (Difference 1.0% (95% CI: −0.4 to 2.5%); p = 0.156). With both types of equipment, the hands-off time decreased with an increasing cumulative number of previous CPR trainings (p = 0.042). The study equipment reduced the mean time until administration of adrenaline (epinephrine) by 23 s (p = 0.003) and that of amiodarone by 17 s (p = 0.016). It also increased the mean number of changes in the person doing chest compressions (0.6 per simulation; p < 0.001) and decreased the mean number of chest compressions (2.8 per minute; p = 0.022) and the mean number of ventilations (1.8 per minute; p < 0.001). The chance of administering amiodarone at the appropriate time was higher, with an odds ratio of 4.15, with the use of the study equipment CPR.com compared to the standard equipment (p = 0.004). With an increasing number of prior CPR trainings, the time intervals in the ALS algorithm until the defibrillations decreased with standard equipment but increased with the study device.
EMS staff with limited training in CPR profit from guidance through the ALS algorithm by the study device. However, the study device somehow reduced the ALS quality of well-trained rescuers and thus can only be recommended for ALS provider with limited experience.