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Quality analysis of chest compression during cardiopulmonary resuscitation performed by firefighters with physical effort

Łukasz Dudziński1, Marcin Glinka2, Dominik Wysocki3, Piotr Leszczyński4, Mariusz Panczyk5

1State Fire Service Lublin, Lublin, Poland

2State Fire Service Warsaw, Warszawa, Poland

3Provincial Headquarters of State Fire Service Lublin, Lublin, Poland

4Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Siedlce, Poland

5Department of Education and Research in Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences Medical University of Warsaw, Warszawa, Poland

Correspondence to:

Łukasz Dudziński, PhD,

State Fire Service Lublin,

Szczerbowskiego 6, 20–012 Lublin, Poland,

phone: +48 81 535 13 20,

e-mail: lukasz_dudzinski@o2.pl

Copyright by the Author(s), 2021

Kardiol Pol. 2021; 79 (6): 690–692; DOI: 10.33963/KP.15992

Received: January 11, 2021

Revision accepted: April 26, 2021

Published online: April 29, 2021

INTRODUCTION

The medical activities of firefighters in the State Fire Service (SFS) are based on 22 advanced first aid procedures (FAP). The procedures apply to both traumatic and non-traumatic health and life-threatening conditions [1, 2]. The most demanding FAP procedures concern cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) broken down by age groups of victims [3]. They are concerned with the management of cardiac arrest in adults, children, infants, and newborns [4, 5]. The medical firefighter training system and the adult CPR procedure used in SFS are described in Supplementary material, Figure S1.

Successful CPR management and the chance of a return to spontaneous circulation (ROSC) depend on various factors. One of them are correct chest compressions in line with the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) guidelines for basic life support (BLS). For an adult, effective action is obtained by compressing in the right place (center of the chest), at a rate of 100120 per minute, to a depth of 56 cm, as well as correct relaxation [6, 7]. Among the factors that influence the quality of compressions are practice, experience, mental state (stress load, acting in a public place), and physical conditions (weather conditions, overexertion). The study attempts to evaluate the effect of rescuer (firefighter) fatigue on the quality of adult chest compressions as an important part of CPR.

METHODS

The study involved compressing the Rescue Anne QCPR training manikin in a situation of physical and thermal stress of the rescuers. The fatigue effect was obtained by completing the test in a smoke chamber. Officers compressed the manikin’s chest before the physical exercise for 2 minutes. Then the firefighters started the test in a smoke chamber (training path and chamber passage), where they obtained significant fatigue. For statistical analysis, the exercise time with the manikin (chest compressions) was presented in seconds (t. max = 120 seconds). The study was randomized, and participation depended on the schedule of tests in the smoke chamber.

The next sessions increasing the study population were scheduled for 2020, but the state of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic made it impossible to increase the research sample. The study was approved by the Bioethics Committee at UPH Siedlce (No. 7/2019), and gained the consent of the Provincial Commander of the State Fire Service in Lublin. Each study participant gave their informed consent.

Statistical analysis

Statistical analysis is presented in Supplementary material.

Test parts to be assessed (parts I and III)

Part I 2-minute rest cycle of chest compressions assessed in the study. A firefighter dressed in special clothing, no respiratory protection (RP) kit, no helmet. After completing the 2-minute compressions cycle, the study subject puts on the RP set and proceeds to part II.

Part II physical effort training path lasting 15 minutes with the RP worn but not connected, and the smoke chamber path with the RP on and connected. The passage time of the chamber path varies for each officer. The maximum passage time of the smoke chamber is limited by the air consumption in the cylinder. The smoke chamber path must be completed on the contents of one air cylinder. The average range of ventricular transit times is 610 minutes and depends on the individual characteristics of the exercising people. The exercise part was not assessed in the study, but it was necessary for the next part of the study.

Part III a 2-minute cycle of chest compressions after exercise assessed in the study. After leaving the smoke chamber, a firefighter approaches the CPR station, disconnects and takes off the RP kit, mask, and helmet, and starts compressing the manikin’s chest. This part simulates the real conditions of rescue and firefighting operations (evacuating an unconscious person from the danger zone, finding no signs of circulation, starting CPR without being able to rest). Flow chart of the study stages is shown in Figure S2 in Supplementary material.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

In total, 72 firefighters at a mean (SD) age of 34.14 (6.67) participated in the study. The mean (SD) length of service was 9.6 years (4.27). The full-time task planned in the study (all 3 parts) was completed by 64 officers. Parts I and II were completed by all 72 officers. Eight firefighters did not complete part III. Five completed compressions on the manikin’s chest after 85, 90, 94, 101, 105 seconds out of the scheduled 120 seconds, respectively, and three did not take this part declaring too much fatigue. The parameters important for the study are presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Descriptive statistics of quantitative variables

Variable

Mean (SD)

W

P-valuea

Age, years

34.14 (6.67)

0.972

0.106

Length of service, years

9.60 (4.27)

0.977

0.201

Depth of chest compressions at rest, mm

47.85 (3.98)

0.968

0.069

Variable

Median (IQR/2)

W

P-valuea

Frequency of chest compressions at rest, comp./min

110.75 (5.88)

0.961

0.025

Frequency of chest compressions after exercise, comp./min

120.00 (6.50)

0.879

0.00001

Depth of chest compressions after exercise, mm

47.00 (5.00)

0.914

0.00016

aShapiro–Wilk test.

Abbreviations: IQR/2, Semi-interquartile range; SD, standard deviation; W, statistic value

Function (n)

Frequency of chest compressions, comp./min

ta/zb

P-value

 

At rest

After exercise

M

SD

M

SD

Commanders

(14)

109.04

9.58

124.18

11.48

3.965

0.001a

Function (n)

Mdn

IQR/2

Mdn

IQR/2

 

 

Rescuers

(41)

112.25

4.75

120.50

6.13

3.139

0.002b

Drivers

(9)

108.00

3.75

109.75

10.75

1.013

0.311b

All group

(64)

110.75

5.69

120.00

6.56

3.354

0.001b

aMatched-pairs t-test. bWilcoxon signed-rank test, t or z — statistic value.

Abbreviations: IQR/2, semi-interquartile range; M, mean; Mdn, median; SD, standard deviation

Function (n)

Depth of chest compressions, mm

ta/zb

P-value

 

At rest

After exercise

M

SD

M

SD

Drivers

(9)

47.46

3.64

47.42

3.65

0.312

0.760a

Function (n)

Mdn

IQR/2

Mdn

IQR/2

 

 

Rescuers

(41)

48.50

1.75

44.00

5.00

3.813

<0.001b

Commanders

(14)

48.00

3.75

47.00

4.75

0.908

0.363b

All group

(64)

48.00

2.50

47.00

4.63

3.476

0.001b

aMatched-pairs t-test. bWilcoxon signed-rank test, t or z — statistic value.

Abbreviations: IQR/2, semi-interquartile range; M, mean; Mdn, median; SD, standard deviation

Additional data are described in Supplementary material in the Results section.

Due to the lack of publication and results of similar studies on the assessment of the quality of chest compressions before and after exercise among PSP officers, reference was made to other results assessing the quality of chest compressions, and the impact of resuscitation on prognosis, survival and health after an episode of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Dąbrowski [8] in 2012 raised that the implementation of high-quality chest compressions without ventilation in the absence of equipment or safety. The 2015 CPR guidelines also addressed the issue of high-quality chest compressions as important for the further process of saving lives [9].

A similar topic of research was undertaken in 2014. In the cited work, the authors compared 3 methods of chest (device and non-device) compressions. Moreover, they described that the correct location of the chest compression point, pressure depth and frequency influenced the effectiveness of indirect heart massage and caused the correct compression of the heart muscle [10]. Similar results were presented in our study firefighters’ fatigue had a similar effect on lowering the quality of actions.

The authors also presented research on the quality of chest compression during CPR in the 2018 publication. A study comparing instrument and non-instrument operation had shown that the quality of manual chest compression performed during simulated adult resuscitation was lower than when using the chest compression system [11].

In another study from 2019, researchers cited data from the American Heart Association (AHA), according to which over 359 000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) incidents are registered in the United States every year. The update of the guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, taking place every few years, on the basis of the latest scientific reports, leads to an increase in patient survival. The quality of life after cardiac arrest is closely related to careful and effective CPR [12].

Chomoncik [13] presents that good knowledge of rescue procedures and continuous training have an impact on the quality and speed of advanced first aid activities, also during CPR.

In the 2018 analysis, Iskrzycki et al. [14] demonstrated that the use of a real-time visual external feedback device (CPRMeter) significantly improved the quality of chest compressions in rescuers with little experience. Comparing the conclusions obtained by the authors of the study to the own results, it can be assumed that the use of real-time CPR quality monitoring devices may have a beneficial effect not only in the case of inexperienced but also tired rescuers.

CONCLUSIONS

Rescuer fatigue has a statistically significant impact on the frequency and depth of chest compressions during CPR. Consider implementing a cyclical evaluation of resuscitation activities in the fire service as part of professional development. CRP results after physical effort suggest changing rescuers more frequently than every 2 minutes.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material is available at https://journals.viamedica.pl/kardiologia_polska.

Article information

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