Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: Effect of CPAP on Gas Exchange during Chest Compressions

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BackgroundConventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) includes 80-100/min precordial compressions with intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV) after very fifth compression. To prevent gastric insufflation, chest compressions are held during IPPV if the patient is not intubated. Elimination of IPPV would simplify CPR and might offer physiologic advantages, but compression-induced ventilation without IPPV has been shown to result in hypercapnia. The authors hypothesized that application of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) might increase CO2 elimination during chest compressions.MethodsAfter appropriate instrumentation and measurement of baseline data, ventricular fibrillation was induced in 18 pigs. Conventional CPR was performed as a control (CPRC) for 5 min. Pauses were then discontinued, and animals were assigned randomly to receive alternate trials of uninterrupted chest compressions at a rate of 80/min without IPPV, either at atmospheric airway pressure (CPRATM) or with CPAP (CPRCPAP). CPAP was adjusted to produce a minute ventilation of 75% of the animal's baseline ventilation. Data were summarized as mean +/− SD and compared with Student t test for paired observations.ResultsDuring CPR without IPPV, CPAP decreased PaCO2 (55 +/− 28 vs. 100 +/− 16 mmHg) and increased SaO2 (0.86 +/− 0.19 vs. 0.50 +/− 0.18%; P < 0.001). CPAP also increased arteriovenous oxygen content difference (10.7 +/− 3.1 vs. 5.5 +/− 2.3 ml/dl blood) and CO2 elimination (120 +/− 20 vs. 12 +/− 20 ml/min; P < 0.01). Differences between CPRCPAP and CPRATM in aortic blood pressure, cardiac output, and stroke volume were not significant.ConclusionsMechanical ventilation may not be necessary during CPR as long as CPAP is applied. Discontinuation of IPPV will simplify CPR and may offer physiologic advantage.

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