Web-based general public opinion study of automated versus manual external chest compression

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Only a few cardiac-arrest victims receive external chest compression (ECC) by a bystander.


To test the hypothesis that the general public might start ECC more often if they used an automated device rather than a manual massage.


Web-based public opinion survey based on two short videos, one showing manual ECC and the other automated ECC (Autopulse, Zoll, France). Advantages and disadvantages (perceived efficacy, reproducibility, hazard, apprehension and acceptability) of the two techniques were evaluated on a visual analogue scale (VAS). A VAS of 1–3 was considered to indicate preference for manual ECC, 8–10 for automated ECC and 4–7 for no clear preference. The final global score was the difference between advantage and disadvantage scores.


Overall, 1769 persons answered the questionnaire. The median VAS score for each variable was as follows: 7 (25–75 percentiles, 5–9) for efficacy, 8 (3–10) for reproducibility, 5 (3–8) for hazard, 5 (2–8) for apprehension and 5 (2–8) for acceptability. The overall median score indicated that 1034 persons (58%) preferred use of the device, 618 (35%) preferred manual ECC and 117 (7%) had no preference. There was no significant difference in the preference according to gender, education and training in first aid. However, older persons (0) preferred the use of device.


The better ‘advantages over disadvantages’ score for the automated ECC device over manual ECC indicated that the general public might envisage use of the device. This could contribute to increase the frequency of resuscitation attempts by bystanders.

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