Verification of the Optimal Chest Compression Depth for Children in the 2015 American Heart Association Guidelines: Computed Tomography Study

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Abstract

Objective:

The 2015 American Heart Association guidelines recommended pediatric rescue chest compressions of at least one-third the anteroposterior diameter of the chest, which equates to approximately 5 cm. This study evaluated the appropriateness of these two types by comparing their safeties in chest compression depth simulated by CT.

Design:

Retrospective study with data analysis conducted from January 2005 to June 2015

Setting:

Regional emergency center in South Korea.

Patients:

Three hundred forty-nine pediatric patients 1–9 years old who had a chest CT scan.

Interventions:

Simulation of chest compression depths by CT.

Measurements and Main Results:

Internal and external anteroposterior diameter of the chest and residual internal anteroposterior diameter after simulation were measured from CT scans. The safe cutoff levels were differently applied according to age. One-third external anteroposterior diameters were compared with an upper limit of chest compression depth recommended for adults. Primary outcomes were the rates of overcompression to evaluate safety. Overcompression was defined as a negative value of residual internal anteroposterior diameter—age-specific cutoff level. Using a compression of 5-cm depth simulated by chest CT, 16% of all children (55/349) were affected by overcompression. Those 1–3 years old were affected more than those 4–9 years old (p < 0.001). Upon one-third compression of chest anteroposterior depth, only one subject (0.3%) was affected by overcompression. Rate of one-third external anteroposterior diameter greater than 6 cm in children 8 and 9 years old was 16.1% and 33.3%, respectively.

Conclusions:

A chest compression depth of one-third anteroposterior might be more appropriate than the 5-cm depth chest compression for younger Korean children. But, one-third anteroposterior depth chest compression might induce deep compressions greater than an upper limit of compression depth for adults in older Korean children.

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