The impact of chest compression rates on quality of chest compressions - A manikin study

Richard A. Field*, Jasmeet Soar, Naheed Akhtar, Gavin D. Perkins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Chest compressions are often performed at a variable rate during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The effect of compression rate on other chest compression quality variables (compression depth, duty-cycle, leaning, performance decay over time) is unknown. This randomised controlled cross-over manikin study examined the effect of different compression rates on the other chest compression quality variables. Methods: Twenty healthcare professionals performed 2min of continuous compressions on an instrumented manikin at rates of 80, 100, 120, 140 and 160min -1 in a random order. An electronic metronome was used to guide compression rate. Compression data were analysed by repeated measures ANOVA and are presented as mean (SD). Non-parametric data was analysed by Friedman test. Results: At faster compression rates there were significant improvements in the number of compressions delivered (160(2) at 80min -1 vs. 312(13) compressions at 160min -1, P<0.001); and compression duty-cycle (43(6)% at 80min -1 vs. 50(7)% at 160min -1, P<0.001). This was at the cost of a significant reduction in compression depth (39.5(10)mm at 80min -1 vs. 34.5(11)mm at 160min -1, P<0.001); and earlier decay in compression quality (median decay point 120s at 80min -1 vs. 40s at 160min -1, P<0.001). Additionally not all participants achieved the target rate (100% at 80min -1 vs. 70% at 160min -1). Rates above 120min -1 had the greatest impact on reducing chest compression quality. Conclusions: For Guidelines 2005 trained rescuers, a chest compression rate of 100-120min -1 for 2min is feasible whilst maintaining adequate chest compression quality in terms of depth, duty-cycle, leaning, and decay in compression performance. Further studies are needed to assess the impact of the Guidelines 2010 recommendation for deeper and faster chest compressions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-364
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
NA is funded through a Resuscitation Council (RC) UK Research Fellowship .

Funding Information:
GDP is supported by a NIHR Clinician Scientist Award .

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Basic life support
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Chest compressions
  • Quality


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