Workload during cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Objectives Lay resuscitation is crucial for the survival of the patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Therefore, lay CPR should be a basic skill for everyone. With the growing proportion of retired people in the Western societies, CPR performed by people with preexisting diseases and at risk of cardiac events is expected to grow. There is little knowledge about the workload during CPR and the minimum workload capacity of the rescuer.
Methods Pulse frequency, oxygen uptake, and CO2 elimination were measured by telemetry, while CPR was performed using a manikin with digital equipment for the standardization of the procedure. The same parameters were measured during a standard exercise testing protocol (spiroergometry) on a bicycle to analyze the aerobic endurance range of the participants. Data from the resuscitation protocols were correlated with those from spiroergometry to establish a simple standard investigation procedure to check people at risk and to give minimum requirements to perform CPR in Watts/kg. The study consisted of two parts: 1 (n = 16) explored minimal workload cutoffs for the rescuer using the 1995 recommendations and 2 (n = 14) tested the latest 2010 guidelines to compare both recommendations.
Results When tested according to the 1995 guidelines, heart frequency of rescuers increased from 83.0 bpm (±11.3) at rest to 109.9 bpm (±12.6; P = 0.0004). The newer 2010 guidelines increased the workload marginally more (n.s.).
Conclusion CPR can be performed by healthy people within the range of aerobic endurance. The minimal requirements for trainings are 1.6–1.8 W/kg body weight in standard cycling ergometry. People at risk should be trained very careful. Since there is no significant lower workload when following the 1995 recommendations, people at risk should be trained according to the latest recommendations. In the case of a real resuscitation, such trained individuals must additionally take into account any symptoms.