Abdominal counterpulsation as an adjunct to CPR - Tips from Other Journals

Date: June, 1992

Research has suggested that interposed abdominal counterpulsation performed during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may improve patient outcome. Sack and associates evaluated this technique in a randomized, controlled trial.

A total of 103 patients who required CPR while in a university-affiliated hospital were randomized to receive standard CPR or CPR plus abdominal compressions performed during the relaxation phase of chest compression, at a rate of 80 to 100 per minute.

Significantly more patients who received CPR and interposed abdominal counterpulsation had return of spontaneous circulation (51 percent) than patients who received only CPR (27 percent). Twenty-five percent of patients who received CPR and interposed abdominal counterpulsation survived until hospital discharge, compared with 7 percent of patients who received only CPR. In addition more of the former group survived to discharge neurologically intact, although the difference did not reach statistical significance.

The authors conclude that interposed abdominal counterpulsation may prove to be a meaningful improvement to the technique of CPR. (JAMA, January 15, 1992, vol. 267, p. 379.)

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