Indexed on: 12 May '17Published on: 12 May '17Published in: Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006)
The purpose of cardiopulmonary resuscitation after sudden cardiac arrest is to restore minimal blood flow to provide oxygen to the brain and other vital organs. Chest compressions and external defibrillation are the first line for circulatory support. Although early defibrillation is the main factor influencing survival, cardiopulmonary resuscitation must be characterized by high-quality external chest compressions. Unfortunately, the performance of manual chest compressions decreases during time and in hostile conditions. For these reasons, mechanical devices for chest compression are able to support rescuers during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Commonly used mechanical chest compression devices in Europe include LUCAS and Autopulse. Routine utilization of mechanical chest compression devices cannot be recommended because randomized controlled trials, such as LINC and PARAMEDIC for LUCAS and CIRC for Autopulse, have not demonstrated their superiority compared with manual chest compressions. The aim of this review is to analyze recent data regarding utilization of mechanical chest compression devices, and to clarify advantages and limitations.