Background Most cases of delivery room cardiopulmonary arrest result from an asphyxial process. Experimental evidence supports an important role for ventilation during asphyxial arrest. The optimal compression: ventilation (CV) ratio remains unclear and recommendations for newborns have varied from 3:1, 5:1 and 15:2.
Objective Compare 3:1, 5:1 and 15: 2 CV ratios using the two-thumb technique in relationship to depth of compressions, decay of compression depth over time, compression rates and breaths delivered.
Methods Thirty-two subjects, physicians and neonatal nurses, participated with compressions performed on a manikin. Evaluations included 2 min of compressions using 3:1, 5:1 and 15:2 CV ratios.
Results Compression depth was comparable between groups. By paired analysis per subject, the depth was only greater for 3:1 versus 15:2 (ie, 0.91±2.2 mm) (p=0.01) and greater for women than men. Comparing the initial and second minute of compressions, no decay in compression depth for 3:1 ratio was noted, however significant decay was observed for 5:1 and 15:2 ratios (p<0.05). The compression rates were least and ventilations breaths were highest for 3:1 as opposed to the other ratios (p<0.05).
Conclusions Providers using a 3:1 versus 15:2 achieve a greater depth of compressions over 2 min with a greater difference noted in women. More consistent compression depth over time was achieved with 3:1 as opposed to the other ratios. Thus, the 3:1 ratio is appropriate for newly born infants requiring resuscitation.
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