Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Assessment of optimal chest compression depth during neonatal cardiopulmonary resuscitation: a randomised controlled animal trial


Aim The study aimed to examine the optimal anterior-posterior depth which will reduce the time to return of spontaneous circulation and improve survival during chest compressions. Asphyxiated neonatal piglets receiving chest compression resuscitated with a 40% anterior-posterior chest depth compared with 33%, 25% or 12.5% will have reduced time to return of spontaneous circulation and improved survival.

Methods Newborn piglets (n=8 per group) were anaesthetised, intubated, instrumented and exposed to 45 min normocapnic hypoxia followed by asphyxia and cardiac arrest. Piglets were randomly allocated to four intervention groups (‘anterior-posterior 12.5% depth’, ‘anterior-posterior 25% depth’, ‘anterior-posterior 33% depth’ or ‘anterior-posterior 40% depth’). Chest compressions were performed using an automated chest compression machine with a rate of 90 per minute. Haemodynamic and respiratory parameters, applied compression force, and chest compression depth were continuously measured.

Results The median (IQR) time to return of spontaneous circulation was 600 (600–600) s, 135 (90–589) s, 85 (71–158)* s and 116 (63–173)* s for the 12.5%, 25%, 33% and 40% depth groups, respectively (*p<0.001 vs 12.5%). The number of piglets that achieved return of spontaneous circulation was 0 (0%), 6 (75%), 7 (88%) and 7 (88%) in the 12.5%, 25%, 33% and 40% anterior-posterior depth groups, respectively. Arterial blood pressure, central venous pressure, carotid blood flow, applied compression force, tidal volume and minute ventilation increased with greater anterior-posterior chest depth during chest compression.

Conclusions Time to return of spontaneous circulation and survival were similar between 25%, 33% and 40% anterior-posterior depths, while 12.5% anterior-posterior depth did not result in return of spontaneous circulation or survival. Haemodynamic and respiratory parameters improved with increasing anterior-posterior depth, suggesting improved organ perfusion and oxygen delivery with 33%–40% anterior-posterior depth.

Trial registration number PTCE0000193.

  • neonatology
  • resuscitation

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.