In this meta-analysis, return of spontaneous circulation was more likely when chest compressions were delivered by a mechanical device than manually.
When applied properly, mechanical devices provide consistent and effective chest compressions; no risk for provider fatigue; and the opportunity for concurrent defibrillation, thereby reducing time to shock. Investigators performed a meta-analysis of controlled (randomized, historical, or case-control) trials in humans to compare prehospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) using a mechanical chest compression device versus manual compressions.
Of 12 studies meeting entry criteria, 8 involved load-distributing band CPR and 4 used piston-driven CPR, with a total of 6538 patients and 1824 instances of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). ROSC was defined as a measurable blood pressure sustained for at least 1 minute. Use of a mechanical device was superior to manual compressions for achieving ROSC (odds ratio, 1.53 overall, 1.62 for load-distributing band CPR, and 1.25 for piston-driven CPR).
Comment: Compression devices have become more lightweight and portable, making them a more attractive option for prehospital resuscitation, where it may be more difficult to achieve consistently adequate manual compressions. Such devices can be expected to similarly outperform humans in the emergency department and hospital settings, too, making a convincing argument for their routine use during resuscitation.
Source: Journal Watch Emergency Medicine