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Penn study: Hospital CPR quality is worse at night
Date:11/14/2010

CHICAGO -- CPR quality is worse during in-hospital cardiac arrests occurring overnight than those that happen during the day, according to a new University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study that will be presented at the American Heart Association's annual Scientific Sessions on November 14. The researchers found that chest compression rates varied more at night - often dipping well below the rate per minute that's necessary to properly circulate blood - than during resuscitation efforts during the day, and rescuers paused for longer when switching between chest compressions and defibrillator shocks at night.

"Our study reveals an important factor to explain why, as previous studies have shown, patients who have cardiac arrests in hospitals during daytime hours are more likely to survive, says senior author Benjamin Abella, MD, MPhil, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and clinical research director in Penn's Center for Resuscitation Science. These findings suggest that more attention to clinical emergency training and staffing at night may be an important way to improve hospital safety and patient outcomes.

The authors studied 173 cardiac arrests that occurred in non-intensive care settings over the course of two years at three urban teaching hospitals. Resuscitation efforts were monitored via a device that tracks compression depth and rates during CPR and the duration of pauses during defibrillation attempts. The results showed that mean chest compression rate was lower during resuscitations that took place at night, between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., compared to those during the day -- 102 compressions per minute, with rates varying between 86 and 118, compared to 107, with variance between 100 and 114. One hundred chest compressions per minute is the recommended rate, and previous research shows that when compressions are performed at lower rates, patients are more likely to die or suffer permanent brain damage from prolonged oxy
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Contact: Jessica Mikulski
jessica.mikulski@uphs.upenn.edu
215-796-4829
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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