'Bystander' chest compressions and assisted ventilation independently improve outcome from piglet asphyxial pulseless 'cardiac arrest'

Robert A. Berg, Ronald W. Hilwig, Karl B. Kern, Gordon A. Ewy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

167 Scopus citations


Background - Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) without assisted ventilation may be as effective as CPR with assisted ventilation for ventricular fibrillatory cardiac arrests. However, chest compressions alone or ventilation alone is not effective for complete asphyxial cardiac arrests (loss of aortic pulsations). The objective of this investigation was to determine whether these techniques can independently improve outcome at an earlier stage of the asphyxial process. Methods and Results - After induction of anesthesia, 40 piglets (11.5±0.3 kg) underwent endotracheal tube clamping (6.8±0.3 minutes) until simulated pulselessness, defined as aortic systolic pressure <50 mm Hg. For the 8-minute 'bystander CPR' period, animals were randomly assigned to chest compressions and assisted ventilation (CC+V), chest compressions only (CC), assisted ventilation only (V), or no bystander CPR (control group). Return of spontaneous circulation occurred during the first 2 minutes of bystander CPR in 10 of 10 CC+V piglets, 6 of 10 V piglets, 4 of 10 CC piglets, and none of the controls (CC+V or V versus controls, P<0.01; CC+V versus CC and V combined, P=0.01). During the first minute of CPR, arterial and mixed venous blood gases were superior in the 3 experimental groups compared with the controls. Twenty-four-hour survival was similarly superior in the 3 experimental groups compared with the controls (8 of 10, 6 of 10, 5 of 10, and 0 of 10, P<0.05 each). Conclusions - Bystander CPR with CC+V improves outcome in the early stages of apparent pulseless asphyxial cardiac arrest. In addition, this study establishes that bystander CPR with CC or V can independently improve outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1743-1748
Number of pages6
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 11 2000



  • Asphyxia
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Heart arrest
  • Pediatrics
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this