Use of Mechanical Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Devices for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest, 2010-2016

Peter A. Kahn, Sanket S. Dhruva, Taeho Greg Rhee, Joseph S. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Importance: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a common scenario facing prehospital emergency medical services (EMS) professionals and nearly always involves either manual or mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Mechanical CPR devices are expensive and prior clinical trials have not provided evidence of benefit for patients when compared with manual CPR. Objectives: To investigate the use of mechanical CPR in the prehospital setting and determine whether patient demographic characteristics or geographical location is associated with its use. Design, Setting, and Participants: A retrospective cross-sectional study was performed using the 2010 through 2016 National Emergency Medical Services Information System data. Participants included all patients identified by EMS professionals as having out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Main Outcomes and Measures: Use of CPR, categorized as manual or mechanical. Results: From 2010 to 2016, 892 022 patients (38.6% female, 60.4% male, missing for 1%; mean [SD] age, 61.1 [20.5] years) with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were identified by EMS professionals. Overall, manual CPR was used for 618 171 patients (69.3%) and mechanical CPR was used for 45 493 patients (5.1%). The risk-standardized rate of mechanical CPR use, accounting for patient demographic and geographical characteristics, rose from 1.9% in 2010 to 8.0% in 2016 (P < .001). In multivariable analyses, use of mechanical CPR devices was increasingly likely over time among patients identified with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest treated by EMS professionals, increasing from an adjusted odds ratio of 1.58 (95% CI, 1.42-1.77; P < .001) when comparing 2011 with 2010, to an adjusted odds ratio of 11.32 (95% CI, 10.22-12.54; P < .001) when comparing 2016 with 2010. In addition, several other patient demographic and geographical characteristics were associated with a higher likelihood of receiving mechanical CPR, including being 65 years or older, being male, being Hispanic, as well as receiving treatment in the Northeast Census Region, in a suburban location, or in a zip code with a median annual income greater than $20 000. Conclusions and Relevance: Mechanical CPR device use increased more than 4-fold among patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest treated by EMS professionals. Given the high costs of mechanical CPR devices, better evidence is needed to determine whether these devices improve clinically meaningful outcomes for patients treated for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest by prehospital EMS professionals to justify the significant increase in their use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1913298
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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