The Effect of Athletic Chest Protectors on the Performance of Manual and Mechanical CPR: A Simulation Study.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Pediatr Emerg Care


OBJECTIVES:Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in athletes. Although athletes wear various athletic chest protectors (ACPs) to prevent commotio cordis (CC), cardiac arrest cases still occur. Although it is established that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) quality affects outcome, little research has evaluated the effect of ACPs on CPR compressions quality. This study aimed to observe whether: (1) ACPs impact depth, rate, and hand positioning of both bystander and LUCAS CPR. (2) LUCAS devices affect CPR performance compared with traditional compressions. METHODS:An observational, prospective, convenient sample of 26 emergency medicine residents performed CPR on a high-fidelity Laerdal mannequin, which recorded real-time performance data. Baseline CPR for 1- and 2-minute cycles, CPR on a mannequin wearing the ACP, and ACP removal time was recorded. LUCAS CPR performance was measured at baseline and over the ACP. RESULTS:Bystander CPR had a statistically significant difference in both hand placement and compression rate for baseline versus ACP compressions (85% vs 57%, P < 0.05; 138 vs 142, P < 0.05, respectively), but not in compression depth (51.08 vs 50.05 mm, P = 0.39). LUCAS CPR had no significant difference in CPR performance. Bystander versus LUCAS CPR had a significant difference in compression rate (138 vs 101, P < 0.01), but not in depth or hand placement. CONCLUSIONS:Athletic chest protectors significantly impacted hand placement during bystander CPR, which may diminish CPR quality. Considering ACP removal required only 5.4 seconds, removing the ACP before standard CPR may improve quality.

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department

Emergency Medicine






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