Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

An automated CPR device compared with standard chest compressions for out-of-hospital resuscitation

Paul A Jennings12*, Linton Harriss3, Stephen Bernard12, Janet Bray1, Tony Walker1, Tim Spelman2, Karen Smith1 and Peter Cameron2

Author Affiliations

1 Ambulance Victoria, Manningham Road, Doncaster, Australia

2 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Commercial Road, Melbourne, Australia

3 National Stroke Foundation, Bourke Street, Melbourne, Australia

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BMC Emergency Medicine 2012, 12:8  doi:10.1186/1471-227X-12-8

Published: 26 June 2012



Effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation and increased coronary perfusion pressures have been linked to improved survival from cardiac arrest. This study aimed to compare the rates of survival between conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (C-CPR) and automated CPR (A-CPR) using AutoPulse™ in adults following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).


This was a retrospective study using a matched case–control design across three regional study sites in Victoria, Australia. Each case was matched to at least two (maximum four) controls using age, gender, response time, presenting cardiac rhythm and bystander CPR, and analysed using conditional fixed-effects logistic regression.


During the period 1 October 2006 to 30 April 2010 there were 66 OHCA cases using A-CPR. These were matched to 220 cases of OHCA involving the administration of C-CPR only (controls). Survival to hospital was achieved in 26% (17/66) of cases receiving A-CPR compared with 20% (43/220) of controls receiving C-CPR and the propensity score adjusted odds ratio [AOR (95% CI)] was 1.69 (0.79, 3.63). Results were similar using only bystander witnessed OHCA cases with presumed cardiac aetiology. Survival to hospital was achieved for 29% (14/48) of cases receiving A-CPR compared with 18% (21/116) of those receiving C-CPR [AOR = 1.80 (0.78, 4.11)].


The use of A-CPR resulted in a higher rate of survival to hospital compared with C-CPR, yet a tendency for a lower rate of survival to hospital discharge, however these associations did not reach statistical significance. Further research is warranted which is prospective in nature, involves randomisation and larger number of cases to investigate potential sub-group benefits of A-CPR including survival to hospital discharge.