Photo by Madeline Neumann
By Balsam Fasih
Changing standards of care are pushing the McMaster Students’ Union Emergency First Response Team to adopt Quality CPR, a training device that gives trainees feedback on the quality of their chest compressions.
While it is not part of traditional CPR training courses, Q-CPR is quickly becoming part of changing standards of care for cardiac arrest patients, now being used by Hamilton’s Emergency Medical Systems.
Currently, EFRT uses mannequins that give trainees a limited amount of feedback in first-aid courses. However, in the near future, EFRT program director Samantha Aung plans to purchase a Q-CPR mannequin to be used for training as well.
In particular, Aung plans to acquire an AED attachment that provides real-time feedback on CPR quality for use in the field. This would not require a dramatic change in protocols, but the team’s medical director will help ensure the new protocols are up to standards.
“When a major emergency such as a cardiac arrest occurs, you want those who are attending to it to be well-trained and be using the best tools to provide the best outcomes,” said Aung. “In a busy place such as Hamilton, where the local EMS system can sometimes be stretched, we want to make sure our team has the ability to care for a patient as best as possible until further care arrives and to us, that means the implementation of Q-CPR.”
CPR quality has been shown to have a significant impact on patient survival rates. For instance, a 2012 study published in the journal Critical Care Medicine found that when chest compressions are performed at a depth that is less than 38 millimeters, survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are 30 per cent lower.
Another study published in the journal Circulation in 2005 found that when chest compressions are performed too slowly, it is less likely that spontaneous circulation will return for in-hospital cardiac arrest cases.
According to Aung, EFRT has been seeking Q-CPR for a few years now. The changing guidelines have accelerated the movement to adopt Q-CPR. If financial approval is obtained, EFRT will begin using Q-CPR within the next year.
“Q-CPR is becoming a part of the standard at which people should be trained,” Aung said. “We are trying to meet those standards, thus wanting to get Q-CPR.”
Overall, Q-CPR works to improve the quality of CPR. With the addition of Q-CPR to the EFRT toolkit, responders should be increasingly well-trained and equipped to provide CPR in the event of an emergency.