To Avoid COVID-19 Infection, New CPR Technique Adds Distance | Nutrition Fit



(Reuters) – To avoid coronavirus infection during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), medical professionals can increase their distance from the patient by doing chest compressions using the unshod heel of the foot – known as leg-heel compression – instead of their hands, a new study suggests.

Researchers had 20 medical professionals perform standard manual chest compression followed by leg-heel chest compression after a brief instruction on a manikin. There was no difference in any of the variables measured, including correct placement of the heel for purposes of compression, correct depth of chest compression, and the compression rate.

The study, reported on medRiv ahead of peer review, found potential spread of breath droplets from the patient to the person performing CPR would likely be minimized with leg-heel compression.

“Under special circumstances like COVID-19-pandemic, leg-heel chest compression may be an effective alternative … compared to manual chest compression while markedly increasing the distance to the patient,” the researchers concluded.

SOURCE: medRxiv, online March 12, 2021.


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