Tag Archives: point of care ultrasound

Chest compression point. Are we compressing in the right place? Probably NOT!

8 Dic

The objective of chest compressions in CPR is to compress the heart and in particular the Left Ventricle (LV) to generate a stroke volume (SV) trough the Left Ventricular Outflow Tract (LVOT) to perfuse the heart the brain and the rest of the organs.

Performing CPR we blindly compress the center of the chest on the sternum approximately at the level of intermammillar line (as recommended by the 2015 CPR Guidelines) but we risk to apply the Area of Maximum Compression (AMC) not only on the LV but also on the Aortic Valve (AV) and the Ascending Aorta (AA) closing them and generating less (or none) LV stroke volume but just an ineffective retrograde flow.

Radiological assessment of chest compression point and achievable compression depth in cardiac patients 1

Image Attribution: Nestaas et al. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine (2016) 24:54. Radiological assessment of chest compression point and achievable compression depth in cardiac patients.

Depending on how much the AMC is positioned on the left ventricle or on the aortic part of the heart chest compressions are respectively more or less efficacious to perfuse the brain the heart and the organs.

This is not just theory but was demonstrated in animal and human studies (See References links at the bottom).

In particular Sung Oh Hwang and coll. in the article “Compression of the Left Ventricular Outflow Tract During Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation” observe that”the magnitude of compression of the left ventricle is more significant when a maximal compression occurs at the LVOT than when a maximal compression occurs at the ascending aorta during external chest compression“. They also determined “that external chest compression at the hand position currently recommended by the AHA guidelines compresses the LVOT or the ascending aorta.” and conclude that “(….) the compression location currently recommended by the AHA guidelines may not be effective in generating forward blood flow during CPR.”(….) it is possible that compressing the caudal part of the sternum will improve the quality of CPR and reduce rescuer fatigue.

The investigators stated also that the Optimal Compression Point (OCP) cannot be definitively addressed because it depends on many variables and varies from patient to patient depending “on the configuration of the heart in the thorax.”

All those findings were assessed using Trans Esophageal Echocardiography (TEE) inserted during CPR in real cases scenarios to visualise the heart to measure the LV stroke volume in order to find the best OCP.

TEE in fact is a good method to study proposition but in a short future will be a good clinical instrument to individually and visually assess the OCP, to deliver biphasic shock and to pace the heart. It is of rapid insertion in the intubated patients, is remotely and in real time monitorizza from team leader doesn’t implicate chest compressions interruption and is safe.

In another study based on a real case series “Clinical pilot study of different hand positions during manual chest compressions monitored with capnography” published in 2013, Eric Qvigstad and coll. found “that the chest compression point generating the highest EtCO2 value was evenly distributed between the patients, indicate that there is no common optimal chest com-pression point within the area tested.” 

Clinical pilot study of different hand positions during manual chest compressions monitored with capnography

Image attribution: Qvigstad E, et al. Clinical pilot study of different hand positions during manual chest compressions monitored with capnography. Resuscitation (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2013.03.010

They individually chosen the best hand position during chest compressions on the basis of EtCO2 values.

So which are the clinical implications for our current clinical practice?

I would like to divide the clinical take home points in two different categories:

  1. Actual applications 
  2. Future development 

Actual applications for clinical practice

  • The recommended chest compression point can be ineffective to generate enough outflow because the Area of Maximum Compression is not on the Left Ventricle but either on the Aortic Valve or the Ascending tract of the Aorta
  • Emergency providers can adjust the compression point based on EtCO2 values.
  • If, despite technically correct chest compressions, the EtCO2 remains below 10, try to adjust the compression point.
  • In those cases, the Optimal Compression Point is usually positioned caudally to the recommended one on the lower third of the sternum

Future development for clinical practice

  • TEE is a clinical useful instrument to
    • individually and visually assess the OCP
    • deliver biphasic shock
    • pace the heart
  • TEE is of rapid insertion in the intubated patients, can be remotely and in real time controlled from team leader, doesn’t implicate chest compressions interruption and is safe.

To lear  more…..

Link to reference folder

IMG_1655

Prehospital POCUS: Why I love it! Real Clinical Scenario.

10 Lug

73 yrs old male found unconscious by his wife. CPR started by a neighbour with pre arrival CPR instructions provided by dispatcher. We found him in asystolic cardiac arrest. Established mechanical chest compressions (MCC), ventilated through an 8.0 ET tube, placed an intraosseus access, 10 min of ALS and 2 mg of epinephrine later, on the monitor appears an organised rhythm at 40 bpm (narrow junctional shape), NO CENTRAL PULSE. After 2 min (CPR still going) same rhythm stil NO CENTRAL PULSE but this time, during the MCC pause, a subcostal view of the heart was obtained (sorry for the quality of the images but were recorded during the code and I’m not an expert but just an ultrasound user) 

As you can see the heart is moving and the right ventricle is almost the double of the left one. Due also to the clinical history of a recent surgical knee replacement the most probable origine of the cardiac arrest is PE. We decided to continue chest compressions, but to stop epinephrine at 1 mg dose, starting push doses of 0,1 mg till the return of a central pulse. After 5 min a strong carotid pulse appeared and this is the ultrasound view of the heart at that moment

  

The patient arrived to the hospital sedated and paralysed in assisted pressure control ventilation. You can see on the monitor the rest of vital signs.

No follow up yet.

You can read more about PEA and Pseudo-PEA on MEDEST

Forget ACLS guidelines if you are dealing with Pulseless Electric Activity. Part 1.

Forget ALS Guidelines when dealing with PEA. Part 2.

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