Introduction: Adequate chest compression (CC) depth is crucial for optimal resuscitation outcomes. Lightweight rescuers, particularly women, are often unable to achieve the required 5-6 cm CC depth. This non-randomized cohort study investigated new strategies to improve CC performance. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effects of a 5-second instructor's intervention on the depth of CCs performed by female rescuers during standard video selfinstruction (VSI) basic life support (BLS) training.
Methods: Data were prospectively collected from January 2011 to January 2012 from 336 female medical and pharmacy students undergoing CPR training at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LUHS). During the training process, the instructors performed a simple 5-second intervention with all of the rescuers in the study group. The instructor pushed 10 times on the shoulders of each trainee while she performed CCs to achieve the maximal required compression depth. Immediately after training, the participants were asked to perform a 6 min BLS test on a manikin that was connected to a PC with SkillReporter™ System software (Laerdal, Norway); the quality of the participants' CPR skills was then evaluated.
Results: The CC depth in the study group increased by 6.4 mm (p<0.001) compared to the control group (52.9 vs. 46.6 mm). A regression analysis showed that the intervention increased the depth of the CCs among women by 14.87*(1-0.01*weight) mm.
Conclusion: A simple 5-second instructor's intervention during the CPR training significantly improved the performance of the female rescuers and helped them achieve the CC depth required by 2010 resuscitation guidelines. This intervention is most effective among the women with the lowest body weight