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Leg-heel chest compression as an alternative for medical professionals in times of COVID-19

By Matthias Ott, Alexander Krohn, Laurence H. Bilfield, Florian Dengler, Christina Jaki, Fabian Echterdiek, Tobias Schilling, Johannes Heymer

Posted 12 Mar 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.09.21253220

Objective: To evaluate leg-heel chest compression without previous training as an alternative for medical professionals and its effects on distance to potential aerosol spread during chest compression. Methods: 20 medical professionals performed standard manual chest compression followed by leg-heel chest compression after a brief instruction on a manikin. We compared percentage of correct chest compression position, percentage of full chest recoil, percentage of correct compression depth, average compression depth, percentage of correct compression rate and average compression rate between both methods. In a second approach, potential aerosol spread during chest compression was visualized. Results: There was no significant difference between manual and leg-heel compression. The distance to potential aerosol spread could have been increased by leg-heel method. Conclusion: Under special circumstances like COVID-19-pandemic, leg-heel chest compression may be an effective alternative without previous training compared to manual chest compression while markedly increasing the distance to the patient.

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