Something as simple as a metronome could help with CPR training and save a life should others unexpectedly enter cardiac arrest. It’s a highly important problem that a majority of Americans overlook. This is in spite the fact that cardiovascular problems are the number one cause of death in the United States.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a potentially life-saving technique. It’s the instant measure to an urgent problem, and anyone can learn it over a course. However, studies by the American Heart Association (AHA) have shown that around 70% of the population in the United States do not know how to administer CPR.
The technique is commonly performed to maintain blood flow and oxygenation to the brain in a situation when the patient suffers a cardiac arrest. Its main purpose is to maintain the afflicted person alive until medical professionals arrive. It delays tissue death and could be vital in preventive brain damage. This can happen in just a few minutes.
And, sadly, if it’s not done well or not at all, the patient might see to consequences their entire life, or even death.
Researchers investigated ways to make CPR easier and more efficient, emphasizing chest compression over artificial oxygenation. They conducted an experiment with 155 pediatric residents, nurses, and medical students, randomly separated into two groups. Both were to apply CPR to a dummy, either normally or with the help of the metronome. The groups alternated.
The heart has a rhythm, and so does a metronome. Researchers found that if the instrument was set to tick at a quarter of a note (or 100 ticks per minute), CPR results were much better.
Without the metronome, trained participants performed between 90 to 100 chest compressions per minute during the 2 minute testing, reaching an efficiency rate of 50%.
However, when accompanied by the device, they reached between 100 to 120 chest compressions, increasing the odds to 72%. This is a significant improvement that could be the difference between life and death for a patient.
The metronome did not affect hand positioning or the downstroke-upstroke ration. It only helped to keep the rhythm steady and efficient.
It now stands to question whether using the device would be practical in real-life situations. An app to provide the stable rhythm is easy to acquire these days, when most people have a smartphone always at hand. However, it could potentially be used to improve efficiency even though more studies are required. Even the slightest chance should be taken into consideration.
A metronome could save the life of a patient in cardiac arrest. Or, as AHA advised in 2011, people can apply beneficial CPR to the beat of Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive”. That might be easier to remember in urgent situations.
Image source: ci.san-marcos.ca.us