Resuscitation 2000 Jul;45(2):97-103

St. John Ambulance Australia SA Inc., Adelaide.

Objective: Previous research has suggested that the physical demands of performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are relatively low. However, the subjects studied have generally been of a young age. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis, in null form, that the physiological responses to the performance of single operator CPR for 10 min are independent of age. Confirmation of the hypothesis would allow the use of a period of time performing CPR as a socially non-discriminatory means of testing ability across a wide spectrum of age.

Design: 33 St. John Operations Branch members (a sample of convenience), aged between 18 and 65 years, were examined whilst performing 10 min of single operator CPR on a manikin at St. John Ambulance Headquarters, Adelaide, South Australia. Heart rate and cardiac rhythm were monitored continuously. Blood pressure was recorded at baseline and the end of the 3rd, 6th and 9th min of CPR. Subjects also rated their perceived level of activity using the 15-point Borg rating scale every 3 min and at the end of the test.

Results: The calculated rate-pressure product did not vary significantly with age, either at rest or in response to performing CPR. The rate-pressure product increased significantly (P < 0.05) whilst performing CPR. There was no effect of age on the perceived level of exertion, which also increased significantly during CPR as compared with rest.

Conclusion: There was no significant effect of age on the physiological responses to the performance of 10 min of single operator CPR in this select group.
July 2000
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