Background—The 2010 American Heart Association guidelines suggested an increase in cardiopulmonary resuscitation compression depth with a target >50 mm and no upper limit. This target is based on limited evidence, and we sought to determine the optimal compression depth range.
Methods and Results—We studied emergency medical services–treated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients from the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium Prehospital Resuscitation Impedance Valve and Early Versus Delayed Analysis clinical trial and the Epistry-Cardiac Arrest database. We calculated adjusted odds ratios for survival to hospital discharge, 1-day survival, and any return of circulation. We included 9136 adult patients from 9 US and Canadian cities with a mean age of 67.5 years, mean compression depth of 41.9 mm, and a return of circulation of 31.3%, 1-day survival of 22.8%, and survival to hospital discharge of 7.3%. For survival to discharge, the adjusted odds ratios were 1.04 (95% CI, 1.00–1.08) for each 5-mm increment in compression depth, 1.45 (95% CI, 1.20–1.76) for cases within 2005 depth range (>38 mm), and 1.05 (95% CI, 1.03–1.08) for percentage of minutes in depth range (10% change). Covariate-adjusted spline curves revealed that the maximum survival is at a depth of 45.6 mm (15-mm interval with highest survival between 40.3 and 55.3 mm) with no differences between men and women.
Conclusions—This large study of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients demonstrated that increased cardiopulmonary resuscitation compression depth is strongly associated with better survival. Our adjusted analyses, however, found that maximum survival was in the depth interval of 40.3 to 55.3 mm (peak, 45.6 mm), suggesting that the 2010 American Heart Association cardiopulmonary resuscitation guideline target may be too high.