Methods for calculating ventilation rates during resuscitation from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest



      Ventilation control is important during resuscitation from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). We compared different methods for calculating ventilation rates (VR) during OHCA.


      We analyzed data from the Pragmatic Airway Resuscitation Trial, identifying ventilations through capnogram recordings. We determined VR by: 1) counting the number of breaths within a time epoch (“counted” VR), and 2) calculating the mean of the inverse of measured time between breaths within a time epoch (“measured” VR). We repeated the VR estimates using different time epochs (10, 20, 30, 60 sec). We defined hypo- and hyperventilation as VR <6 and >12 breaths/min, respectively. We assessed differences in estimated hypo- and hyperventilation with each VR measurement technique.


      Of 3,004 patients, data were available for 1,010. With the counted method, total hypoventilation increased with longer time epochs ([10-s epoch: 75 sec hypoventilation] to [60-s epoch: 97 sec hypoventilation]). However, with the measured method, total hypoventilation decreased with longer time epochs ([10-s epoch: 223 sec hypoventilation] to [60-s epoch: 150 sec hypoventilation]). With the counted method, the total duration of hyperventilation decreased with longer time epochs ([10-s epochs: 35 sec hyperventilation] to [60-s epoch: 0 sec hyperventilation]). With the measured method, total hyperventilation decreased with longer time epochs ([10-s epoch: 78 sec hyperventilation] to [60-s epoch: 0 sec hyperventilation]). Differences between the measured and counted estimates were smallest with a 60-s time epoch.


      Quantifications of hypo- and hyperventilation vary with the applied measurement methods. Measurement methods are important when characterizing ventilation rates in OHCA.


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