Delay during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) - even seconds - between the time of chest compressions and a potentially life-saving defibrillator shock for cardiac arrest reduces the chances of success.
By proving that in certain, real-world situations, rescuers can safely perform CPR during the shock, Michael Lloyd, MD, assistant professor of cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine, and his Emory colleagues have shown these potentially harmful delays can be avoided.
Dr. Lloyd presented his findings at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007 conference in Orlando on Nov. 4.
"During CPR, the need for rescuers to stand clear before a shock is delivered invariably interrupts chest compressions," says Dr. Lloyd. "This is the first study that has measured the amount of electrical current a rescuer is exposed to while touching the patient during shock delivery.
"We have shown that this current is minimal when wearing standard paramedic gloves, even when there is another point of contact between the rescuer - such as a rescuers leg touching the patients shoulder," says Dr. Lloyd.
The American Heart Association is recognizing Dr. Lloyd, an electrophysiologist, with a Council Award for his work in the area of CPR.
The AHA scientific councils' awards acknowledge significant achievements in cardiovascular diseases and stroke, ranging from basic research to service to the councils and the association. These awards applaud the achievements of researchers, scientists, clinicians, nurses and allied health professionals throughout their careers.