Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Solberg, Julie


cardiac arrest, CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mechanical chest compression, manual chest compression, and return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC)


The purpose of this literature review is to compare the use of manual versus mechanical chest compressions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the treatment of adult cardiac arrest patients. A literature review was performed using the databases CINAHL, Embase, and PubMed. Studies chosen were peer reviewed randomized controlled trials, respective reviews, a cross-over controlled trial, and an experimental trial. Only articles from the last seven years were included in this review. After exclusion criteria were applied, ten articles were relevant and utilized. Four themes were identified in the literature review specific to studies of cardiac arrest with utilization of CPR including the achievement of ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation), 30-day survival rate, injuries related to chest compressions, and chest compression reproducibility. The evidence shows an increase in ROSC with the use of mechanical chest compressions versus the use of manual chest compressions but no statistically significant difference in 30-day mortality rate between the two methods. It was found that there is an increase in chest compression related injuries with the use of mechanical chest compressions, but the injuries were not life-threatening. Chest compressions with the use of the mechanical devices were shown to be performed at a rate and depth more consistent with the American Heart Association guidelines than those performed manually. Further research needs to be performed with larger patient populations to make official best practice standards for chest compressions in adult cardiac arrest patients.