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The purpose of this project 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, 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 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.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

First Advisor

Solberg, Julie

Publication Date

Spring 2023

Manual vs. Mechanical Chest Compressions in Adult Cardiac Arrest