The Sichuan Straddle

I used to see it done on ‘ER’ but never knew people really straddled patients on stretchers doing CPR. Apparently they do in Sichuan, China and have now produced a manikin study to demonstrate its effectiveness. It might work there, but I imagine there are frequent situations in Australia (where I work) in which the combined weight of patient and paramedic would present an unfair load to the stretcher.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of straddling external chest compression performed on moving stretchers.
METHODS: The study was a prospective, randomized, cross-over study on a manikin performed at a university hospital. Twenty subjects were selected from the 40 graduates using random numbers to participate in the study. Participants were randomized to either performing standard or straddling external chest compression followed by the other technique 7 days later. The compression variables and time to first compression were recorded.
RESULTS: Twenty subjects (12 males and 8 females) took part in the study. There were no differences between the standard and straddling external chest compression for the compression rate, effective compression percentage and compression depth. There was no difference between the standard external chest compression and straddling external chest compression for incorrect hand position and incomplete release compression. Time to first compression during straddling external chest compression (10.31 ± 1.65 s) was greater than that during standard external chest compression (2.74 ± 0.40 s) (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The quality of straddling external chest compression performed on a moving stretcher was as effective as standard external chest compression performed on the floor. By performing straddling external chest compression, time for transporting victims to the emergency department to get advanced life support may be shortened.
The efficacy of straddling external chest compression on a moving stretcher
Resuscitation. 2010 Nov;81(11):1562

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