Helicopter rescue: shorter resuscitation shifts needed at high altitudes

During missions at high altitudes over 3000 meters the quality of cardiac massage deteriorates after 60-90 seconds. This was demonstrated by the Eurac Research emergency medicine team in an experiment involving about fifty helicopter rescue staff. The experiment was run in the extreme climate simulation centre terraXcube, in collaboration with the International Commission for Mountain Rescue (ICAR) and with the support of the Croce Bianca/Weißes Kreuz. According to the test results, in order to optimize current resuscitation practice, it would be advisable for the rescue workers to take turns more often than the scheduled two-minute intervals during resuscitation or by using an automatic chest compression device. The results of the study were recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Images: © Eurac Research