Minimizing Pulse Check Duration through Educational Video Review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Western Journal of Emergency Medicine








© 2020 Yamane et al. Introduction: The American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) recommend pulse checks of less than 10 seconds. We assessed the effect of video review-based educational feedback on pulse check duration with and without point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). Methods: Cameras recorded cases of CPR in the emergency department (ED). Investigators reviewed resuscitation videos for ultrasound use during pulse check, pulse check duration, and compression-fraction ratio. Investigators reviewed health records for patient outcomes. Providers received written feedback regarding pulse check duration and compression-fraction ratio. Researchers reviewed selected videos in multidisciplinary grand round presentations, with research team members facilitating discussion. These presentations highlighted strategies that include the following: limit on pulse check duration; emphasis on compressions; and use of “record, then review” method for pulse checks with POCUS. The primary endpoint was pulse check duration with and without POCUS. Results: Over 19 months, investigators reviewed 70 resuscitations with a total of 325 pulse checks. The mean pulse check duration was 11.5 ± 8.8 seconds (n = 224) and 13.8 ± 8.6 seconds (n = 101) without and with POCUS, respectively. POCUS pulse checks were significantly longer than those without POCUS (P = 0.001). Mean pulse check duration per three-month block decreased statistically significantly from study onset to the final study period (from 17.2 to 10 seconds [P<0.0001]) overall; decreased from 16.6 to 10.5 seconds (P<0.0001) without POCUS; and with POCUS from 19.8 to 9.88 seconds (P<0.0001) with POCUS. Pulse check times decreased significantly over the study period of educational interventions. The strongest effect size was found in POCUS pulse check duration (P = -0.3640, P = 0.002). Conclusion: Consistent with previous studies, POCUS prolonged pulse checks. Educational interventions were associated with significantly decreased overall pulse-check duration, with an enhanced effect on pulse checks involving POCUS. Performance feedback and video review-based education can improve CPR by increasing chest compression-fraction ratio.

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