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Comparison of external cardiac compression on the floor and in a dental chair


Dental treatment is often stressful for patients and causes accidental systemic symptoms. In such situations, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be required. If external cardiac compression (ECC) in the dental chair is not effective, the patient should be moved onto the floor, which needs at least two or three persons and 10 to 15 seconds. In the current study, therefore, we investigated the efficacy of ECC in the dental chair in comparison with ECC on the floor.


Two dentists and two nurses with experience of ECC participated in this study; 30 ± 5 years old, 160 ± 5 cm in height, 65 ± 7 kg in weight. Before the study, they were educated about CPR and performed ECC for 5 minutes on the resuscitation manikin in two different situations; on the floor and in the dental chair. On separate days, they repeated these ECC procedures on the floor and in the dental chair again. The depth of compression and the percentage of adequate compression were evaluated. In addition, each participant commented on the preferable situation in the questionnaire after each set of ECC.


Four dental personnel performed ECC five times on the floor and five times in the dental chair and commented on the preferable setting five times. The efficacy of ECC was evaluated by the average depth and the percentage of ECC with adequate depth; 39.8 ± 8.2 mm and 46.8 ± 48.8% on the floor and 34.4 ± 6.9 mm and 41.7 ± 42.7% in the dental chair. The percentage of ECC with adequate depth was higher for the floor setting than that of the dental chair setting, although it did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.079). In the 20 questionnaires, three of them preferred the dental chair setting, two of them were no difference between both settings and 15 of them preferred the floor setting.


ECC on the floor can be performed effectively and easy and we can start CPR immediately after moving the patient onto the floor.


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    Yokoyama T, et al.: Efficacy of external cardiac compression in a dental chair. Eur J Anaesthesiol 2008,25(Suppl 44):2-5.

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Correspondence to G Papakitsos.

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Papakitsos, G., Kapsali, A. & Papakitsou, T. Comparison of external cardiac compression on the floor and in a dental chair. Crit Care 14, P307 (2010).

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  • Public Health
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Average Depth
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Systemic Symptom