Enhancing CPR During Transition From Prehospital to Emergency Department: A QI Initiative


High-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) increases the likelihood of survival of pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Maintenance of high-quality CPR during transition of care between prehospital and pediatric emergency department (PED) providers is challenging. Our objective for this initiative was to minimize pauses in compressions, in alignment with American Heart Association recommendations, for patients with OHCA during the handoffs from prehospital to PED providers. We aimed to decrease interruptions in compressions during the first 2 minutes of PED care from 17 seconds (baseline data) to 10 seconds over 12 months. Our secondary aims were to decrease the length of the longest pause in compressions to <10 seconds and eliminate encounters in which time to defibrillator pad placement was >120 seconds.


Our multidisciplinary team outlined our theory for improvement and designed interventions aimed at key drivers. Interventions included specific roles and responsibilities, CPR handoff choreography, and empowerment of frontline providers. Data were abstracted from video recordings of patients with OHCA receiving manual CPR on arrival.


We analyzed 33 encounters between March 2018 and July 2019. We decreased total interruptions from 17 to 12 seconds during the first 2 minutes and decreased the time of the longest single pause from 14 to 7 seconds. We saw a decrease in variability of time to defibrillator pad placement.


Implementation of a quality improvement initiative involving CPR transition choreography resulted in decreased interruptions in compressions and decreased variability of time to defibrillator pad placement.

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