Objective. This study aimed to analyse the influence of physical fatigue, resulting from a simulated aquatic rescue, at a swimming pool, on the quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) delivered by the rescuer.
Design, setting and participants. An intragroup design with 27 lifeguards was used in this study. The quality of CPR delivery was evaluated for two minutes for all subjects while they were at rest (test 1), as well as after a simulated aquatic rescue at a swimming pool (test 2). A Resusci Anne® SkillReporter™ (Laerdal Medical Limited, Norway) manikin was used to retrieve reports on CPR delivery, compliant with the most recent international guidelines (30:2, chest compression: ventilation ratio).
Results. Rescue-related physical fatigue had a significant influence on the total number of chest compressions as well as on the ratio of correct chest compressions. Physical fatigue triggered by a swimming pool water rescue negatively influenced CPR delivery quality. These results show that the detrimental effects of physical fatigue on CPR delivery remain important, even in a swimming pool environment.
Conclusions. Training programs should reflect this finding, and focus on enabling lifeguards to deliver proper CPR, even while exhausted and for long periods of time.
Key words: emergency medicine, drowning, resuscitation