It is recognized that the quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an important predictor of outcome from cardiac arrest. Mechanical chest-compression devices provide an alternative to manual CPR. Physiological and animal data suggest that mechanical chest-compression devices are more effective than manual CPR. Consequently, there has been much interest in the development of new techniques and devices to improve the efficacy of CPR. This review will consider the evidence and current indications for the use of some of the more common mechanical devices developed to increase the safety and efficacy of CPR administration.

Key words: cardiac arrest, chest compression, automatic mechanical devices, piston chest compression, LUCAS, vest CPR, Autpulse – load distributing band CPR, cost effectiveness, outcome, survival

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