Author: Wolfskeil M
To detect and quantify gasping during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients and to investigate whether gasping is associated with increased return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC).A prospective observational study in patients resuscitated and mechanically or manually ventilated for OHCA by emergency physicians of Ghent University Hospital. After intubation, pressure catheters were inserted in the endotracheal tube (ETT) and pressures were measured at the proximal and distal ends of the ETT. Gasping was analysed with custom-developed software and volumes were calculated based on pressure differences between the catheters. Data are expressed as median (interquartile range).Data were collected in 292 resuscitated patients of whom 36.2% achieved ROSC. Seventy-six of 292 (26.0%) patients showed gasping on the pressure curves during resuscitation. The median gasping volume was 274ml (196-434). The median gasping rate was 3.7 gasps/min (1.5-7.3). Gasping occurred significantly more in patients displaying ventricular fibrillation as the initial rhythm compared to patients with pulseless electrical activity, pulseless ventricular tachycardia or asystole. The median gasping rate was significantly higher in the ROSC group compared to the non-ROSC group (11.8 gasps/min (95% CI [4.2, 13.9]) and 2.8 gasps/min (95% CI [1.7, 3.9]) respectively (P<0.001)). A gasping rate of >7.3 gasps/min appeared to be the optimal criterion value to herald ROSC. Deeper negative pressures were associated with an increased incidence of ROSC (P=0.011). There was no significant difference in ROSC between patients with gasping and those without.The occurrence of gasping during CPR was high. Significant gasping volumes were measured. The presence or absence of gasping was not associated with ROSC, but higher gasping rate and deeper negative pressures were.