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Continuous chest compressions with asynchronous ventilations increase carotid blood flow in the perinatal asphyxiated lamb model.



The neonatal resuscitation program (NRP) recommends interrupted chest compressions (CCs) with ventilation in the severely bradycardic neonate. The conventional 3:1 compression-to-ventilation (C:V) resuscitation provides 90 CCs/min, significantly lower than the intrinsic newborn heart rate (120-160 beats/min). Continuous CC with asynchronous ventilation (CCCaV) may improve the success of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC).


Twenty-two near-term fetal lambs were randomized to interrupted 3:1 C:V (90 CCs + 30 breaths/min) or CCCaV (120 CCs + 30 breaths/min). Asphyxiation was induced by cord occlusion. After 5 min of asystole, resuscitation began following NRP guidelines. The first dose of epinephrine was given at 6 min. Invasive arterial blood pressure and left carotid blood flow were continuously measured. Serial arterial blood gases were collected.


Baseline characteristics between groups were similar. Rate of and time to ROSC was similar between groups. CCCaV was associated with a higher PaO2 (partial oxygen tension) (22 ± 5.3 vs. 15 ± 3.5 mmHg, p < 0.01), greater left carotid blood flow (7.5 ± 3.1 vs. 4.3 ± 2.6 mL/kg/min, p < 0.01) and oxygen delivery (0.40 ± 0.15 vs. 0.13 ± 0.07 mL O2/kg/min, p < 0.01) compared to 3:1 C:V.


In a perinatal asphyxiated cardiac arrest lamb model, CCCaV showed greater carotid blood flow and cerebral oxygen delivery compared to 3:1 C:V resuscitation.


In a perinatal asphyxiated cardiac arrest lamb model, CCCaV improved carotid blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain compared to the conventional 3:1 C:V resuscitation. Pre-clinical studies assessing neurodevelopmental outcomes and tissue injury comparing continuous uninterrupted chest compressions to the current recommended 3:1 C:V during newborn resuscitation are warranted prior to clinical trials.

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