This study investigates how the positions of paramedic equipment bags affect paramedic performance and biomechanical loads during out-of-hospital Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). An experiment was conducted in which 12 paramedic teams (each including two paramedics) performed in-situ simulations of a cardiac-arrest scenario. CPR quality was evaluated using five standard resuscitation measures (i.e., pre- and post-shock pauses, and compression rate, depth and fraction). The spinal loads while lifting, pulling and pushing the equipment bags were assessed using digital human modeling software (Jack) and prediction equation from previous studies. The results highlight where paramedics are currently choosing to position their equipment. They also demonstrate that the positions of the equipment bags affect CPR quality as well as the paramedics' work efficiency, physiological effort and biomechanical loads. The spinal loads ranged from 1901 to 4030N; furthermore, every occasion on which an equipment bag was lifted resulted in spinal forces higher than 3400N, thus exceeding the maximum threshold stipulated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 72% of paramedics' postures were categorized as high or very high risk for musculoskeletal disorders by the Rapid Entire Body Assessment. Guidelines related to bag positioning and equipment handling might improve CPR quality and patient outcomes, and reduce paramedics’ risk of injury.
- CPR quality
- Manual material handling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Engineering (miscellaneous)