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Key information


A feasibility randomised controlled trial of mechanical chest compression devices for in-hospital cardiac arrest (COMPRESS-RCT).

Chief Investigator: Dr Keith Couper

Sponsor: University of Warwick

Funder: NIHR Research Fellowship

Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN38139840


In the UK, 35,000 patients have a cardiac arrest in hospital each year. Unfortunately, less than one in five of these patients survives to leave hospital. Chest compressions are an essential treatment for cardiac arrest patients, but are often difficult for a person to deliver to a high standard (manual chest compressions). A mechanical chest compression device can be used to deliver chest compressions (mechanical chest compressions) instead of a person. Small studies suggest using these devices may improve patient survival when used as part of treatment for cardiac arrest patients in hospital.

We plan to test this in a large trial. Such a trial will be expensive and may be logistically difficult. Therefore, we plan to first undertake a small study (called a feasibility study) to ensure that a large trial can be done successfully.

This small study will take place in three hospitals over two years. 330 patients that have a cardiac arrest will participate. After initial treatment has been started (including manual chest compressions), patients will either continue to receive manual chest compressions or they will receive mechanical chest compressions. The treatment will be decided randomly. All patients will receive all other necessary treatments.

Sample size:

Main trial: 330 participants
Qualitative study: 30 participants

Primary outcome:

As this is a feasibility study, the primary outcome will be the proportion of eligible patients that are randomised.


Study recruitment will take place over two years. Recruitment for the study began late February 2017.



Please direct all general enquiries to:
Trial Manager: Catherine Lawrence
Tel: 02476 150986
Email: compresstrial at warwick dot ac dot uk