The recommended techniques for external cardiac compression during cardiopulmonary resuscitation of the newborn are reviewed. The American Heart Association advises the rescuer to depress the infant's midsternum with the index and forefingers. An alternative recommendation is to encircle the chest with both hands and appose the thumbs on the midsternum. The cases reported here prove the superiority of the latter maneuver over the former in improving cardiac output and systemic blood pressures. The history of external cardiac compression in infants and children is briefly reviewed, further supporting the conclusion that the technique of encircling the chest with thumbs at midsternum is more efficacious and hence the preferred approach to closed chest cardiac massage in the newborn.
- Received December 18, 1986.
- Accepted June 3, 1987.
- Copyright © 1988 by the American Academy of Pediatrics