To investigate alternative mechanisms generating artificial circulation during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), an electrical model of the circulation was developed. Heart and blood vessels were modeled as resistive-capacitive networks; pressures in the chest, abdomen, and vascular compartments as voltages; blood flow as electric current; blood inertia as inductance; and the cardiac and venous valves as diodes. External pressurization of thoracic and abdominal vessels, as would occur in CPR, was simulated by application of half-sinusoidal voltage pulses. Three modes of creating artificial circulation were studied: cardiac pump (CP), in which the atria and ventricles of the model were pressurized simultaneously; thoracic pump (TP), in which all intrathoracic elements of the model were pressurized simultaneously; and abdominal pump (AP), in which the abdominal aorta and inferior vena cava of the model were pressurized simultaneously. Flow was greatest with the CP, less with the TP, and least with the AP mechanism. However, the AP could be practically combined with either the CP or TP by interposition of abdominal compressions between chest compressions (IAC-CPR). Our model predicts that this combined method can substantially improve artificial circulation, especially when cardiac compression does not occur and chest compression invokes only the thoracic pump mechanism.


This is the author accepted manuscript version of Babbs C.F., Weaver J.C., Ralston S.H., Geddes L.A., Cardiac, thoracic, and abdominal pump mechanisms in cardiopulmonary resuscitation: studies in an electrical model of the circulation, American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2, 299-308, 1984. Copyright Elsevier, it is made available here CC-BY-NC-ND, and the version of record is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/0735-6757(84)90124-4.


blood flow, CPR, IAC-CPR sudden cardiac death, ventricular fibrillation

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