Objective: To review the history of external abdominal compression as an adjunct to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), tracking the development of five major themes over the course of the 20th century: 1) augmentation of peripheral resistance by physical means, 2) risk of hepatic injury with abdominal compression, 3) counterpulsation vs. sustained compression, 4) the abdominal pump mechanism, and 5) contact compression techniques. Methods: Literature retrieved from successive MEDLINE English-language searches was reviewed with a special emphasis on work and concepts highlighted by participants at the First Purdue Conference on Interposed Abdominal Compression-CPR, September 1992. Results: External abdominal compression of one form or another has been studied as a means of resuscitation by many investigators throughout the 20th century. Experimental and clinical studies have shown generally consistent evidence of hemodynamic augmentation by abdominal compression during various forms of CPR. Recent advances include a modified theoretical understanding of hemodynamic mechanisms and demonstration of clinical potential in humans. Inconsistencies in published results may be due to differences in mechanical techniques of abdominal compression. Based on these studies, a modified manual technique for "contact compression" of the abdominal aorta is recommended. Conclusions: A technique for left-of-center, angled compression of the abdominal aorta against the crest of the spine is recommended. Further well-supervised and controlled clinical trials using this standardized technique are warranted as a prelude to more widespread clinical application of abdominal compression in CPR.


This is the author accepted manuscript version of Babbs C.F., The evolution of abdominal compression in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Academic Emergency Medicine 1, 469-477, 1994. Copyright Wiley, it is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1553-2712.1994.tb02531.x.


abdomen, adjunct, animal studies, counterpulsation, history, IAC-CPR, interposed, physiology, preclinical studies. review

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