What is high-performance CPR?

Here’s what the American Red Cross says about high-performance CPR:

“High-performance CPR refers to providing high-quality chest compressions as part of a well-organized team response to a cardiac arrest. Coordinated, efficient, effective teamwork is essential to minimize the time spent not in contact with the chest to improve patient outcomes.”

The better the quality of the CPR care provided (for example, the rate and depth of compressions, and allowing the chest to fully “recoil” after each compression), the better the potential for a positive outcome. And the more continuous the compressions are, the better as well.

While high-performance CPR and high-quality CPR are related, they are not exactly the same thing. Click here for information on high-quality CPR.

Minimizing interruptions in chest compressions maximizes blood flow generated. And yet one person can’t give chest compressions, prepare and use a bag-valve-mask (BVM), insert an advanced airway adjunct and operate an automated external defibrillator (AED) without interrupting compressions. Even two people can’t do that well. So it’s a matter of incorporating more advanced personnel, as they arrive, into that care.

Having a team leader coordinating the efforts of everyone on the team is important. And training and practicing together as a team is the key to that coordinated effort.

Similar to the rehearsed choreography of a pit crew

In a NASCAR® and other auto racing, the pit crew crew chief coordinates the care and the actions of each crew member. Plus, everyone in that crew has practiced and knows exactly what responsibilities are his or hers to perform.

So the entire pit crew team is focused on quality and efficiency, in order to get the driver back in the race as safely and quickly as possible. Click to watch a race car pit crew in action. Watch Now (will open in a new window or tab)

Because of the similarities, high-performance CPR is also known as “pit crew CPR.”

High-performance CPR in action

Watch these videos explaining high-performance CPR:

  • Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium: Charles Lick, MD, Allina Health EMS, explains pit crew CPR and “BLS Protocol Recommendations.” Watch Now (will open in a new window or tab)
  • Bend (Oregon) Fire Department: description of high-performance CPR. Watch Now (will open in a new window or tab)

Watch these videos demonstrating high-performance CPR:

  • Centre LifeLink (from State College, PA): demonstration of pit crew CPR. Watch Now (will open in a new window or tab)
  • Resuscitation Academy (from Seattle, WA): demonstration of high-performance CPR. Watch Now (will open in a new window or tab)
  • Resuscitation Academy (from Seattle, WA): another demonstration of high-performance CPR. Watch Now (will open in a new window or tab)

Note that each one of these videos talks about and demonstrates high-performace CPR slightly differently, as there are no national standards. But they are all well organized and efficient, and that is the key to saving more lives.

A more technical explanation of high-performance CPR

Here’s an article written by R.J. Frascone, MD, medical director of Regions Hospital EMS, published in JEMS (Journal of Emergency Medical Services), Nov, 22, 2014:

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

“The combination of active compression-decompression CPR and an impedance threshold device shows promise.” Read Now

Learn how to become a valuable member of the “Pit Crew CPR” team

That, in a nutshell, is what high-performance CPR is. But just knowing that is not enough. And taking a CPR class aimed at the general public is not enough. You need a class that provides training and certification specifically for professionals, such as healthcare providers, first responders, lifeguards, etc.

CPR-Twin Cities CPR, AED and First Aid

CPR-Twin Cities is a proud provider CPR, AED and First Aid classes, training and certification in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) area. Rest assured, all of our trainers are highly experienced instructors. We don’t use rookies … ever! And — unlike some other CPR/AED and First Aid training providers — our class sizes are kept intentionally small, so you get the personal attention you need and deserve.

There is more than one level of CPR training and certification available. For instance, there are CPR classes specifically for the general public and others for health care providers and professional rescuers. There are also “hands-only” CPR classes for people who want to learn just the bare minimum. If unclear about which class to choose, please read the class descriptions page before scheduling a class, or contact us and we’ll do our best to help you decide.

“I have taken many CPR/First Aid classes … and yours was by far the best.”