Is Hands On Defibrillation Safe (giving CPR during defibrillation)?

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One of the important aspects of advanced life support is minimisation of the interruptions to CPR.
Hands on defibrillation has been suggested as being a safe means of achieving this, however Sullivan (2012) suggests that this may not be as safe as expected.
4 different types of gloves were tested (chloroprene, latex, nitrile and vinyl) with 2 current levels being passed through them (0.1 mA and 10 mA). 45% of single gloves and 77% of double gloves allowed current flow of 0.1 mA within the normal defibrillation voltage range. 7.5% of single gloves and 6.2% of double gloves allowed current flow over 10 mA.
A significant proportion of all gloves tested showed current flow across them, and even if no sensation was felt, it does not guarentee a safety margin.
Take home message – Hands on defibrillation is not entirely safe, so it’s back to minimisation rather than elimination of the pause for defibrillation.

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