Background: Even force distribution would generate efficient external chest compression (ECC). Little research has been done to compare force distribution between one-hand (OH) and two-handed (TH) during child ECC. Therefore, this study was to investigate force distribution, rescuer perceived fatigue and discomfort/pain when applying OH and TH ECC in children. Methods: Crossover manikin study. Thirty-five emergency department registered nurses performed lone rescuer ECC using TH and OH techniques, each for 2 min at a rate of at least 100 compressions/min. A Resusci Junior Basic manikin equipped with a MatScan pressure measurement system was used to collect data. The perceived exertion scale (modified Borg scale) and numerical rating scale (NRS) was applied to evaluate the fatigue and physical pain of delivering chest compressions. Results: The maximum compression force (kg) delivered was 56.58 ± 13.67 for TH and 45.12 ± 7.90 for OH ECC (p < 0.001). The maximum-minimum force difference force delivered by TH and OH ECC was 52.24 ± 13.43 and 41.36 ± 7.57, respectively (p < 0.001). The mean caudal force delivered by TH and OH ECC was 29.45 ± 16.70 and 34.03 ± 12.01, respectively (p = 0.198). The mean cranial force delivered by TH and OH ECC was 27.13 ± 11.30 and 11.09 ± 9.72, respectively (p < 0.001). The caudal–cranial pressure difference delivered by TH and OH ECC was 19.14 ± 15.96 and 26.94 ± 14.48, respectively (p = 0.016). The perceived exertion and NRS for OH ECC was higher than that of the TH method (p < 0.001, p = 0.004, respectively). Conclusions: The TH method produced greater compression force, had more efficient compression, and delivered a more even force distribution, and produced less fatigue and physical pain in the rescuer than the OH method. Trial registration: The Cheng Kung University Institutional Review Board A-ER-103-387. http://nckuhirb.med.ncku.edu.tw/sitemap.php.
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