Condition category
Circulatory System
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
A cardiac arrest is a serious medical condition where the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body. It can be fatal and so when someone has a cardiac arrest, immediate treatment is essential. Chest compressions are an essential treatment for cardiac arrest patients, but are often difficult for a person to deliver to a high standard (manual chest compressions). A mechanical chest compression device can be used to deliver chest compressions (mechanical chest compressions) instead of a person. Every year, 35,000 patients have a cardiac arrest in UK hospitals. However, less than one in five patients survives to leave hospital. When someone has a cardiac arrest, immediate treatment is essential. Small studies suggest using these devices may improve patient survival when used as part of treatment for cardiac arrest patients in hospital. The aim of this study is to conduct a small-scale study in order to find out if a large study looking comparing these two treatments would be feasible.

Who can participate?
Adults whose heart stops while they are in hospital.

What does the study involve?
Patients who have a cardiac arrest all receive manual (by hand) chest compressions initially. When the device arrives at the cardiac arrest, eligible patients are randomly allocated to continue receiving manual chest compressions or to switch to mechanical (delivered by a machine) chest compressions. For all participants, the allocated treatment is delivered for the duration of the cardiac arrest (usually between 20 minutes and two hours). Participants in both groups are followed up until they are discharged from hospital and again 30 days and six months later. Follow up involves the researchers reviewing medical records and participants completing questionnaires about their quality of life.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The key potential benefit associated with use of the mechanical device is the possibility of improved delivery of chest compressions. The key risk is that deployment of the device requires short pauses in chest compressions. Cardiac arrest teams deploying the device will receive special training so that they can use devices effectively.

Where is the study run from?
1. Birmingham Heartlands Hospital (UK)
2. University Hospital Coventry (UK)
3. Sandwell General Hospital (UK)
4.Warwick Hospital (UK)
5.Blackpool Hospital (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
October 2015 to September 2019

Who is funding the study?
National Institute for Health Research (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Dr Keith Couper

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Keith Couper


Contact details

Clinical Trials Unit
University of Warwick
United Kingdom
+44 2476 575923

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

A feasibility randomised controlled trial of mechanical chest compression devices for in-hospital cardiac arrest (COMPRESS-RCT)



Study hypothesis

The aim of this study is to assess the feasibility of undertaking a randomised controlled effectiveness trial of mechanical chest compression devices in in-hospital cardiac arrest.

Ethics approval

West Midlands - Coventry & Warwickshire Research Ethics Committee, 12/09/2016, ref :16/WM/0299

Study design

Randomised; Both; Design type: Treatment, Device, Qualitative

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet


Specialty: Cardiovascular disease, Primary sub-specialty: Heart Failure; UKCRC code/ Disease: Cardiovascular/ Other forms of heart disease


Participants are randomised in a 3:1 ratio to receive either mechanical chest compressions or manual chest compressions. Randomisation will be done by opening an opaque envelope that is kept with the device following confirmation of eligibility.

Participants in the mechanical chest compression arm will receive mechanical chest compressions delivered by the LUCAS-2 or LUCAS-3 device (Joliffe AB/ Physio-Control, Lund, Sweden).

Participants in the manual chest compression arm will continue to receive chest compressions delivered by a human.

The allocated treatment will be delivered for the duration of the cardiac arrest event (usually around 20-minutes, but may be up to two hours).

Participants will be followed-up to six-months and consists of review of medical records and completion of quality of life questionnaires.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Current Primary outcome measure, as of 21/03/2018:
Proportion of eligible patients that are randomised during operational recruitment hours over the entire study period.

Previous Primary outcome measure:
Proportion of eligible participants randomised over the entire study period

Secondary outcome measures

Feasibility outcome measures:
1. Proportion of patients randomised outside of weekday daytime hours is assessed at the end of the study
2. Device deployment time (compression pause associated with device deployment) is assessed at the end of the study
3. Proportion of patients/consultees agreeing to ongoing study participation is assessed at the end of the study
4. Success of study blinding procedures is assessed at the end of the study
5. Proportion of patients with complete follow-up data is assessed at the end of the study
6. Proportion of patients with analysable chest compression quality data is assessed at the end of the study

Patient outcome measures:
1. Return of spontaneous circulation is assessed by reviewing patient notes 20 minutes following cardiac arrest
2. Survival is assessed by reviewing patient notes at hospital discharge, 30 days and 6 months
3. Neurological outcome is assessed using the cerebral performance category at discharge and modified rankin score at discharge and 6 months
4. Hospital/critical care length of stay is measured by reviewing patient notes at the time of discharge
5. Quality of life is measured using the EQ-5D and SF-12 at discharge and 6 months

Process outcome measure:
CPR quality (rate, depth, flow-fraction, pauses- pre-,post-, peri-shock) is assessed by reviewing defibrillator and/ or mechanical device data during cardiac arrest.

Safety outcome measure:
Device related adverse events are measured by reviewing patient notes up to the point of discharge

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Sustain an in-hospital cardiac arrest and resuscitation is attempted by a hospital cardiac arrest team trained in the use of the mechanical chest compression device
2. In a non-shockable rhythm (pulseless electrical activity or asystole) at the time of eligibility assessment
3. Known or believed to be aged 18 years or over

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

Planned Sample Size: 360; UK Sample Size: 360

Total final enrolment


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Patient has valid do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation order
2. Known or clinically apparent pregnancy
3. Cardiac arrest where use of a mechanical chest compression device is contra-indicated (e.g. following cardiac surgery, thoracic trauma, patient size)
4. Known previous study participation
5. Patient requiring use of mechanical chest compression device as part of routine clinical care
6. Patient known to be detained by Her Majesty’s Prison Service

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Birmingham Heartlands Hospital
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Bordesley Green East
B9 5SS
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University Hospital Coventry
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust Clifford Bridge Road
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Sandwell General Hospital
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust Lyndon West Bromwich
B71 4HJ
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Warwick Hospital
South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, Lakin Road,
CV34 5BW
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Blackpool Hospital
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Whinney Heys
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


University of Warwick

Sponsor details

Gibbet Hill Road
United Kingdom
+44 247 652 2746

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

National Institute for Health Research

Alternative name(s)


Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

National government


United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Planned publication in a high-impact peer reviewed journal

IPD Sharing plan:
The current data sharing plans for the current study are unknown and will be made available at a later date.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

To be made available at a later date

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

1. 2018 protocol in (added 14/08/2019)
2. 2019 results in (added 14/08/2019)
3. 2019 results in (added 14/08/2019)
4. 2020 results in (added 14/10/2020)

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

14/10/2020: Publication reference and total final enrolment number added. 14/08/2019: Publication reference added. 21/03/2018: The following updates were made: 1. Three new trial participating centres were added; Sandwell General Hospital (UK), Warwick Hospital (UK), Blackpool Hospital (UK) 2. Primary outcomes were updated