November 14, 2013

Mechanical CPR: Another Lifesaving Tool

The Fort Mill Times of Fort Mill, South Carolina, reports the story of a Minnesota man who suffered a heart attack and lived to tell the tale after 2 hours and 45 minutes of CPR. 

You can read the story here.

This marathon session of chest compressions was made possible by the LUCAS device, a machine that provides steady and continuous chest compressions. This particular chest compression system, offered by Physio-Control, is, according to the product’s webpage:

CompressionMachine“… a safe and efficient tool that standardizes [sic] chest compressions in accordance with the latest scientific guidelines. It provides the same quality for all patients and over time, independent of transport conditions, rescuer fatigue, or variability in the experience level of the caregiver. By doing this, it frees up rescuers to focus on other life-saving tasks and creates new rescue opportunities.”

Other manufacturers create similar compression machines, such as the AutoPulse from Zoll, These devices join the ranks of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) that use technology to assist the rescuer in his or her lifesaving work. A more expensive item than a portable AED, the compression machine is a tool for the paramedic or other EMS rescuer and more and more agencies are adding such devices to their toolkits.

Nevertheless, as Fire-EMS Gear points out in a 2010 article, “It is also important that manual CPR techniques are not forgotten, because machinery malfunctions are inevitable and manual CPR is still a proven way to get blood flowing throughout the body.”

(See, you knew I was leading up to a plug for taking a CPR class, didn’t you?)

One of the important features in the case of the gentleman from Minnesota is the continual use of the compression machine during his angioplasty surgery. After almost three hours of mechanical CPR, 32 defibrillator shocks to the chest, and a surgical procedure, this lucky man, who awoke with full brain functionality, was able to leave the Regions Hospital after a 10-day stay.

And it all began with good old manual CPR delivered by the local EMS medics.

Make your hands the hands of a hero. Take that CPR class today!

Find A Class, ASHI, MEDIC First Aid

Now, speaking of machines that make CPR better, have you heard about the new LOOP Learning System we launched at our conference? If you missed that blog post, be sure to check it out at here. Integrate a little technology into your CPR classes with the world's first CPR skills practice game.


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