Two brothers have patented a CPR device that automatically forces air into the lungs of a person in cardiac arrest and, by eliminating the need for mouth-to-mouth contact, hope to improve the survival rate of heart attack victims.
The device started out as a high school research project and consists of a plastic mouthpiece that clears the victim’s airway, an automated metronome that sets the rate of compression, and an oxygen tank.
The boys hope that, by incorporating their device in AED units or by placing their device alongside them, they’ll see an improvement in the frustratingly low recovery rates for those who receive so-called bystander CPR, currently about 2% of adults recipients.
This device is another approach to eliminate the ‘yuck factor’ of mouth-to-mouth CPR. In 2008 ,the American Heart Association introduced hands-only CPR in its training regimen, where the rescuer pushes down hard and fast at the center of the victim’s chest and forgoes rescue breaths.
Sweden has instituted a country-wide program where citizens can enroll to receive an SMS when there is a heart attack victim nearby, allowing them to reach them faster than an ambulance and provide CPR. Over 1,500 people with CPR skills have enrolled in the program, called SMSlifesavers (smslivraddare in Swedish). When its call center receives an alert about a possible heart attack, SMSlifesavers within a quarter mile (500 meters) are text message with an address and map. In 40% of the cases, SMSlifesavers arrived before ambulances and started providing CPR.
The service was launched as a research project by the Stockholm South General Hospital, with the goal of increasing the survival rate by 50% in cases where cardiac arrest happened outside of a hospital. The system uses global positioning of user’s cell phones to find lifesavers
While this service might result in a mob of local Samaritans rushing to providing help, having too much help is better than help arriving too late – without quick CPR, victims don’t have a chance and is the main reason why their survival rate is so low.
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