New CPR devices inspired by a toilet plunger are all set to be installed after twenty-five years of clinical trials. These devices are found to be effective in increasing by half the one year survival rate of the patient from cardiac arrest.
St. Paul is one of the first few cities to install these new devices. These new CPR devices have been installed in around 50 St. Paul ambulances and fire trucks this month preceding a national rollout later in the summer. Minneapolis and St. Paul were among the 7 trial sites, letting their first responders to test these devices for 3 years.
This mechanism was invented by a physician at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Keith Lurie. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted its use in March 2015 prior to which it went through six clinical trials since 1991.
The EMS medical director at Regions Hospital, Dr. R.J. Frascone said, “People wake up on these devices. You get almost normal vital signs. It’s amazing.”
Frascone believes that a countrywide installation of these devices would save more than ten thousand patients every year. According to the FDA, use of the devices has increased by 50 percent a patient’s one-year survival rate from cardiac arrest.
Sudden cardiac arrest is the number one cause of death in America. In this regard, Minnesota has led national efforts to lessen fatal outcomes. Minnesota claims to have the highest rate of cardiac arrest survival in the country, which according to the Minnesota Department of Health was twice the national average.
Dr. R.J. Frascone said, “The Twin Cities is the epicenter of this, we’re on the cutting edge.”
Dr. Keith Lurie dedicated more than 25 years to test devices that can improve cardiac arrest survival. This research was carried out in collaborations with researchers in Japan, Germany and France and with a $4.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and. However, Lurie’s most profound finding stemmed from a toilet plunger.
According to Frascone, “Some of the greatest discoveries in medicine were serendipitous and this was one of them.”
Traditional CPR devices spring the victim’s chest downwards; however, a plunger’s suction springs the chest back up and increases the blood flow to the brain and heart for the next phase of compression. The apparatus invented by Lurie called the ResQCPR is a set of two devices; an active compression/decompression and an impedance threshold device, or ACD/ITD CPR.
Lurie said, “The ITD turbocharges CPR, ventilating a patient during the initial phase and blocking airflow to the lungs while the chest is recoiling.” This apparatus includes a timer and stress gauge, guiding operators on the application of force.
According to Frascone, “It’s not rocket science. It’s easier to train than standard CPR.”