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|Last Updated: Monday, November 05, 2012|
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The Zoll AutoPulse is designed to do the continuous chest compressions that a patient needs during CPR, easily and effectively with minimal discomfort to the patient. This tool frees up at least one first responder to do other lifesaving work, and it can also increase the patient's odds of survival because it can perform the compressions more consistently than human hands can.
Studies have shown that after two minutes it is difficult for a person to continue manual compressions at the same rate as when they started. The AutoPulse eliminates this issue, and as Matt Corelli, the Public Information Officer for the Murrieta Fire Department, which purchased six of the units in 2009, says, "It has made the full arrest calls and just the continuum of care a lot smoother for us."
Conventional CPR concentrates most of the force over a patient's breast bone. The Zoll AutoPulse, however, compresses the entire chest, giving more widespread compressions with only one-third of the pressure. This eliminates some of the pain to the ribs traditionally caused by CPR.
According to the American Heart Association's CPR Guidelines, thirty compressions and two ventilations must be done together. Firefighter Chris Quinones of the Murrieta Fire Department says of the AutoPulse, "It actually beeps and and senses and lets you know when your thirty compressions are up, so that the person ventilating can actually ventilate your two ventilations."
The compressions will be continuous as long as the sensors are not interrupted. If the backboard is flat or at less than a forty-five degree angle, it will continue to work, allowing first responders to take the patient from the scene to the ambulance to the hospital ER without interruption of care.
The Murrieta Fire Department runs several medical calls each year involving cardiac arrest. They purchased six of the units, one for each of their five fire apparatus in service, and one for training. At $14,000 per unit plus time and expense for training, the department spent approximately $100,000, and are very pleased with their decision to buy the Zoll AutoPulse.
Matt Corelli explains the department's logic in making that choice, saying, "We were certainly impressed by the results and some of the research data that came back as well as the hand's on easiness of this product. With the amount of cardiac arrests that we run, which is a pretty large volume of our medical calls, this would be a product that we could put into service." About the amount of money they spent on the purchase, Corelli says, "We feel that's a real savings as far as what their long term capacity could be and capabilities."
Murrieta Fire Captain Forest Hansan, who has used the unit, is very satisfied with its performance. He says, "My crew was one of the first to actually use this in the field. As usual with a new piece of equipment, you're not necessarily always skeptical, but you're looking forward to evaluating it in practice, and we found it to be very helpful. It may have even shaved a good three or four minutes off the overall on-scene time and allowed us to move on and get going."
There are only three limitations to the unit, the first being a 300 pound patient weight limit. Also, it cannot be used on a patient under 18 years of age, and for obvious reasons, it cannot be used for a full arrest that occurred as a result of a trauma.
For more information about the Zoll AutoPulse visit http://www.zoll.com/medical-products/cardiac-support-pump/autopulse. For another information video about the AutoPulse, click here.
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