Survival chances improve

Published 9:19 am Monday, August 29, 2016

JACKSON – Northampton County Emergency Services is the first department in the state to adopt a new lifesaving technology that improves the chances of someone suffering from a heart stoppage from about 10 percent using ordinary cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques to 49 percent.

“Current survival rates are dismal, with fewer than 10 percent of patients surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in most communities,” said Michael Herbert, a clinical education specialist with ZOLL who led a training session on the new device on Wednesday in Jackson.

Paul Nowell, Northampton County’s EMS supervisor, said the department just started using the ZOLL device last week and it led to saving a life the very first time it was deployed.

Nowell said, “Northampton County EMS B shift Station 5 along with Garysburg Volunteer Fire Department Station 13 and Northampton E-911 had a successful field resuscitation using the ZOLL ResQCPR system.”

Herbert said, “Northampton County EMS is among the first EMS operations in the United States to adopt the new medical device combination – the ResQCPR System from ZOLL Medical Corporation – which was shown in a study to improve survival to one year following out-of-hospital, non-traumatic cardiac arrest by 49 percent when compared to treatment with conventional CPR.”

Herbert said sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of over 325,000 people a year, more than lung cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined.

“The ResQCPR System, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March of this year, is the first and only CPR device indicated to improve the likelihood of survival in adults who have experienced non-traumatic sudden cardiac arrest,” Herbert noted.

Although ZOLL has been working to develop this device for 25 years it could not be used in the United States until approved by the FDA, Herbert said. He also said it is being used in Germany and France, which also helped perfect ResQCPR.

Nowell said he learned about the device at a conference he attended for emergency management. He saw it used on a medical mannequin, but later saw it used on an exposed cadaver that let him see how well the device worked.

He complemented the county commissioners for their support in acquiring ResQCPR.

Herbert said that “Animal and clinical studies [done for FDA approval] have shown that during High Quality CPR, the ResQPOD doubles blood flow to the heart; increases blood flow to the brain by 50 percent; doubles systolic blood pressure; increases neurologically-intact survival by 25 percent or more; increases the likelihood of successful defibrillation; provides benefit in all arrest rhythms; and circulates drugs more effectively

The way that it differs from traditional CPR is that instead of just chest compression, EMTs combine chest compression with decompression.

The ResQPUMP is a hand-held pumping device with a suction cup that is placed on the chest during CPR to perform active compression-decompression CPR.

Chest compressions are basically the same as regular CPR except on the device instead of directly on the chest.

The big difference is that the EMT pulls up on the device, which lifts the chest.

Herbert said this creates negative pressure in the chest cavity, which creates a vacuum that draws more blood into the heart.

The next compression pushes the blood to vital organs, such as the brain, increasing chances the patient will not have suffered organ damage due to lack of blood flow.

The ResQPUMP also electronically monitored the pressure strength utilized by the EMT so they can be sure to get it right.

The ResQPOD is attached to the breathing device to prevent air from rushing in to fill the chest cavity when it’s at negative pressure, bringing more blood into the heart.

“When used together, these devices create an enhanced vacuum in the chest that improves blood flow to vital organs during states of low blood flow, such as cardiac arrest,” Herbert said