Recently, Invention & Technology News published an article about an invention in development called the CPRGlove™ , which helps people more efficiently perform (and train to perform) CPR. In reaction to that story, Mark Totman, president of Bio-Detek Inc., passed along information about a similar product his company produces, which we’ll take a look at today. When it comes to emergency care, it’s a good thing to have a burgeoning market of new products designed to help save lives.
Two of the most common deficiencies people tend to have when performing CPR are doing compressions that are either not fast enough or not hard enough. Much of the problem stems from that fact that individuals performing CPR don’t want to hurt the recipient – even when his or her life is in jeopardy. But a convenient solution to this dilemma now comes in a package the size of a cell phone.
Produced by Bio-Detek, Inc., a subsidiary of ZOLL Medical Corporation, PocketCPR™ talks a person through the stressful, often terrifying, process of performing CPR on an individual in cardiac arrest. “Performing CPR is physically and mentally demanding,” said, Mark Totman, president of Bio-Detek. “In cases of sudden cardiac arrest, the rate and depth of chest compressions are essential to successful resuscitation.” To (hopefully) help facilitate such successes, the PocketCPR uses audio and visual cues to guide rescuers through the CPR process.
When an individual goes into cardiac arrest, a rescuer pulls out the pocket-size, battery-powered device and turns it on. Starting at square one, the device helps the rescuer to assess the situation and alleviate panic with instructions such as “stay calm”, “get help” and “open the airway”. From there, the user places the device on the victim’s chest and puts his or her hands over top of it in typical CPR fashion. Once the rescuer begins performing CPR, a metronome on the device provides a rhythm to assure compressions are performed at the proper rate (as determined by American Health Association guidelines). If compressions are not hard enough (ideal CPR requires around 75 pounds of pressure, or a 1.5-inch depth), PocketCPR will instruct the user to “push harder”. When compressions reach the ideal level, the device will notify the user by saying “good compressions”.
Along with such audio cues, the device produces visual cues as well. Four LED lights on the device flash whenever a compression is deemed "good", while only one light illuminates during a poor compression. Whether or not rescuers can concentrate on (or even see) the lights during the CPR process is questionable. But the audio instructions certainly hold a lot of value. According to a Bio-Detek, studies have shown that audible prompting during CPR can prevent the decrease of compression rate and depth that naturally occurs with fatigue.
But the greatest benefit of PocketCPR might just be the fact that it helps take away the fear of performing the life-saving procedure. In an emergency situation, it’s easy to forget things like compression rate and depth – even if a person’s been well-trained in CPR. But with knowledge that there is a helpful aid to guide them through the process, people may be less hesitant or reluctant to undertake the procedure. And for that fact alone, when an actual defibrillator is not available, PocketCPR™ might just be the next best thing.
PocketCPR has a retail price of $199 and is currently available for purchase at AED Superstore .