Sedona Fire District gets a real lifesaver: Auto Pulse Device
Did you know the number of people who die each year from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is roughly equivalent to the number who die from Alzheimers disease, assault with firearms, breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes, HIV, house fires, motor vehicle accidents, prostate cancer and suicides combined. (source: Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation)
When a person goes into sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), he or she needs chest compressions immediately. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) provides chest compressions, but must be practiced according to the latest 2010 American Heart Association protocols, which can get confusing and overwhelming in the time of a cardiac emergency. Because of this, many healthcare professionals choose to become CPR certified through a course and final exam, or are required to by their employer. CPR, however, is changing as medical technology is shifting.
How Auto Pulse is Saving Lives
At the September Board of Directors meeting, Division Chief Ed Mezulis made a presentation to the board about the new Auto-Pulse device that the fire district had recently purchased. This device can best be described as a large band that encompasses the chest of a cardiac arrest victim and performs CPR.
“The Auto-Pulse, never gets tired, never slows down and performs excellent CPR. It is so good at CPR, that it performs more effective compressions than most people, and it certainly exceeds that in the back of a moving ambulance,” said Mezulis. Auto-Pulse devices have been shown to increase the survival rates in witnessed cardiac arrests. Auto Pulse allows for EMS to work with the victim in other areas needed while still administering compressions, a task often difficult with traditional CPR.
The device was placed in service just a few weeks ago and was deployed on a witnessed cardiac arrest for the first time just recently. “Our crews were dispatched to a witnessed cardiac arrest and after arriving on scene, the Auto-Pulse was applied to the patient and it began performing CPR compressions,” said Mezulis, The goal of any resuscitation is the Return of Spontaneous Circulation or ROSC, which is when the heart begins to beat again on its own. Mezulis went on to explain, “Before arrival at the hospital, the patient experienced ROSC and was beginning to regain some purposeful movement. Although a difficult recovery may still be ahead, thanks to the excellent performance of our crews and the Auto-Pulse, this patient has a good chance at recovery.” Sedona Fire District purchased the Auto-Pulse device for $16,400.