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Anyone can save a life: Penn researchers lead national efforts to improve CPR quality
Date:1/14/2008

called the MRX Q-CPR (made by Philips Medical Systems, Andover, MA), which uses a device about the size of a computer mouse to monitor CPR performance. Abella helped designed this sensor pack, which is placed on a patients chest during CPR and attached to a small defibrillator box, allowing health care workers to perform CPR over the sensor and receive instruction from the machine about how effective their chest compressions are at circulating blood through the body. The machine coaches physicians through the process, urging them to use harder or softer compressions, or compress faster or slower. In a hectic hospital environment, doctors say this automated coaching can be invaluable.

The MRX Q-CPR technology also provides a detailed transcript of CPR performance that can be used to debrief health care workers after the crisis, to better prepare them for future emergencies in the hospital.

Penn researchers have also partnered with Cardiac Science Corporation (Bothell, WA) to develop AEDs that not only administer shocks to hearts caught in dangerous rhythms, but also speak to untrained bystanders to coach them through CPR. That help is crucial to boosting cardiac arrest survival, since only half of victims can be helped by an AED, while CPR can be lifesaving for anyone. Recent Penn research shows that among untrained volunteers ages 18 to 64, the verbal coaching helped them perform compressions nearly as well and quickly as AHA guidelines recommend. Most study participants rated the prompts as very easy to understand.

This new technology is expected to hit the market within the next two years. Abella envisions that AEDs will eventually be sold as a comprehensive bundle for saving lives during cardiac emergencies, packed with the new CPR coaching technology and a kit containing gloves and a pocket mask for administering rescue breaths. Those supplies could be essential to helping bystanders fearful of infection jump into action.

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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5659
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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