A small, portable device greatly increases the chance of surviving sudden cardiac death by restoring blood pressure better than conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation, according to a Stanford University School of Medicine animal study. Following restoration of heart function, most of the animals in the Stanford study also showed no neurological damage, which commonly results from even a momentary blood flow interruption to the brain.
To model what happens during abrupt loss of heart function, the researchers tested the device, marketed as the AutoPulse Resuscitation System by Revivant Corp., on pigs. They found that AutoPulse contributed to the survival of three-quarters of the animals, while none of the animals initially treated with conventional CPR survived. "What was even more astounding than the survival rate was that 88 percent of the surviving animals had normal brain function," said Mehrdad Rezaee, MD, PhD, clinical science research associate in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and director of interventional preclinical research at Stanford. Results of the study are to be presented Nov. 10 at the American Heart Associations 76th annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando.
Although the AutoPulse is already commercially available in the United States, researchers wanted to investigate its overall effectiveness in reviving heart attack victims and also study its lasting benefit. Survival of a heart attack depends on maintaining blood flow to wash out the metabolic waste and move oxygenated blood to organs throughout the body. CPR is designed to artificially keep the blood flowing when the heart can no longer pump; the degree to which it is successful depends on how effectively CPR can squeeze, or compress, the chest wall surrounding the heart.
Mitzi Baker | EurekAlert!
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