Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition where the heart stops beating unexpectedly and can lead to symptoms such as shortened breath and collapsing. It’s an electrical-based health issue that affects the electrical pulses of your heart. Moreover, it’s a condition that can be overcome with proper procedure and aid.
Cardiac arrest survival rates have been improving for the past few decades thanks to developments in medical technology. Many of the devices are built on extensive research, trials, and existing systems. They work to advance and evolve current medical operations such as CPR for quicker and more effective results.
This is important because every minute that passes, a cardiac arrest patient’s chances of survival drop by 10%. Due to this emergency situation where time is critical, the right tools can make all the difference in saving a patient’s life.
Here are the top technologies that can improve the survival rates of cardiac arrest patients:
1. An AED Device
An AED device or automated external defibrillator is a device that analyzes a person’s heart rhythm in real-time using attached adhesive electrodes. The semi-automated device then sends out a prompt such as a beep or message for a medic or helper to press a button which allows it to send out electric shocks. Automated devices work on a schedule without prompts according to your heart rhythm.
It’s also the most common device used to treat cardiac arrest patients. This reliable device when used within minutes of cardiac arrest occurring and coupled with CPR has saved countless lives. It’s preferred by medics and patients alike for being noninvasive and fast-acting –an important factor for increasing survival rates.
The electric shock can reboot the heart rhythm of a person whose heart has stopped beating during cardiac arrest. It gives the heart a chance to stop all motion and restart beating effectively.
Ordinary citizens can get an AED as part of their first aid kit to keep on standby at home, school, or workplace. However, EMS workers do have a set of devices only used by them because they’re more specialized and require training.
2. High-Perfusion CPR Technology
High-Perfusion CPR technology is advancing the way CPR is administered to cardiac arrest patients. The most promising apparatus is the ResQCPR System approved by the FDA in 2015. This was after clinical trials supported by data shows that it drastically improved survival rates of cardiac arrest patients.
These results also noted that the ResQCPR system helped improve survival in the long term and not just as an interim solution when compared to standard CPR. The system has since gradually been adopted into EMS training and is one of the most promising inventions of medical technology as of late.
This technology consists of two devices: the ResQPUMP for compression to expand the chest and the ResQPOD which is an impedance threshold device. They both work concurrently to lower chest pressure during CPR and life support treatment and restore blood flow to the heart, brain, and other vital organs.
3. An OPA Device
Emergency medical services recent years updated their cardiac arrest treatment routine and include airway management. Keeping the airways open is the second most important step after stabilizing the heart rhythm after cardiac arrest.
This is essential to maintain oxygen levels in the brain and prevent cardiac arrest-related brain hypoxia. As such, using an airway adjunct such as an Oropharyngeal Airway device or OPA is necessary to help the patient breathe.
The OPA device is inserted into the airways via the throat to prevent the tongue from sliding back and blocking the air passage. It’s especially useful to a patient who has become unconscious after suffering cardiac arrest and can’t breathe on their own at the time.
This device can only be used by licensed paramedics and EMS workers because it needs precision and technique to prevent further harm to the patient. It’s a temporary means of sustaining life while a person is in transit to get more advanced medical care at a hospital.
Advancing medical technology has increased the chances of people surviving cardiac arrest. This technology is mainly devices such as AED’s, OPA’s, and systems such as perfusion integrated CPR. These tools are only available to trained paramedics except for the AED’s where a simpler version can be bought by non-medical professionals for emergencies.
They all work to administer blood to the heart, brain, and other organs while keeping oxygen flowing through the body. This helps keep the patient alive while they wait for an ambulance or to be taken to the hospital. Furthermore, these technologies wouldn’t have come about without the research on improving existing devices to make them more effective.
Author’s Bio: Happy Navy is a medical supervisor. She shares her expertise by conducting webinars. She also writes guest posts and blog posts. In her free time, Happy enjoys swimming and playing with her pets.