September 21, 2012-CHELMSFORD, MASS.–ZOLL Medical Corporation, a manufacturer of medical devices and related software solutions, announced today that the Limon Ambulance Service in Limon, Colorado, successfully revived a 47-year-old woman who was asystolic after suffering sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) using the ZOLL AutoPulse® Non-invasive Cardiac Support Pump.
Asystole is the complete lack of pulse and is a condition in which the heart has no electrical activity and thus does not contract or pump blood. The heart is essentially stopped. It is referred to as a flatline on a heart monitor. Resuscitation is rare. Few patients survive.
Melody McKinsey’s husband, Robert Safranek, performed CPR on his wife for about 8–10 minutes before the paramedics arrived. “We took a CPR course at her request about two years ago,” he said.
According to Rob Handley, RN, Director of Limon Ambulance Service, “She had flatlined by the time the ambulance arrived, but we were able to resuscitate her in 20 minutes with the AutoPulse. Therapeutic hypothermia was initiated by Limon Ambulance at the scene and continued throughout transport by AirLife Denver, as well as at the destination hospital in Aurora. She survived cardiac arrest neurologically intact and returned to her bookkeeping job at the hardware store she owns with her husband 14 days later.”
Handley went on to explain that if SCA victims can’t be resuscitated in the field, they have a dismal chance of survival. “Once they go into asystole, we usually don’t get them back or if we’re able to resuscitate them, they don’t have a good outcome or long-term survival.”
“With the AutoPulse, we’re able to produce cardiac output that saves lives with the consistent, uninterrupted chest compressions it delivers. The device is simple to use and very effective. It allows us to monitor the effectiveness of EtCO2 readings, which are three-fold higher with the AutoPulse versus manual CPR,” he said.
Of the four asystolic SCA patients Limon Ambulance Service treated this year, three achieved a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and one survived to discharge. Handley also commented that, in addition to the high-quality CPR the AutoPulse provides, he values the safety considerations it provides. “Our EMTs and paramedics are not thrown around and injured in the back of a moving ambulance as they could be when not buckled in, while performing chest compressions,” he noted.
“The Limon ambulance crew came quickly for rural Colorado and used the AutoPulse. They told me the odds, how so few people survive and still have all their mental capacity so we were extremely fortunate,” Safranek said.
About the AutoPulse
The AutoPulse Non-invasive Cardiac Support Pump is an automated, portable device with an easy-to-use, load-distributing LifeBand® that squeezes the entire chest, improving blood flow to the heart and brain during sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The AutoPulse may offer a significant advantage over manual CPR, moving blood more consistently than human providers. AutoPulse delivers high-quality, uninterrupted chest compressions to maintain myocardial and cerebral perfusion. Additionally, it offers the benefit of freeing up clinicians and rescuers to focus on other life-saving interventions. Nearly 6,000 AutoPulse devices are in use in hospitals and emergency service organizations worldwide.
About Sudden Cardiac Arrest