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
SCA, an abrupt disruption of the heart’s function, which causes a lack of blood flow to vital organs, claims more than one million lives globally each year. It is the leading cause of unexpected death in the world and strikes without warning. Survival is poor in most communities at less than eight percent; improvements in resuscitation practices could save as many as half of these victims.
About Limon Ambulance Service
Limon Ambulance Service is a small, municipal EMS service that operates four emergency units and responds to between 500-600 calls per year. Located about 100 miles east of Denver, Limon is the so-called Hub City of Eastern Colorado because Interstate 70, U.S. Highways 24, 40, and 287, and State Highways 71 and 86 all pass through the town of 1,900, creating a high volume of traffic of about 50,000 cars per day.
About ZOLL Medical Corporation
ZOLL Medical Corporation, an Asahi Kasei Group company, develops and markets medical devices and software solutions that help advance emergency care and save lives, while increasing clinical and operational efficiencies. With products for defibrillation and monitoring, circulation and CPR feedback, data management, fluid resuscitation, and therapeutic temperature management, ZOLL provides a comprehensive set of technologies that help clinicians, EMS and fire professionals, and lay rescuers treat victims needing resuscitation and critical care. For more information, visit www.zoll.com.
About Asahi Kasei
The Asahi Kasei Group is a diversified group of companies led by holding company Asahi Kasei Corp., with operations in the chemicals and fibers, homes and construction materials, electronics, and health care business sectors. Its health care operations include devices and systems for critical care, dialysis, therapeutic apheresis, transfusion, and manufacture of biotherapeutics, as well as pharmaceuticals, diagnostic reagents, and nutritional products. With more than 25,000 employees around the world, the Asahi Kasei Group serves customers in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/asahi/en/.