In a report by Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, a new prototype medical device, being created by the University of Utah researchers, could make it possible for anyone to perform life-saving actions for sudden cardiac arrest victims:
The just-in-time support, or JITS, device provides bystanders with guidance and information on how to administer CPR and assess the state and needs of the victim. The researchers will present their work at the HFES 50th Annual Meeting at the Hilton San Francisco Hotel on Wednesday, October 18. The meeting dates are October 16-20, 2006.
About 300,000 people a year suffer sudden cardiac arrest in the United States. Sometimes the victim’s life hinges on the help of bystanders, given that response time by paramedics following a 911 call is usually more than 6 minutes and that the probability of survival decreases 7-10% each minute after the incident. Studies show that less than 1% of bystanders have had CPR training, and of those, fewer than 10% retained the knowledge only a few months after training.
The JITS device prototype used in the study consisted of a dummy “victim,” a pressure-sensing headrest, an anesthesia mask, defibrillator pads, and a video screen and speakers that transmit audio and visual cues to tell the user what to do and give him or her feedback about actions taken. The cues were based on American Heart Association protocols.
Half the 40 participants used the JITS device and half did not. Those using the device not only surpassed the no-device group in every measure but performed to the level of the AHA guidelines.
If JITS devices were used, the number of people able to provide life-saving treatment would vastly increase and survival chances for sudden cardiac arrest victims could be significantly improved.
We’ll see what comes out of it…