Chest compressions, if performed properly, can save people from cardiac arrest. Most bystanders faced with an individual requiring resuscitation fail at this task, in many cases because their compressions are too weak and are not delivered correctly. Now, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research and University of Applied Sciences, both in Germany, have developed a device, called Rescue Aid, that helps first responders to make sure the chest compressions they administer are at just the right strength and frequency.
“People are scared of making a mistake, and as a result either do nothing or administer the chest compressions too gently to be effective,” said Dr. Holger Böse, Scientific and Technical Manager of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research, who was involved in the study. “If performed correctly, chest compressions significantly improve the victim’s chances of survival. Rescue Aid is a way to simplify the resuscitation process.”
The device, which is in the form of a soft and flexible pad with LED indicators on top, is placed over the chest of the patient. Silicone deformation sensors within it can detect how deep each compression is, with the LEDs on top lighting up accordingly to guide the first responder on each push.
To guarantee a proper rate of compressions, instead of playing “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees, an internal metronome clicks away at the correct frequency.
The device has already been tested on dummies, with further research still required to bring the technology to market.