Studies have consistently found that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performed immediately by a bystander doubles or even triples a cardiac arrest victimâ€™s chance of survival.
To increase the rate of bystander CPR, the American Heart Association recently modified its CPR guidelines so that it is now permissible to provide continual chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing. This makes CPR easier and may even produce better results.
Arthur Kellermann, MD, MPH, formerly an emergency medicine physician and associate dean for public policy at Emory, and David Sanborn, a mechanical engineer at Georgia Tech, have invented a low-cost CPR manikin to help anyone learn and practice compression-only CPR. Kellermann currently is director of the Program in Public Health Systems and Preparedness and Paul Oâ€™Neill-Alcoa Chair in Policy Analysis at the RAND Corporation in Virginia.
Their work builds on Emory research that showed laypeople could teach themselves CPR at home using a 25-minute video with results that are comparable to taking a four-hour course taught by a professional instructor.
The CPR manikinâ€™s design features a simple torso that focuses the userâ€™s attention on correct hand placement. An audible clicker embedded in the center of the chest provides feedback on location and the proper amount of force to use with each compression.
Following further testing and refinement, the manikin and video kit will be marketed as a low-cost package.
â€œThe goal of this effort,â€ Kellermann says, â€œis not to make money. Itâ€™s to save lives.â€
The manikin currently is the featured innovation in Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer.