CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - It's a less than perfect scenario for first responders - administering CPR in an ambulance. But throw technology in the mix, and patients have a much better chance at survival.
This is the Auto Pulse and it's designed to increase the success rate for somebody suffering cardiac arrest. But what you may not know is every beat makes it safer for first responders.
With manual CPR, first responders must stop and load up the patient.
"There are some studies that show that manual compressions in the back of an ambulance are like 22 % effective," said Dr. Alan Yee, Operational Medical Director.
Each bump shifts the hands' position. A quick grab to hold steady complicates the rhythm.
"When people do the compressions they can get tired and the depth of the compressions lessens over time," Dr Yee said.
But with the press of a button, the hassle stops and safety starts.
"Continuous, consistent compressions each and every time," he said.
The Auto Pulse beats out the right commands.
"Whether you're a 100 pound person or a 200 pound person, the machine figures out how much pressure to put," Dr Yee said.
"And it'll do it a 100 times a minute. It'll compress the chest at just the right amount," said Greg Lagasse, Chesterfield Firefighter and EMS.
Now firefighter Greg Lagasse can focus on the bigger picture.
"I can take care of the airway. I can take care of giving the patient the medications they need," Lagasse said.
Studies show, the effectiveness of CPR rises from 22-percent to 100 with the Auto Pulse.
"CPR is probably the most effective and the most important thing a patient needs to survive a cardiac arrest and I think it shows because Chesterfield has a lot higher survival rate on cardiac arrests," he said.
Station 15 straps it on to patients at least once a month. It's been with the department for two years. Chesterfield Fire and EMS are constantly looking for newer and better ways to increase safety and survivability.