March 9, 2015 -- A system to assist first responders performing CPR on people in cardiac arrest has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It said the system may improve cardiac arrest patients' chances of survival.
The ResQCPR System includes two devices meant to be used together. One of the devices is called the ResQPump Active Compression Decompression CPR Device. It has a double-grip handle that attaches to the patient's chest with a suction cup, allowing the rescuer to push to deliver compressions and lift for decompressions, which is different than standard CPR.
The device features a pressure gauge that helps first responders maintain recommended compression depth and a timing mechanism to help rescuers maintain the ideal compression rate.
The second device is called the ResQPod 16.0 Impedance Threshold Device, which fits onto a rescue face mask or breathing tube. When placed on the patient, it blocks airflow into the chest during chest decompression with the ResQPump, reducing the pressure inside the patient's chest and drawing more blood back to the heart, the FDA said.
Drawing more blood into the heart can mean a greater amount of blood flowing out of the heart during the next compression, which may mean better overall blood circulation compared to standard CPR.
Used together, the two devices may boost the amount of oxygenated blood circulated through a cardiac arrest patient's body during CPR, the FDA said.
The agency's approval of the system is based on a study that compared survival rates of 813 cardiac arrest patients who received standard CPR and 842 who received CPR with the new system. The survival rate was higher among those who received CPR with the new system.
"Most people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die," Dr. William Maisel, acting director, Office of Device Evaluation, FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in an agency news release.
"The ResQCPR System may increase oxygenated blood circulation during CPR, which in turn may improve the likelihood of survival in adult patients with out-of-hospital, non-traumatic cardiac arrest," he explained.