An Australian man who was clinically dead for 40 minutes was brought back to life, thanks to a relatively new cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) procedure.
Colin Fiedler, a 39-year-old from Dandenong in Victoria, was pronounced dead at The Alfred Hospital last June after suffering a heart attack, according to Australian news outlet Herald Sun. Doctors were able to revive him with the use of a mechanical CPR machine called the "AutoPulse," along with a portable heart-lung machine to keep blood and oxygen flowing to his vital organs.
Fiedler is one of seven cardiac arrest patients in Australia treated with the technique and one of three revived after being declared dead for 40 to 60 minutes, the Herald Sun notes.
The AutoPulse is a non-invasive, cardiac support pump that moves more blood throughout the body than manual compressions, according to manufacturer Zoll. It minimizes no-flow time and squeezes the entire chest as opposed to single-spot CPR.
The AutoPulse was first commercialized in 2003. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) have been discussing the usefulness of the CPR device for years, as well.
“It keeps chest pressure continuous and closer to therapeutic level,” EMT Intermediate and Sandy, Ore., volunteer David Silvia told ProCPR Blog back in 2009, “which in turn helps us administer the drugs. And there are no interruptions in CPR because you can shock, and give the drugs while it is running.”
“This has changed the way we work a cardiac arrest incident," added Nathan Jaqua, an EMT Basic and student firefighter. "We use the same skills, but it changes the entire atmosphere.”
The U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) conducted a study on the effect of AutoPulse in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest resuscitations in 2010. After examining the response of 29 patients, the NCBI concluded that the AutoPulse caused a greater increase of diastolic blood pressure, compared to manual chest compressions. The department added that this device is "promising" and could be beneficial as a care strategy.