Roundtables: PRT Special
A Ship Called Comfort - Navy Humanitarian Mission to Latin America

Heads Up Emergency Responders!

If you are a corpsman, medic, paramedic, or other first responder, then you know that CPR is somewhat limited. The facts are: that for every minute CPR is delayed, you lose ten percent of your ability to recover the patient; that not every first responder will do rescue breathing, as there is a risk of infection no matter what precautions you take; that ribs can and will be broken ("you know you've done it hard enough when ribs snap"); and, that the success rate with CPR is only five to ten percent. The alternative is not viable, for if you simply don't do it, then there is no chance to recover the patient.

Imagine, however, a method that would provide up to 25 percent more blood flow, and eliminate the need for rescue breathing. A method that would eliminate broken ribs and other complications.

Imagine no more


Dr. Leslie A. Geddes and a team of faculty and student researchers have developed a new method of CPR that compresses the abdomen rather than the chest. You can find much more here, and in the September issue of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. I've been incredibly lucky to be called in to help document some of the research over the last three years, from early experiments to do the first measurements of the force required to meet CPR guidelines (yes, in all the years it's been done, no one had ever measured how much force is required to do CPR) to watching as a graduate student did the new procedure on Dr. Geddes so that they could measure the tidal flow in and out of the lungs. If you are a first or emergency responder, then read the article.

And people thought I was joking when I said that the best was yet to come when he was awarded the National Medal of Technology last month...