New and Improved CPR

Belt-like device offers better chest compression

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- A battery-operated compression belt that's strapped around the chest works better than manual chest compressions used in conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

That's the finding of a study presented today at the American Heart Association's scientific sessions meeting in Chicago.

American researchers tested the device on 20 pigs in cardiac arrest and found the device restored blood flow four times better than chest compressions done by hand and returned the pigs' hearts to pre-arrest condition.

The device resembles an 8-inch wide seatbelt. It's buckled around the chest and tightened. When it's switched on, it contracts against the chest and stimulates blood flow.

The researchers say the belt can compress a greater area of the chest than compressions done by hand. That means the belt is able to restore more blood flow than the manual method.

A study is being planned to test the compression belt on humans.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about CPR.

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, news release, Nov. 19, 2002
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