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Man declared dead for 40 minutes brought back to life with revolutionary machine

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 15th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A man declared clinically dead for 40 minutes was successfully brought back to life due to a machine that performed life-saving chest compressions. A revolutionary cardiac support machine called the AutoPulse, along with hospital staff were able to revive 39-year-old Colin Fiedler.
 

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Fiedler, from Dandenong, in Victoria, Australia, was pronounced dead at The Alfred Hospital last June after he suffered a heart attack. "I am so grateful, more than I could ever say," Fiedler says.

Battery operated, the AutoPulse is a portable heart and lung pump which keeps blood and oxygen flowing to vital organs. When applied, the patient's head, shoulders and upper back lie against a board while a band, which carries out chest compressions, is strapped around the person's entire rib cage.

While the patient is strapped in and the start button is pressed, the band pulls tight around the chest and constricts the entire rib cage, rhythmically pumping the heart at a rate of 80 compressions per minute.

This is an improvement over manually performed chest compressions, which even when done well, only provides between 10 and 20 percent of normal blood flow to the heart and 30 to 40 percent to the brain. The AutoPulse moves more blood more consistently, according to experts.

Fiedler is only one of seven cardiac arrest patients in Australia who have been treated with the band, and three have been revived from being declared clinically dead for 40 to 60 minutes.

AutoPulse machines have been on the market since 2003 and are being used more and more around the world.

"Victims receive more consistent, high-quality compressions than those delivered by simple automated CPR devices, which means improved blood flow," Zoll, the company which makes the device, says.

The U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information said a recent study on the effectiveness of the machine showed that it had a "promising" future.

In a study, 29 patients who took part in the study received more blood pressure than they would have with manual compressions.

"Even a fully-trained professional finds it hard to deliver consistent, high quality chest compressions when attempting to resuscitate someone whose heart has stopped beating," Nigel Raghunath, lead consultant in A&E says.

"A&E teams have a range of equipment available but the new device means we can carry on helping someone's heart to beat for much longer improving blood flow to vital organs and increasing their chances of recovery."

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