Current Biomedical Engineering Research
Cardiac Arrest DetectorThere is evidence that repetitive shocks especially with concurrent interruptions of chest compression injure the heart and reduce the likelihood of survival. Our team has developed a method with which to rapidly and automatically determine whether an unconscious victim is breathing and/or has a heartbeat and the device has been named Cardiac Arrest Detector (CAD). The same electrode pads that are routinely applied with current external defibrillators sense the movement of blood through the chest and air through the lung accordingly. Moreover, this device has the capability of "diagnosing" cardiac arrest for the lay rescuer. Failure to breathe, as in the case of a drowning victim or sudden death due to loss of the heartbeat and circulation require different interventions. The CAD verbally prompts the rescuer accordingly with respect to the airway and breathing, chest compression, and attempted cardiac defibrillation. The CAD is intended to be part of automated defibrillators, which are perceived increasingly as "resuscitation boxes" which measure and prompt the comprehensive sequence of CPR and life support (US Patent 6,821,254).
“Uninterrupted compression”, improves the likelihood of successful resuscitation from cardiac arrest. The Institute’s research team continues to develop devices for efficient and safe, continuous precordial compression during CPR.
Uninterrupted chest compression may be performed in closed spaces, during transport in ambulances, stairways, elevators and also to assure that the manual effort is not compromized by fatigue of the rescuer. The Institute's Biomedical Engineers have designed and demonstrated the operability of a miniaturized chest compression (MCC) device that may be worn on the belt of a professional rescuer. The current device occupies only 121 cubic inches, which is less than 3 percent of the size of the widely used chest compressor by Michigan Instruments "Thumper". The height of the device is only 3 inches above the chest level of the patient with a total weight of 4.5 pounds excluding the pneumatic energy source. The chest compressor is powered by either compressed air or oxygen and the oxygen is scavengered for enriching inspired air. Trials on animals provide evidence that the MCC performs as effectively as the "Thumper".
Current state-of-the-art AEDs provide for no alternative other than to stop precordial compression to identify the victim's heart rhythm during the CPR. Yet interruptions of compression for as little as 10 seconds compromise outcomes. Accordingly, the capability of identifying shockable or non-shockable rhythm without interrupting precordial compression is intended. Such has been accomplished with an identifier algorithm (QRSID) which utilizes wavelet decomposition for identification of either the pressure of a QRS or its absence, compatible with VF rhythms even when corrupted by precordial compression artifacts. We have achieved a specificity of 0.95 and a sensitivity of 0.92 in experimental studies.
Vascular InterfaceA device for facilitating the administration of fluids and medication is presently in development. The system will be capable of multiple infusions of fluids or medication through a single vascular site. The system provides for a combination of up to four medications and/or fluids. Intelligence provides for automatic control of rate and volume of fluids or medication. The delivery system is by a patented Vascular Interface (Patent No. 4,638,811) and Closely Controllable Intravenous Injection System (Patent No. 4,345,594).
A disarmingly simple device has been invented to facilitate uninterrupted chest compression. It is a "blanket" which protects the rescuer from electrical shock which then may be delivered without asking the rescuer to "Step back, do not touch the patient". The voltage delivered to the hand of the rescuer is reduced from hundreds of volts to less than 50 volts. A multi-layer silicone fabric separated by a conductive material, "bleeds" the excess electrical charge back into the victim and away from the rescuer. (US Patent 6,360,125)