This image from Zoll Medical Corp., maker of the AutoPulse System, shows how paramedics can move a patient who is in cardiac arrest while the AutoPulse System delivers consistent chest compressions.

This image from Zoll Medical Corp., maker of the AutoPulse System, shows how paramedics can move a patient who is in cardiac arrest while the AutoPulse System delivers consistent chest compressions.

Photo provided by Zoll Medical Corp.


Shelby board OKs Fire Department’s purchase of chest compression machines

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published April 8, 2019

 The Shelby Township Fire Department will be purchasing seven AutoPulse Systems to aid in emergency situations. The machines perform consistent chest compressions on patients in cardiac arrest.

The Shelby Township Fire Department will be purchasing seven AutoPulse Systems to aid in emergency situations. The machines perform consistent chest compressions on patients in cardiac arrest.

Photos provided by Zoll Medical Corp.

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Shelby Township Fire Department’s request April 2 to purchase seven Zoll AutoPulse Systems to be placed in each ambulance.

The AutoPulse System is used during cardiac arrest to deliver uninterrupted chest compressions.

The seven systems cost $99,540 total and include chest compression bands, batteries, chargers and cases.

The system does chest compressions automatically so that there is no interruption or exhaustion from it being done manually.

“It was demonstrated to the trustees in a work session. Unbelievable technology, and it’s so hard to believe we don’t have that right now,” said Supervisor Rick Stathakis.

Stathakis said that the AutoPulse System will increase the odds of a person surviving an emergency situation in which the person needs chest compressions.

“Studies have shown that the automated chest compression system can increase the survivability by up to 62% over manual chest compressions,” he said.

Trustee Jon Vermeulen said he agreed with the decision to purchase the AutoPulse Systems.

“I totally concur with this because it’s not only about surviving a heart attack, it’s about being able to fully recover, and that’s what really makes survivability, as Chief (Jim Swinkowski) and Lt. Rodney (Scrutchen) has said during our work session. I think this is absolutely essential,” Vermeulen said.

Scrutchen attended the meeting and explained the topic and why it is an important tool for the Fire Department.

“It’s going to assist us in CPR. The thing that’s really nice about it is that, first off, it’s going to free us up a little bit, and it does compressions exactly the way they’re supposed to be done consistently. For you guys that have had CPR or have taken the class before, it’s really a big focus on compressions. We want to make sure that we’re compressing … the chest at the right depth, and we want to make sure that we are doing the compressions at the appropriate rate,” he said.

“So the human factor is when we are doing that, we’ve got other things to do and sometimes you get caught doing something else, or you get fatigued also, so it’s hard to keep that right depth and that right rate. So this device is going to keep it correctly for us, so it’s going to do the right rate all the time; it’s going to do the right depth all the time. So it’s going to help perfuse the body; it’s going to help perfuse the brain.

“Studies have shown that with using one of these devices, the people have a greater likelihood of being viable; when I say viable, of walking out of the hospital, because it’s going to keep perfusing their brain. A lot of times we will do CPR on somebody, and just because we might get a pulse back, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those people survived that incident. So they’re going to have a greater likelihood of being able to survive because the compressions are going to be done consistently and they’re going to be done right all the time,” said Scrutchen.

He mentioned how this is a great tool for when firefighters have to carry someone. While carrying someone, firefighters can’t do manual chest compressions, but with AutoPulse, they can do both.

“It’s really a great device. We’ve used it, we’ve tested a couple devices, and our Fire Department members really like this device. It helps us when we’re moving patients. This has a built-in, almost like a tarp that goes with it, so once we hook it up to the patient, we can move them and lift them. That’s some of the problem also: So like when we’re in a hallway, you can imagine, if we have to move someone down the hallway, we have to carry them. We can’t carry them and do compressions and make sure everything’s consistent at the same time.

“So with hooking this device up, we can hook this device up, hit the button and it will just go consistently, and then that frees us up to be able to move the patient and do the other things that we have to do,” he said.

Scrutchen did a lot of the research and bidding for this purchase.

“That’s the beauty of the AutoPulse. It delivers high-quality, consistent compressions while a patient is being moved or in the back of an ambulance, freeing up medics to provide other lifesaving actions,” said Diane Egan, the public relations manager for Zoll Medical Corp.