Fla. EMS agency receives grant for CPR compressors

Automatic chest compressors increase save rates from 3 percent to 45 percent

By Kate Irby
Bradenton Herald

BRADENTON, Fla. — The AutoPulse doesn't come cheap at about $14,000 a pop, but with 855 cardiac arrest calls in Manatee County the past two years, they could save hundreds of lives.

The AutoPulse is a machine that does automatic chest compressions for CPR. A band wraps around the chest of the patient and covers the entire thorax, performing compressions that can exactly mimic the functions of the heart. Even if a person performed CPR chest compressions with their hands perfectly, they can only mimic up to 25 percent of the function of the heart, according to Steve Krivjanik, chief of Manatee County Emergency Medical Services.

"It provides the blood flow to the body to the extent that if the heart was never in cardiac arrest," Krivjanik said. "It's probably, in my three decades of working in this industry, the single most important piece of equipment I've seen short of a defibrillator."

Read full story: Manatee County EMS gets new equipment to improve survival rate of cardiac arrest victims

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