Portable CPR kiosk provides realistic, entertaining way to train

The do-it-yourself building project from a Vt. AEMT is an interactive hands-only CPR learning activity


RICHMOND, Vt. — Vermont AEMT Luke Jackson succeeded in his goal to design and build a hands-only CPR training kiosk that is realistic and portable.

“I wanted to create something that got people excited about learning CPR, something that was totally different than the current process,” Jackson, the Richmond Rescue Inc. training coordinator, said.

The small rural EMS service runs about 600 calls per year. Richmond Rescue also offers CPR/first aid classes each month and uses the proceeds to directly help the community, usually by purchasing AEDs and placing them throughout the community.

Luke Jackson, AEMT, with the hands-only CPR kiosk he designed and built for Richmond Rescue
Luke Jackson, AEMT, with the hands-only CPR kiosk he designed and built for Richmond Rescue

“We have saturated the area with AEDs, helping us become the third HeartSAFE Community in Vermont,” Jackson said.

After running out of places to put an AED, Jackson wanted another way to use the profits from classes for public CPR outreach.

Realistic and immersive CPR learning experience

With the support of the Richmond Rescue board of directors Jackson went to work on the kiosk in early April. First he researched similar devices, but could only find the American Heart Association (AHA) kiosk in the Dallas airport.

“I liked some of the design ideas in the AHA kiosk, but it required the user to stand when doing compressions - which is unrealistic - and I wanted ours to be portable,” Jackson said.

“I also wanted to provide the most accurate experience for the user,” Jackson said.

The materials for the kiosk, including the manikin, monitor and software, were pieced together from a number of sources. The manikin came from a neighboring training center. Jackson had an unused TV for the top monitor and a refurbished Toshiba Windows OS tablet PC was purchased for $150. The estimated total cost of materials was about $1,500, double Jackson’s projected budget.

Jackson dabbled at the design and building, with several changes along the way, over six weeks and estimates he spent 200 hours on the initial kiosk. “Knowing what I know now, I could probably build the next one in 48 hours.”

The hands-only compression feedback device - a LOOP CPR Controller - is mounted inside the manikin and is powered by the LOOP software. “LOOP CPR is a Guitar Hero type game which really gets the learner involved,” Jackson said. 

A colleague suggested LED lights to further attract attention and make the device more exciting. The lights have an adjustable flash pattern that pulses to the beat of music played by the LOOP CPR software. Custom vinyl graphics adorn the sides of the finished kiosk.

Surprised by the popularity of the portable CPR training kiosk

Neighboring EMS squads want to borrow the kiosk for their public events.

“I had no idea the kiosk would be so popular,” Jackson said. “Our plan is to lend out the kiosk to whomever would like to use it, whether that be another EMS service, a school, business, shopping mall or for a public event.”

The AHA Dallas airport kiosk has been credited with a save and Jackson hopes the Richmond Rescue kiosk can contribute to a cardiac arrest save in his community.

The kiosk was designed to be portable. It weighs about 100 pounds and can be lifted into the back of an empty ambulance. Moving the kiosk to and from the ambulance is made easy with two wheels in the back and a handle in the front. The top TV monitor tilts downward so the profile of the kiosk is lower, allowing it to maybe fit in some larger SUVs or minivans.

Richmond Rescue will loan the kiosk free of charge as part of its mission to give back to the community. 

Build your own hands-only CPR kiosk

Jackson has received several requests for the supplies needed to build a hands-only CPR kiosk for other EMS do-it-yourselfers. When he has a supply list written he intends to distribute it widely.  

 

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