Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Prototype Just-in-time Medical Device Enables Untrained Bystanders To Save Lives

Ergonomically designed medical device saves lives ...

"Human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) researchers at the University of Utah have created a prototype device that could make it possible for anyone -- even those with no emergency medical training -- to perform life-saving actions for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. The just-in-time support, or JITS, device provides bystanders with guidance and information on how to administer CPR and assess the state and needs of the victim. The researchers will present their work at the HFES 50th Annual Meeting at the Hilton San Francisco Hotel on Wednesday, October 18. The meeting dates are October 16--20, 2006.

About 300,000 people a year suffer sudden cardiac arrest in the United States. Sometimes the victim's life hinges on the help of bystanders, given that response time by paramedics following a 911 call is usually more than 6 minutes and that the probability of survival decreases 7--10% each minute after the incident. Studies show that less than 1% of bystanders have had CPR training, and of those, fewer than 10% retained the knowledge only a few months after training.

The JITS device prototype used in the study consisted of a dummy "victim," a pressure-sensing headrest, an anesthesia mask, defibrillator pads, and a video screen and speakers that transmit audio and visual cues to tell the user what to do and give him or her feedback about actions taken. The cues were based on American Heart Association protocols."    (Continued via ScienceDaily)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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