A recent article in The Oregonian outlines a quiet revolution that has been taking place among first responders here in Oregon. According to the newspaper, in the months since Multnomah County EMT teams began using CPR machines as an everyday part of their work officials say the results have been exceptional, making them a key asset in the fight against deaths from Oregon traffic accidents.
The Oregonian reports that the county’s EMS medical director “believes mechanical CPR is as good or better than the hands-on version.” Where it particularly shines is in a moving ambulance, where anecdotal evidence indicates that it is almost always an improvement over humans attempting to administer CPR with one hand instead of two as they struggle to maintain their balance. Multnomah County has put 16 CPR machines into service since last fall and “plans to add 12 more by the end of the year, officials said” making it by far the largest user of the machines in Oregon.
Though there are several different models on the market, the most common design “consists of a backboard that’s slipped under the patient, a U-shaped device that’s affixed over the patient and (a) plunger attached to a suction cup that sticks to the chest – pushing it down and pulling it back up. The whole thing fits in a duffel bag… and can perform CPR while a patient is being moved on a stretcher or simultaneously with a defibrillator.”
The machines cost $12-15,000 each, but it is clear that the people who use them every day feel the investment is well worth it. As a Portland car accident attorney it is good to see these machines coming into increasingly widespread use both in Portland and throughout our state (the paper lists Gresham, Lake Oswego, Clackamas and Boring as other cities and counties using CPR machines). Anything that improves the chances of surviving an Oregon car, pedestrian or bicycle accident is to be welcomed.
The Oregonian: CPR machines come to Multnomah County AMR