Can a Machine perform CPR better than a Human?

by Paul Martin -

Over the last few years, I have seen a number of stories about machines that can perform CPR.  Personally, they kind of scare me.  I think of all the things that can potentially go wrong with a machine performing chest compressions, and the time that it could take to get it set up for proper depth of chest and in the proper location.

On the other hand, when a person does CPR, they may not properly compress to the appropriate depth and waste a lot of time by not doing proper compressions.

The device is called LUCAS 2, and according to Dr. Kenneth Deloge, it is more effective than human professionals.  The rate of survival among patients who receive chest compressions from the machine is 20% higher than when professionals gave the chest compressions.

The LUCAS 2, however, is cost prohibitive like many medical devices.  It costs approximately $13,000.

There are other advantages to the machine that remind me of the High Performance CPR techniques that I learned about a few weeks ago.  It can continue to do chest compressions in situations where humans can not, providing uninterrupted compressions.  The device is, in part, based on hands-only CPR.  New research has shown that the body stores enough oxygen to stay alive for seven minutes, but the body also needs constant blood flow, which is provided by chest compressions, when the heart stops pumping blood for itself.

-via Concord Monitor | LUCAS 2 website with more information

Would you trust a Machine or a Professional Rescuer to perform better Chest Compressions?

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  1. Greg Loftus

    Having never seen this piece of kit it is hard to say. I would hope that it has quickly adjustable compression depth settings allowing fast change over from Adult to infant and a compression rate that is quickly adjusted.
    Machines when well designed eliminate much guess work in many instances. Seems to be at least 20% more effective which is a lot. in this case

  2. Carol Nelson

    The increased survival rate apears impressive, but, how long is the machine programmed to continue chest compressions on unresponsive patients. I’ve seen stories of compressions administered by humans long after a medical professional would have pronounced death and way above and beyond what would have been considered useful, resulting in with successful outcomes.

  3. sonia

    this is a new development. but i still think human can perform cpr better than a machine cos a professional who has a good knowledge of anatomy and physiology will perform cpr using the correct dept and knowing when to stop or when to continue. it is also likely that a non professional would place the maching wrongly,thereby waistig time and effort.

  4. Domen

    We use it all the time and I think it’s great. When we come to the scene where CPR is needed and if we have LUCAS it takes up to 1 min. to positioned it correctly. So for 1 min we need someone who will perform CPR and after this time this rescuer can do other things such establish IV route, rescue breading, intubation, place QuickCombo electrodes (as we use LifePak defibrillators) etc. Plus LUCAS doesn’t get tired.
    It is programmed to do 30:2 CPR with 2 min intervals for vital signs evaluation and non-stop CPR when the patient is intubated with 2 min intervals for vital signs evaluation.
    It is easy to work with LUCAS and very practical mechanical rescue worker…

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