New Technology is a Lifesaver

Friday, September 29, 2017
Mechanical Chest Compression Training
Left to right: Tiffany Painter and Renee Pullen

Every day – 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days each year – residents of our community are brought to the Augusta Health Emergency Department seeking care and treatment. Some are in critical condition and need immediate intervention. One such intervention when a heart stops is Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). It saves lives. CPR Compressions keep blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until medical treatment can be given. Without CPR, blood flow stops, organs begin to die, and survival is not possible.

Another key to survival is for CPR to be consistently given, without pause and with high rates of compression. "Mechanical compression devices, such as the one provided by a grant from the Augusta Health Emergency Department, literally save lives," explained Adam Rochman, MD, Medical Director of the department. "Because CPR is physically demanding, provider fatigue is common. It is often impossible for a human being to continue to give CPR as long as it is needed at the rate and compression level required."

Mechanical compression devices perform consistent CPR, without the incident of fatigue that comes from compressions by a physician, nurse or caregiver. This critical device improves spontaneous circulation in a patient, and in some studies, has improved the rate of survival after cardiac arrest.

"Another advantage of the mechanical chest compression system is that we can run a more organized 'code' when cardiac arrest happens. Before we had this system, we had to continually rotate out several providers to continue the CPR. With this new device, the mechanical system can consistently and at a high rate, deliver the compressions, so the staff is able to perform the multitude of other, very necessary procedures, that need to be done during a cardiac arrest," added Dr. Rochman.

Tami Radecke, Executive Director of the Augusta Health Foundation, says, "We are grateful to donors in and beyond our community who make gifts to support the Augusta Health Patient Care Fund. It is because of their generosity that we are able to provide this life-saving equipment to the Emergency Department. In 2017, the Foundation was able to fund six innovative projects at Augusta Health that improve the patient care experience, the quality of the care provided, and decrease the cost of care."

Augusta Health Foundation's mission is to inspire community ownership through charitable giving to advance health and wellness in our region. The Foundation is the charitable arm of Augusta Health and supports essential patient care programs and services at Augusta Health, including Augusta Health Hospice of the Shenandoah. For more information about Augusta Health Foundation, please visit the website, https://www.augustahealth.com/foundation.

Augusta Health is an independent, community-owned, not-for-profit hospital whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of its community through access to excellent care. Named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in America by Thomson Reuters/Truven in both 2011 and 2012, Augusta Health has also been nationally recognized by Health Grades as one of America's 50 Best Hospitals for clinical excellence and patient safety for three consecutive years. For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please visit the website, https://www.augustahealth.com.