Friday, July 29, 2005

ResQPump in the Twin Cities

This is a famous case in resuscitation lore. It's interesting that they're going to try again. From Yahoo News.

For a clinical trial, paramedics in St. Paul and Minneapolis will be testing experimental suction devices on heart attack patients without their prior consent.

While informed consent is a staple of most medical research, exceptions are allowed when the consent impedes potentially lifesaving research that can't be completed any other way.

Hospital and emergency medicine leaders believe the devices will increase the number of survivors of heart attacks.

The tests will begin in September in St. Paul, Minneapolis and three other cities across the country.

"The survival rate from cardiac arrest has remained stagnant for the last 40 years," said Dr. Keith Lurie, a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota who co-invented the device. Lurie formed Advanced Circulatory Systems Inc., an Eden Prairie company that now makes the two devices that will be tested in the study.

One is the ResQPump, which works somewhat like a household plunger and increases blood flow by manipulating the chest cavity.

The other is the ResQPod, which fits atop the device that paramedics place over a patient's mouth during CPR. The pod expedites the flow of blood into the lungs by regulating how oxygen is exhaled and inhaled during resuscitation.

St. Paul paramedics were testing an early version of the ResQPump in 1992. But the trial was stopped when federal officials discovered that paramedics were testing the devices without gaining informed consent.

The St. Paul case inspired new regulations in 1996 that allowed waivers of consent in crisis scenarios.


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