Riverside County Officials Suspend Use of CPR Device After Death
Riverside County health officials have suspended use of a cardiac support pump after a 77-year-old man who was resuscitated using the device "suffered cracked ribs and internal injuries and later died," the Los Angeles Times reports. The exact cause of the man's death remains undetermined, but county emergency medical services officials have suspended use of the device, called AutoPulse, until the case can be investigated further.
Sunnyvale-based Revivant's AutoPulse, which received FDA approval in 2004, is a life-jacket-shaped CPR device that is intended to redistribute pressure on the rib cage during chest compressions and make it possible for emergency personnel to perform other tasks. It requires one rescuer for operation, instead of the two normally required during manual CPR.
The Palm Springs man who was revived using the device was pronounced dead at a local hospital, and autopsy results later showed that the broken ribs and other injuries he experienced "lined up exactly" with where the AutoPulse was used on the man, according to Riverside County Sheriff Bob Doyle.
Michael Osur, director of the Riverside County Emergency Medical Services Agency, said, "We don't know if that particular machine was defective or if the design itself was faulty, but until we can figure out how [the man's injuries occurred], it is not to be used." He added that other emergency agencies in the state that use the device have been alerted to the case.
According to Revivant, about 600 AutoPulse devices are in use by emergency medical technicians in San Francisco, Fremont and other cities nationwide (Ramos/Pugmire, Los Angeles Times, 7/22).