A Medical Device Daily

ZOLL Medical (Chelmsford, Massachusetts), a manufacturer of resuscitation devices and related software solutions, reported receiving approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) to market its AutoPulse Non-invasive Cardiac Support Pump to hospitals and emergency medical services in that country.

The product will be sold through its exclusive distributor in Japan, Nihon Kohden (Tokyo), Japan's largest distributor of medical equipment. In May 2006, ZOLL announced a five-year agreement with Nihon Kohden to market and sell the AutoPulse in Japan (Medical Device Daily, May, 26, 2006).

“We are pleased to help bring this new CPR assist device to hospitals and emergency personnel in Japan,” said Masami Sugiyama, general manager of Import Business Operations, Nihon Kohden. “We believe that this technology has great potential to help professional rescuers improve resuscitation efforts.”

There are an estimated 9,500 hospitals and 88,000 clinics in Japan. In addition, Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency notes that there are about 900 fire defense headquarters around Japan staffed with special rescue teams to provide emergency services.

The AutoPulse is an automated, portable device with a simple, load-distributing LifeBand that squeezes the entire chest in a consistent, uninterrupted “hands-free” manner, delivering maximum blood flow to the heart and brain. Additionally, it offers the benefit of freeing up rescuers to focus on other life-saving interventions.

Canadian researchers develop EMT guidelines

Canadian researchers have devised guidelines aimed at helping emergency medical technicians (EMTs) decide when to halt resuscitation procedures for cardiac arrest patients outside hospital.

Dr. Laurie Morrison, lead author, University of Toronto, said the guidelines would help paramedics and doctors decide which patients have the best chance of surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. “Most people die in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The survival rate is very low, and we want to be able to identify where further resuscitation is futile and where we could instead support the family. For those that survival is a possibility, we want to get them to the emergency department.”

The new guidelines suggest that resuscitation efforts should stop if:

  • Before transportation, no return of spontaneous circulation took place.
  • The patient received no shock before transportation started.
  • The EMS staff did not eyewitness the cardiac arrest.

The authors of the new guidelines studied records of 1,240 patients in 24 Canadian emergency medical systems. All adult cardiac arrest patients were treated by EMTs trained to use automated external defibrillators. All the patients were followed-up. They found that the guidelines were extremely accurate — predicting death in 99.5% of cases, when termination of resuscitation efforts was recommended. Currently, 100% of patients are taken to an emergency rooms. By following these guidelines only 37.4% of patients would be taken to an emergency room. The guidelines appear in the Aug. 3 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

GE expands effort in Africa

GE (Fairfield, Connecticut) reported expansion of its philanthropic initiative to improve primary healthcare facilities in Africa through a new cooperative effort with The Earth Institute at Columbia University. GE in-kind donations from healthcare, water, energy and electrical system products will benefit more than a dozen hospitals near Millennium Village Project (MVP) sites where The Earth Institute is working with communities and governments in 10 African nations.

MVP is designed to help rural Africa achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals — eight objectives to accelerate the reduction or end of extreme poverty, hunger, disease, inequality and other pressing issues facing the poorest countries.

GE said that its contributions will range from healthcare and power generation equipment to water filtration systems, appliances and lighting. Additionally, the company said it will provide the training and support to ensure ongoing use and maximum community benefit.

The project will commence with capacity assessments to be initiated by GE experts during the summer of 2006. This effort by GE Healthcare, GE Infrastructure and GE Industrial is part of the parent company's five-year, $20 million project to provide a combination of equipment and services to improve community health and reduce infant and maternal mortality in selected sites throughout Africa.

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