Horizon Health Foundation Donates Hands-Free CPR Devices

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Horizon Health Foundation Donates Hands-Free CPR Devices

Never Missing a Beat

Horizon Health paramedics have a new, high-tech option to help them save lives.

Cardiac chest compressions that were once performed manually, can now be done hands-free with the touch of a button. The Horizon Health Foundation of East Central Illinois recently donated two automated CPR devices, known as AutoPulse. They are in addition to the two AutoPulses already in use by the ambulance service.

“The foundation is excited to have such a positive impact on improving patient care,” said Randi Bohannon, foundation executive director. “This donation speaks to our mission, which is to inspire support for excellent patient care and wellness programs throughout our communities.”

About AutoPulse

An AutoPulse provides cardiopulmonary resuscitation for patients with sudden cardiac arrest. The portable, battery-powered devices automatically determine the size, shape, and resistance of each individual and adjust the required compression.

“I see mechanical CPR becoming a standard of care for any emergency service that provides medical care,” said Adam Webb, Horizon Health’s emergency medical services (EMS) manager. “It allows us to provide better care for the patient.”

Thanks to the foundation’s donation, an AutoPulse is now available inside Horizon Health’s three primary ambulances and response truck. Each one is FDA-approved for adults age 18 and older and takes about 30 seconds to deploy. It can perform continuous CPR for an hour and a half with the two batteries that are kept inside each ambulance.

AutoPulse “frees up a set of hands” so EMS staff can perform other critical life-saving tasks, Webb said. It provides a continuous rate and depth of compression until stopped manually. This reduces pauses during CPR, resulting in better patient outcomes, Webb added.

The AutoPulse attaches to a soft portable stretcher. This allows rescuers to transport a patient in tight spaces – up and down stairwells and around corners – while continuing to provide CPR. Compared to manual CPR, AutoPulse has been shown to reduce interruptions in compressions during transport by more than 85 percent, Webb said.

The ambulance service has used the AutoPulse 12 times since receiving its first unit in February 2021. In addition to ambulances, the devices can be used during emergencies inside the hospital, Webb said.

“We are the only agency in Edgar County that has these,” Webb explained. However, he hopes that will change to include area fire departments and first responders.

“I’d like to see these throughout the county. They’re relatively simple to use and require minimal training,” he said.