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NEWS STORIES

Man who spends summers in Northwoods invents first-of-its-kind CPR deviceSubmitted: 07/21/2014

Lauren Stephenson
5 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
lstephenson@wjfw.com

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EAGLE RIVER - One in four Americans will need to perform CPR on someone. But 70% of those people feel helpless because they don't know what to do, according to the American Heart Association. Joe Hanson, a man who spends his summers in Eagle River, spent more than 45 years in the cardiovascular medical device industry. Over time he saw devices improve. But one thing that didn't was the survival rate of people who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest.

"2005, 2010 area, the American Heart Association and others started to look at the reason for that low survivability. And what they found was that people really hesitated to do CPR," Hanson explained.

He took a hands-only CPR class. Hands-only CPR has been recommended by the American Heart Association since 2008.

"My hands and wrists don't bend backwards very well to a 90-degree angle which you're required to do and then put your body weight on top of that, pressure to do hands-only," Hanson said. "So we started to work on the device that would make it a little bit easier, a little bit more efficient to perform hands-only."

It took three years to develop what Hanson calls the CPR RsQ Assist. It became available in April.

"The first device was a combination of a $1.79 plunger from Home Depot, a broom handle and a couple of handle bars and very simple, sort of efficient," said Hanson.

The CPR RsQ Assist is the first FDA-approved hands-only CPR device for clinical use. It guides the user through 100 chest compressions per minute. That's the right amount to give the heart a chance to refill with blood to be pumped into the brain.

"The goal is to deliver a neurologically intact patient to the emergency room. And if they can do that, the hospital can take over and really can do wonders for that victim," Hanson explained.

Fewer than 8% of people who suffer from cardiac arrest outside a hospital survive. But CPR can double or triple a victim's chance of survival, according to the American Heart Association.

"We're buying a piece of time. If we can do something meaningful with these patients within the first couple, 2-3 minutes, it really does make a large difference," Hanson said.

He hopes the CPR RsQ Assist becomes a standard household and business item, like a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm.

Hanson says people all across the country have already bought the device. Some paramedics and even a sheriff's department in Florida will keep the CPR RsQ Assist in their vehicles.

For more information on the device and to buy it, call 1-877-277-7998 or visit the website by clicking the link below.

Related Weblinks:
CPR RsQ Assist Website

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