Sudden cardiac arrest is the second most common cause of death in Sweden, following tumors. Annually, 10 000 persons are subject to sudden cardiac arrest outside of hospitals in the country. In 2015, 585 persons survived through resuscitation, which is the highest number since the 1992 establishment of the Swedish cardiopulmonary resuscitation registry.
Following cardiac arrest, blood circulation in the body seizes, and the brain is subject to irreversible damage within minutes. To counteract this, treatment of sudden cardiac arrest consists mainly in mechanical chest compressions - to circulate blood, combined with artificial gas exchange in the lungs - to deliver oxygen and ventilate carbon dioxide.
The clinical need addressed by this project is to improve survival statistics associated with sudden cardiac arrest. Pre-clinical pilots have demonstrated that it is possible to achieve improved circulation, combined with an increased coronary perfusion pressure when the gas flow to the patient's lungs is automatically controlled based on the phase of the chest compression cycle. We have developed this idea into a research prototype of a mobile ventilator, specifically intended to be used in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The objective of this project is to investigate the efficiency of the new method through randomized pre-clinical studies and to further develop our research prototype. The long-term project goal is to achieve a decrease in deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest.
During 2018, the results from a porcine study comparing our novel ventilation method to the state of the art were compiled into a manuscript, which has been submitted to Elsevier Resuscitation (a revised version has recently been submitted, following reviewer feedback). There are ongoing plans to incorporate the method into a commercial product and to initiate a human study.