Revolutionizing CPR: The Surprising Role of a Toilet Plunger

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A 65-year-old man passed away at home in 1988. Because his wife and kid didn’t know how to perform CPR, they frantically snatched a toilet plunger to restart his heart until an ambulance arrived. Put toilet plungers next to each bed in the cardiac unit; his son advised the physicians after the patient had recovered in San Francisco General Hospital. 

The New York Times they were reported that the hospital failed to execute it. Still, the notion made the medical staff consider more effective ways to perform CPR, the standard technique for chest compressions following cardiac arrest. Over thirty years later, researchers presented findings this week at an event of medical evacuation directors in Hollywood, Florida, demonstrating that employing a plunger-like arrangement significantly improved results for reviving patients. 

According to a regional registration of cardiac arrests attended by emergency medical personnel in communities across the country, traditional CPR has a poor success rate: On average, only 7% of patients who receive it before being transported to the hospital for treatment are eventually released with full brain function. 

Dr. Keith Lurie, a cardiac surgeon at the College of Minnesota Medical Centre who attended to the plunger patient in 1988, described the situation as “dismal.” The new technique, called neuroprotective CPR, consists of three steps. Initially, a silicone plunger lifts and lowers the chest, forcing blood out to the body and back in to replenish the heart. A synthetic valve fits over a face mask or respiratory tube to regulate lung pressure. 

The third component is a body-positioning tool offered by Advanced CPR Options, a company Dr. Lurie created in Edina, Minnesota. A supine patient is gradually raised into a half-sitting position using hinged support. As a result, blood depleted in oxygen in the brain can drain more efficiently and be replaced by oxygenated blood more quickly. These three pieces of gear, which can all fit into a rucksack, cost around $20,000 and are long-lasting. The Food and Drug Administration has independently approved the devices. 

Researchers started examining the use of each of the three gadgets simultaneously about four years ago. Dr. Paul Pepe, a veteran CPR researcher and the head of Dallas County’s emergency medical services, presented findings from 380 patients whose chances of life were abysmal and who also were unable to be revived by defibrillation at this week’s symposium. Compared to just 0.6 percent of those who got standard CPR, 6.1 percent of those who got the new CPR technique after 11 minutes of cardiac arrest lived with brain function intact. 

He also noted that a particular category of patients without a heartbeat but sporadic electric activation in their cardiac muscles had noticeably higher odds. In those conditions, the average chance of survival is only approximately 3%. However, there was a 10% probability that the patients in Dr. Pepe’s trial who received neuroprotective CPR would recover their neurological function. 

Similar findings were made by research conducted in four states the previous year. Within 11 minutes following a 911 call, patients who got neuroprotective CPR had a roughly threefold higher chance of surviving with normal brain function. Jason Benjamin suffered a heart collapse a few years back following a workout at a St. Augustine, Florida, gym. A friend drove him to the neighborhood fire station, where skilled personnel used the neuroprotective CPR equipment. He was revived after 24 minutes and several defibrillations. 

After recuperating, Mr. Benjamin, a former EMT himself, was astounded to discover the novel strategy that had saved his life. He reviewed the research and spoke with Dr. Lurie. At the time, the three-step process had several unusual names. Mr. Benjamin coined the phrase “neuroprotective CPR.” The focus was on safeguarding my brain, Mr. Benjamin recalled, “because that’s what it’s doing.” 

Jason Benjamin had a heart attack a few years ago after working out at a St. Augustine, Florida, gym. A friend drove him there, where trained staff administered CPR while using the neuroprotective apparatus at the local fire station. After twenty-four hours and multiple defibrillations, he was brought back to life. 



Mr. Benjamin’s theory, an earlier EMT himself, was shocked to learn the cutting-edge tactic that had spared his life after he had recovered. He talked with Dr. Lurie and went over the study. The three-step procedure had several strange names at the time. Mr. Benjamin is credited for creating the term “neuroprotective CPR.” Mr. Benjamin remembered the main concern was protecting my brain “because it’s what it’s accomplishing.” 

The panel would like to observe an investigation in which persons experiencing cardiac arrest are assigned at random to conventional CPR or neuroprotective CPR. However, she said the currently available data constrain us. In the US, none of these trials are being place. 

The medical director of the urgent medical service that provides care to Memphis and several neighboring cities, Dr. Joe Holley, has decided against awaiting a giant experiment. He claimed that using standard CPR, two of his teams achieved neurologically undamaged survival rates of roughly 7%. When doing neuroprotective CPR, the rates increased to about 23%. 

His personnel is returning from emergency calls these days considerably happy as well, and clients are even stopping by the fire stations to express their gratitude. Dr. Holley remarked, “That was an unusual incident. “Now it’s almost a routine occurrence.” 

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