We're trialling a mechanical CPR device. Imagine an ironing board that you lie the patient on and it does chest compressions for you.
We tried it on resusci annies, then we tried it on full size dummies.
And then we took it to the fire college and hauled their 80kg rescue dummies up and down a six storey training tower, all soot and stairs and haunted leaning furniture, while the machine hammered on their sternums a hundred times a minute.
People always complain that we don't test gear “where you'll use it, in a high flat, or down a stairwell.”
We tested it.
Then, three days ago, I hauled ass to a cardiac arrest and strapped it across the chest of a woman who we all suspected wouldn't make it out of the house, let alone to hospital.
And it cramped and squeezed her chest and poured blood into her heart muscle which began to twitch and then beat as normal.
And that heartbeat produced enough blood pressure to push oxygen to her respiratory centres and she started breathing spontaneously.
And instead of leaving a corpse on the landing for the mortuary workers to zip into a black bag and bump down the stairs?
We took a very sick mother, wife and sister to hospital and called her family to come say goodbye.