ZOLL Medical Corp’s new ResQCPR System, designed to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), is now available nationwide.

The ResQCPR System is a combination of two medical devices, the ResQPUMP ACD-CPR device and the ResQPOD Impedance Threshold Device (ITD). The devices are used together during CPR to create an enhanced vacuum in the chest that improves blood flow to the brain and vital organs during states of low blood flow such as cardiac arrest.

“The ResQCPR System provides intrathoracic pressure regulation (IPR) therapy, which non-invasively improves circulation to vital organs without the use of pharmaceutical or other agents during CPR by enhancing the negative pressure or vacuum in the chest,” said Keith Lurie, MD, Chief Medical Officer of ZOLL Minneapolis and inventor of the ResQCPR System. “If implemented widely in the United States, the ResQCPR System could save thousands of additional lives from cardiac arrest every year.”

Lurie added that the inspiration that led to the ResQCPR System dates back to 1985 when he was at the San Francisco Medical Center and chanced upon a patient whose son used a toilet plunger on his father when the CPR he administered wasn’t effective.

“It occurred to me that not only did the plunger serve as an effective chest compressor, but the suction between the chest wall and the plunger generated significant negative pressure to enhance blood flow back to the heart,” Lurie said.

The device is already helping to save lives by early adopters of the technology, which include EMS services in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia and Texas, according to ZOLL.

The device combination was shown in a large clinical trial to improve survival to one year from out-of-hospital, non-traumatic cardiac arrest by 49% when compared to treatment with conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). According to the FDA, the ResQCPR System is the first and only CPR device indicated to improve the likelihood of survival in adults who have experienced non-traumatic sudden cardiac arrest.

“We’ve only had the ResQCPR System in the field for eight weeks, and we’re already seeing an impact on survival. Our initial experience with the devices has been very positive,” Joe Holley, MD, FACEP, medical director of Memphis EMS, said in a ZOLL press release. “Our paramedics and EMTs in Memphis County say it’s very intuitive, lightweight, and portable.”