New Voice-Activated CPR Device May Save More Lives

By CBS News

Published 08/06 2014 03:13PM

Updated 08/06 2014 03:19PM

CBSNews -- A new voice-activated device guides the user through chest compressions at an even pace. Wisconsin creator, Joe Hanson, hopes his device will make CPR less daunting.

North Shore Fire and Rescue's Lieutenant Dan Tyk knows a heart attack can hit anywhere at anytime.

"The person is having, what we would consider, the worst day of their life," Tyk said.

Tyk has responded to 9-1-1 calls where patients could have been saved if the people who placed the call performed CPR. But along with fear, Tyk says many people don't understand what to do.

"It was telling you, you need to do CPR, but not assisting you in how to do CPR," Tyk said.

Now, that's no longer an excuse. Thanks to a hand-held, voice guided tool designed and produced in Milwaukee, more patients might survive.

"It tells you where to place your hands and it takes away the question of how to do CPR," Tyk said.

Milwaukee native Joe Hanson is both the voice and designer behind the CPR RsQ Assist. His Franklin-based company spent several years working on it before getting FDA approval this winter.

"It should bring a lot more people around to the fact that, hey, I can do this too," Hanson said.

Gone are the days of mouth-to-mouth CPR. Hanson's voice guides you through chest compression at an even pace of 100 per minute. The contact pad is sized to work on any patient and reduce the risk of cracking someone's ribs.

"If you do nothing, that victim stays dead," Hanson said. "Nothing else is going to happen. There's no other magic."

The CPR RsQ Assist isn't cheap, costing just under $80 without a wall-mounted case. But Hanson hopes schools, churches and even homeowners appreciate its benefits.

"If you're able to get one of these devices and even if you're not able to get one of these devices, take advantage of learning CPR because it can save a life," Lt. Tyk said.

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