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New CPR board created in Edmonton to help with COVID-19 resuscitation

Last Updated Sep 21, 2020 at 3:54 pm EDT

EDMONTON — A new piece of medical equipment created at the University of Alberta may help doctors find a quicker and safer way to resuscitate patients who go into cardiac arrest due to COVID-19.

The novel coronavirus can create complications in the lungs, and many patients are placed on their bellies to improve ventilation.

Matthew Douma, an assistant adjunct professor of critical care medicine at the U of A, says if patients go into cardiac arrest, doctors have to turn them onto their backs to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

Turning patients can cause delay and put doctors at risk because they have closer contact with infected patients.

Douma says he’s part of a group that has created a new CPR board that can be placed under patients while they are prone, with a piece that adds pressure to the chest area while medical staff do compressions on their backs.

The U of A says 10,000 people have already downloaded the design for the board and five hospitals in Brazil are using it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press