CPR Glove Invention Never Made it to Fruition

Back in 2007 two students from McMaster University developed a CPR glove. It made national headlines as every news agency became enthralled with the idea of such a unique invention by a few university students. So what was this CPR glove and what did it do?

Well before we discuss the purpose of such a glove, lets talk about CPR in general. There are few things we need to look at when looking at CPR. We know that every CPR contains three main components.

A. Airway
B. Breathing
C. Compressions

Lets leave out the format for a second whether its CAB or ABC. Either way its always going to be the three items that we have mentioned above. Now we know that many people are afraid of giving breaths. This is understandable. Who walks around with a CPR shield or mask. No one except maybe a trained professional or someone who just finished taking a CPR course. With that being said, people will be resistant to doing breaths on a complete stranger. They might even resist doing breaths on a family member. This is why compression only CPR may be so important. With that we focus on giving compressions.

The whole topic of Compression only CPR is best left for another post but here we could touch on it briefly. Compression only CPR should not be confused as a recommended approach. Its not preferred to performing the entire CPR sequence on someone who is unconscious. If one can, the ideal situation would be to provide rescue breaths and ongoing breaths during the entire sequence. But lets face it, in a real world scenario people are not going to put their mouth on someone they dont know. Certainly not with the various diseases running around today. So this is why Compression only CPR is so important. With Compression only CPR we need to know two things. 1. Why is it recommended? 2. How does it work?

Compression Only CPR – Is it recommended?

Its not recommended but its a good alternative to CAB, ABC since people simply do not want to put their mouths on someone else. The idea is that since there is enough oxygen in a person’s blood even if they are not breathing when one performs compression only CPR the oxygenated blood gets to where its needed most – the brain. So by doing compressions you are supplying the whole body with oxygenated blood. Believe it or not there is enough oxygen in the blood to supply the whole body for the time needed until help arrives. So the most important activity in a victim suffering from a heart attack is pumping the heart by doing compressions.

CPR Glove to the rescue – or not

So with everything I said above, what exactly is the purpose of this CPR glove. Given the importance of compressions for saving the life of a victim of a heart attack, the CPR glove measures if the compressions are fast and deep enough. These two measures, depth and speed, are the two most important criteria in successful CPR. Almost all CPR agencies will teach students to “push hard, push fast”. So measuring a student or healthcare provider compression depth and speed is exactly what the CPR glove is designed to do. However, in the real world people do not carry around even a CPR mask let alone a CPR glove. In healthcare institutions, nurses, doctors and other healthcare practitioners are trained to push hard and fast. Furthermore, Many institutions train with advanced manikins that provide feedback on the quality of the compressions and therefore purchasing an additional device just to measure the quality of compressions isnt necessary. Even some of the inexpensive manikins that are used today produce a clicking sound when the right depth of compression is reached.

The key here is that with the right training, such a glove is simply not necessary.