'Thumper': The life-saving device that allows the Coast Guard to start CPR while a patient is being winched to safety

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The Thumper is attached to a stretcher, meaning chest compressions can begin as soon as the patient is strapped in

FOR IRISH COAST Guard crews, a cardiac arrest can be a complex situation.

It may involve winching a crew member down to the casualty in the water, lifting them out, maneuvering them into a hovering helicopter, and then beginning chest compressions and continuing until they reach a hospital. This can sometimes go on for more than an hour, leaving paramedics exhausted – that’s where a device, known as the Thumper, recently introduced into service comes in.

It’s wrapped around a patient’s chest, and automatically performs chest compressions, leaving paramedics and crew members to either focus on other aspects of patient care or to operate vital systems of the helicopter. The device can also used as part of a stretcher, meaning that as soon as the patient is in the stretcher, compressions can be begin, rather than having to wait.


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