05 July 2012
A vest with a special mineral could be used as cooling pads that work without electricity. This device will prevent neurological damage associated with reviving patients from a cardiac arrest
The system developed by scientists from the Hohenstein Institute in Bonnigheim requires no electric power, making it ideal especially for first aid in case of cardiac arrest.
During cardiac arrest the heart suddenly starts beating uncontrollably, the pulse becomes irregular. Within a few seconds the patientbecomesunconsciousandbreathing and heartbeat stop.
For those affected, every second counts from this point on, because the patient's chances of survival decrease by ten per cent with every second that passes until reanimation.Defibrillatorsuseelectricshockto restart the heartbeat. For most cardiac arrest patients, however, even successful reanimation is merely a partial success – only a few patients survive this life–saving measure without neurological damage.
This is due to parts of the brain possibly sustaining lasting damage caused by the lack of blood flow and oxygen supply during the period until the ambulance arrives. This often results in the affected becoming invalid.
To avoid this type of brain damage in future, scientists from the Hohenstein Institute have developed a new therapy method for first aiders. The scientists lead by Dirk Hofer developed the prototype of a textile cooling vest. The new type of medical productpromisesimprovedacutetreatment for cardiac arrest by very quickly cooling down the patient's body.
It has been known for a long time that cooling can protect the brain against the dreadedoxygendeficitduringalackofblood flow. They started by developing waterproof and absolutely airtight textile hollow fabric – so–called cooling pads. These were equipped with appropriate connection options and integrated into a vest. The cooling pads are connected to a metal container under vacuum pressure containing a special mineral (zeolite).
When an interposed valve is opened, the water in the pads is instantly cooled down to nearly freezing, very effectively draining body heat from the patient's body at the same time. The cooling system based on zeolite/water adsorption technology has a simple design and allows drastic lowering of the core body temperature after occurrence ofacardiacarrestatanytimeandinanyplace – without electric power.
In future the self–sufficient cooling pads are intended to complement mobile defibrillators for use by first aiders without medical knowledge e.g. in public buildings and public transport. For patients with cardiac arrest this means a much better chanceofsustainingonlyminorconsequential damage.
Ready-made functional sample of the life saving vest that cools the body to protect the brain