350,000 people get cardiac arrest in the US every year. Out of this only 8% to 12% people survive. For most people who suffer cardiac arrest at home (90%) or hospitals (10%), the most immediate care is Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). CPR is performed by compressing the chest by hand at a high force, rate and depth. The American Heart Association (AHA) has provided strict guidelines on how CPR must be performed. However, most people, including 60% of trained professionals, find it tough to perform the CPR accurately, reducing its efficacy. Today, in the U.S., almost 40% of people know how to perform CPR while this number is shockingly low in developing nations. The CPR training is carried out using a mannequin based simulator. Good simulators that give objective feedback generally tend to be very expensive and can cost anywhere from $3000 to $60,000. Most of the common CPR dummies provide no feedback. My work on CPR was a result of my passion in reducing deaths due to cardiac arrest.
A Personal Story
When I was 11 or 12 years old, my dad told me that he lost his father when he was around my age. This surprised me because it never occurred to me that my father was so young when my grandfather had passed away. He told me that my grandfather had passed away due to cardiac arrest and everyone stood around him and watched him die and perhaps CPR could have saved him. This made an impression on me and I wondered what if my dad or grandmother knew CPR? I did research on CPR in 2014 and was surprised to read that even today most people do not know how to perform CPR and was most shocked to know that in India less than 1% of the people survive today after cardiac arrest because only about 4% of the population know about CPR.
That is when I got the idea of developing a low-cost simulator which can provide accurate feedback to the trainee that can be used anywhere in the world. I designed a CPR simulator for $50 which provided most of the advanced metrics that the expensive CPR simulators do. In 2016, I submitted my invention to the Discovery and 3M Young Scientist Challenge (YSC) and was pleasantly surprised to be selected as one of the ten national finalists.
I created CPR Saves website to create awareness about CPR and to spread the word around that you can build your own simulator too for very little. cprsaves.org is a result of my two years of research and invention.