Smart CPR Dummy Makes Sure you Do it Right

Have you ever taken a First Aid & CPR training course? Don’t you just love the realism of the dummy mannequins you get to practice on? [Park, Qurashi, & Chen], who are students of Cornell University, thought the dummies could use an intelligent upgrade.

It’s the final project for their electrical and computer engineering course ECE 4760. And what they’ve done is successfully created a budget friendly CPR not-so-dumb dummy using the venerable ATmega1284 microcontroller.

The dummy can sense when chest compressions are given, if the nose is plugged properly when breaths are given, if the head is tilted back properly to open the airway, and it even makes use of a microphone to detect if breaths are given properly! While it does this, it uses LED eyes and an LCD screen to provide training feedback to the student. Once the students are sufficiently practiced, it also has a “real” mode that doesn’t give you any feedback to make sure the students truly learned the technique.

There’s tons of information on their final report, so if you happen to teach First Aid and want to do something different — check it out by clicking the link above. We really like the idea of enhancing training equipment, like this realistic heart rhythm simulator that [Addie] built.

Oh and talk about coincidence, I had just taken a First-Aid training course last week! And having to pretend to give CPR to the current dummy on the market… they could definitely use an upgrade.

14 thoughts on “Smart CPR Dummy Makes Sure you Do it Right

    1. Or not. People don’t throw up when they still have a pulse. People throw up when they are still conscious and breathing. If someone has a pulse but is not conscious nor breathing then you need to perform CPR anyway.

      Hence a pulse check is no longer a part of the process.

  1. I remember practicing on these back at Uni every three months for three years. I think the commercial ones cost about 20K NZD and that was in 99. Nice job. nything ‘medical’ costs 10 times what you would think.

  2. Changes have been made recently to CPR due to finding that chest compression alone works well enough to get air in and out of the lungs. Keeping the blood moving and carrying oxygen is more important.

    1. False. Changes have been made to CPR to recommend chest compression alone, only when someone witnesses the sudden collapse of an adult without prior breathing problems. The reason is as you suggested, someone otherwise healthy suddenly collapsing is likely due to a cardiac arrest and benefits greatly from circulation alone.

      On the other hand if you find someone who collapses as a result of being unable to breath, or drowns, suffers from a drug overdose, is a child, or you didn’t witness the collapse and the person is not breathing when you arrive, the older 30 compression – 2 breath rule still applies if you are able to do so.

      Now they also recommend for self protection from disease that you only apply the breaths if you are comfortably able to do so, i.e. you know the person, or you have a breathing barrier / mask. Otherwise you’re still exposing yourself to potential disease.

  3. “Smart CPR Dummy Makes Sure You Do it Right, by Introducing Itself, Befriending You, Getting to Know You for Years, then Simulating a Coronary While Alone in an Elevator With You, Faking its Own Death, and Leaping Out of the Coffin at the Funeral and Publicly Chastising You for Incorrect Technique Back in the Elevator.”

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