Georgia Tech students invent 'CPR for dummies' device

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Standing on the field at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium in Midtown Atlanta, Ryan Williams and his friends can envision a very scary scenario.

It's game day, the stadium is packed, and right next to you, someone collapses.

There's no help in sight.

What do you do?

Williams, a fifth-year computer engineering student at Tech, knows the answer, because he trained in CPR as a lifeguard, back in home in Las Vegas.

 "So, I've actually performed CPR once, live," Williams says. "And I've assisted in a couple of other emergency situations." 

Williams says none of the individual steps involved in CPR is difficult.

"But, putting them all together and remembering them, when someone's life is on the line, that's when it becomes really hard," he says. "Even more, we would have lifeguards and all they do is train. And then they get to a situation, and someone is dying, and then, all of a sudden everything is gone. They forget everything they know."

That's where a new device called "CPR +" comes in.

"We wanted to replicate the process of walking up and saving someone," says Williams.

He teamed up with fellow Georgia Tech engineering students Samuel Clarke and David Ehrlich to design CPR+, a device they joke is "CPR for dummies." The team already has a provisional patent. 

"So you flip it on and it instantly tells you, 'Apply this to victim's face," says Clarke.

"Next, it tells you to put the earlobe heart sensor on."

The device tracks the patient's heart rate and breathing, guiding you through the process of saving a life, and giving you feedback on how you're doing.

""It will immediately tell you to perform chest compressions or to perform ventilations, as appropriate," says Ehrlich.

Williams knew a lot about CPR, but Clarke and Ehrlich had either no training, or very little training, before they took on this project.

"So I was able to bring this perspective of, 'What's a chest compression?'" Clarke says.

"And I would have gone right into mouth-to mouth-rescue breaths, which is not actually what you're supposed to do," Ehrlich counters.

That's the genius of CPR+.  

It is designed to be simple enough to help anyone, even you, save a life.

"We've spent a lot of time looking at how do we make this really easy to use. really easy for anyone to use," says Williams.

If you would like more information about the project:

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