Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Joseph P. Ornato


There are two different physiological mechanisms that cause blood to circulate around the human body during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The "cardiac pump" generates blood flow by squeezing blood out of the heart as the sternum is depressed. The "thoracic pump" generates flow by forcing blood out of the heart and the great vessels as the intrathoracic pressure rises due to chest compression.

To date, all CPR techniques try to circulate blood during cardiac arrest by exploiting elite; the cardiac pump or the thoracic pump mechanism of blood flow. No mechanical CPR device thus far invented has tried to exploit both mechanisms at the same time. We hypothesize that a combination of the cardiac and thoracic pump mechanisms of blood flow should generate more blood flow than either alone. We have thus invented a device that performs simultaneous sterno-thoracic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (SST-CPR).

Our SST-CPR device augments blood flow to the vital organs by performing cardiac and thoracic compression simultaneously using two components. A piston provides direct sternal compression, squeezing blood out of the heart directly ("cardiac pump"). A thoracic strap and back supporting structure create circumferential thoracic constriction ("thoracic pump"). Simultaneous compression and constriction are performed by pushing the compressing piston, which directly compresses the heart and increases intrathoracic pressure by constricting the thorax. Mechanical tests have been performed. Tests have also been performed to measure hemodynamic parameters in vivo. The device has been designed to allow variation in the relative contribution of either the cardiac or thoracic pump during CPR, thus allowing better understand of the relative importance of each mechanism during CPR.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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