A special mattress that can make cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) nearly twice as effective as an ordinary hospital mattress has been devised by students at Michigan Technological University (MTU).
The young inventors have found that the mattress facilitates faster and more effective CPR, and are working towards releasing it in the market.
A standard hospital mattress, with six or more inches of foam, is pliable and cushiony.
Pushing down to administer CPR is like pushing on a big sponge, which makes the force to go into the mattress, and not the body lying on it.
But the new mattress has solved this problem, as it could be easily made firm by sucking the air out of the foam by just pushing button.
It makes use of some tubing, a little motor and a vacuum pump, and takes just ten seconds to work.
The researchers observed that only 43 percent of the CPR load winds up reaching the heart with a standard mattress, and it rises to 52 percent with a board underneath the mattress.
But with the MTU students' design, it leaps to 81 percent.
One of the students in the team has founded a company, and is working to get this mattress into hospitals, especially in emergency rooms.
The students expect to have a patent by September 2009, and have been talking with a number of companies that have experience bringing medical products to market.