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St. Paul Paramedics and EMTs Honored for Saving Lives Using Experimental Equipment

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- St. Paul paramedics and emergency medical technicians were honored Wednesday for saving more than 300 heart attack patients during a clinical trial of two experimental suction devices.

For 3 1/2 years, they have been using the ResQPump and the ResQPod during cardiopulmonary resuscitation as part of a clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The devices are used on patients in cardiac arrest. The purpose of the trial is to determine the effectiveness of the devices against standard CPR.

The ResQPump works somewhat like a household plunger and increases blood flow to the heart by creating a vacuum in the chest cavity. The ResQPod fits atop the device that paramedics place over a patient's mouth during CPR. The pod regulates how oxygen is inhaled and exhaled during resuscitation, ultimately increasing the flow of blood to the heart.

Dr. R.J. Frascone, medical director of Regions Hospital Emergency Medical Services and the St. Paul Fire Department and St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler conducted today's ceremony, the second of 17 celebrations that will be held throughout the summer. More than 250 paramedics and EMTs who have used the devices to resuscitate patients will be honored, with some getting multiple recognition, said Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard.

St. Paulis one of several cities involved in the trial. The others are Minneapolis, Oshkosh, Wis., Royal Oak, Mich., Ann Arbor, Mich., and Whatcom County in northwest Washington.

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