Saturday, April 23, 2011

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Jumping the Gun

Last month, Zoll Medical Corporation sent out a sexy advertisement to members of the NAEMSP (National Association of EMS Physicians) and State Medical Directors. It suggested that results of a clinical cardiac arrest study called the CIRC (Circulation Improving Resuscitation Care) trial would all but confirm the superiority of the company's AutoPulse automatic CPR device (load-distributing band device).

Now the CIRC trial was no doubt big - international, in fact. And there were sites in the US. While it ended in January 2011, the data from the trial (which, by the way, was funded by Zoll), have not been totally entered, much less analyzed. Amongst the recipients of the glossy, color, pre-publication CIRC trial results announcements from Zoll were some pretty savvy docs, researchers, and State EMS Directors who immediately wondered about this. Especially since Zoll had announced to their investors in January 2011 that the AutoPulse was equivalent to manual CPR, not superior.

So, a retraction. A second mailing on April 11, 2011 to the members of NAEMSP and State Medical Directors from Ward Hamilton, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Zoll, apologized for distributing what appeared to be inside information about the CIRC trial results. No such inside information exists, according to Hamilton. Zoll, like the rest of us, await publication of the final results. For sure.

For now, let's go with the original release to investors: the AutoPulse is equivalent to manual CPR. Isn't that what the Emergency Cardiac Care Guidelines 2010 said? I think so. They rated AutoPulse Class IIb concluding that, "there is insufficient evidence to support the routine use... in cardiac arrest." So let's not jump the gun.

Mike McEvoy
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