Saving lives - HBM force sensors in first aid

It can happen to anyone – cardiac arrest. What is then needed is maximum speed. Specially trained first-aiders are really pressed for time to employ one of the most important techniques of first aid – heart massage.

But to be able to perform heart massage safely and effectively, it is necessary to find the right point on the breastbone and to start with exactly the right measure of force.

This tightrope between saving a life and causing further injury has been resolved by the Norwegian company Laerdal Medical, which specializes in lifesaving products and training equipment, by ordering a special force sensor from HBM. When used with the relevant evaluating software, this allows the first-aider to instantly monitor the effect of the pressure.

The demands made on the sensor element to complete this task sound simple, but are really tough:

  • To be light, small and re-usable, but also stable enough to safely transmit forces of up to 700 N
  • To be robust enough to be used in the most adverse conditions and also to bear the weight of a person without damaging its measurement properties
  • To provide the international production and process documentation required for a medical device

HBM’s solution in cooperation with its customer was a special variant of a double bending beam of type DF2 with a maximum capacity of 70 kg and an overload stability of up to 150 kg.

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