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Prototype Crash Cart Moves to Smithsonian

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 3, 2010

The prototype cart, 34 inches high and 79 inches long when fully extended, is outfitted with the medical equipment and pharmaceuticals used in the late 1960s and 1970s, including a pneumatic cardiac compressor, electrocardiograph, respirator, pacemaker and intubation gear.

It also recorded voice from the moment it was moved, as well as ECG, which helped with later analysis and improvements.

Nobel's statement about Max is included on the organization's website:

He called it "an assembly jig for resuscitation. It reduced the number of clinical staff needed and radically reduced the time needed to establish and maintain effective life support. It had a couple of technical innovations too, like a two-stage tuned air ejector to provide suction and a pistol grip and trigger to modulate suction. I worked with several engineers at Hamilton-Standard to develop it."

He added that Max taught me a couple of lessons that stayed with me. How arduous it is to create something, and bring it to the market, and get people to accept something new, regardless of how much better it works."

Max's new home with the Smithsonian will be in the museum's Division of Science and Medicine.

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

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