Product Review: Mattel’s Resuscitate Me Elmo

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Pros / Thanks to his lovable and playful interactions, Resuscitate Me Elmo makes it ridiculously easy and fun to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Cons / Battery life is weak and Elmo’s chest cracks easily.

The One Liner / Resuscitate Me Elmo is a game-changer, giving patients and families a new and exciting way to better understand CPR and discuss end-of-life issues, and may be this year’s newest and most exciting fad.

For a while, it looked like Mattel wouldn’t be able to top the worldwide phenomenon that Tickle Me Elmo became when it was released in 1996.  That may change this coming Christmas season with the release of Mattel’s new Resuscitate Me Elmo.  Mattel has conquered the younger demographic and this time has its sights set on the baby-boomer generation.

“It’s time to turn our attention to our parents and grandparents,” said a spokesman for Mattel.  “Elmo loves all, young and old.  Elders no longer have to feel left out.”

Resuscitate Me Elmo is slightly smaller compared to its sprightly counterpart Tickle Me Elmo and is notably aged, tired-appearing, and cachectic.  His eyes are sunken and his once bright red fur is now pale and molting.  He has a bigger belly and is more flatulent.  He is much less flexible, with rickety and arthritic lower back, hips, and knees, and moves with assistance of a rolling walker.  He suffers from halitosis and occasional incontinence.

Without prompting, Resuscitate Me Elmo coughs, hacks, and moans, occasionally cursing the heavens.  When squeezed once, Resuscitate Me Elmo gasps and says, “That hurts, hehehehe!”  When squeezed twice, he says, “Elmo loves morphine!”  When squeezed three times in a row, Elmo says “Elmo needs to be saved, hehehehe!” and becomes unresponsive.

This is where the fun begins.

With appropriate CPR including defibrillation, Elmo blurts out phrases like “Elmo loves oxygenation!” or “That tickles!”  He provides instantaneous feedback on your compressions, so that you learn while you save.  If your form fades, then so does Resuscitate Me Elmo: “Elmo’s getting sleepy!”  If you successfully resuscitate Elmo, then Elmo rejoices, shakes, laughs, and jiggles, saying, “Elmo loves return of spontaneous circulation, hehehehe!” before asking for a hug and delving into heavier topics like code status, goals of care, and hospice.

Palliative Care teams in select hospitals across the country who have added Resuscitate Me Elmo to their rosters have noted a 100% success rate in making patients DNR (do not resuscitate) with subsequent transition to hospice.

“He makes you laugh and he makes you think,” said patient Terry Buchanan, who is now DNR.  “Elmo taught me less is more.”

He added: “Elmo loves Terry.”

Mattel’s Resuscitate Me Elmo is priced at $29.99 and includes rolling walker, hospital gown, nonrebreather, central line, and Foley.  Resuscitate Me Elmo is recommended for patients ages 18 and up.  Release date is set for November 26, 2014.  Hospital bed and ventilator sold separately.

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