Paul Harkness, who has been EMT Director for the Macedon Town Ambulance for the last 3 years, is excited with the new equipment now in service on the two ambulances. “We will now be able to further assure life-saving capabilities for our patients,” said Paul.
Two new Lucas2 automatic Compressive Systems were delivered and ready for operation on January 1, 2014.
The LUCAS® Chest Compression System is designed to help improve outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest victims and improve operations for medical responders. Performing at least 100 compressions per minute with a depth of 2”, LUCAS can be deployed quickly with minimal interruption to patient care.
“We have seen return of spontaneous circulation (restarting of the heart) in many cases where it has been in use around the County.
Effective chest compressions deliver vital oxygen to the brain and can prime the heart for a successful shock. Maintaining sufficient coronary perfusion pressure during cardiac arrest improves the likelihood of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC).1
However, as any rescuer or caregiver knows, performing manual CPR according to current AHA guidelines is difficult and tiring. In fact, many organizations have added extra staff to cardiac arrest calls to switch out rescuers performing compressions.
“It does help by taking the fatigue of manual compressions away from the ALS and BLS technicians, so they can focus on other things, like airway clearing and administration of medications. “Unlike manual compressions, which are done for 30 second and then compressions are stopped while two breaths are given to the patient, this device is continuous,” said Harkness.
A person on the scene with a victim, can begin manual compressions and, when our ambulance arrives, it takes only about 15 seconds to get the unit on the victim and is operational within 30 seconds. There are straps that keep the persons arms over their head and secure and a strap that slides under the machine to hold it in place. “You could literally stand a person up and the machine would keep working,” said Harkness.
The Lucas is portable and easy to use, even by an untrained person. It is lightweight, carried in a simple backpack with the straps and a spare battery pack. It can be used to a patient on the ground, in a bed, or on a stretcher in am ambulance.
LUCAS can help keep responders safe. In a mobile environment, rescuers can be safely seat-belted in the back of an ambulance while LUCAS delivers compressions. In a hospital environment, LUCAS may help decrease occurrences of back injuries sustained while delivering CPR, as rescuers will no longer have to deliver prolonged CPR on a bed.
The two units, which the Town Ambulance was able to purchase for about $28,000 from Physio-Control, will remain in the two ambulances. There is not one currently in the Medic 80 fly car, but one could be moved to that vehicle to use. “We are also available to respond to a call to aid a nearby town should they have the need,” said Paul.