Story Medical’s paramedics have added an advanced tool to lend critical aid to those experiencing sudden cardiac incidents. The LUCAS 3 device applies consistent, continuous chest compressions to ensure proper cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be delivered over an extended period of time.
“This is a technology that has an immediate, positive impact on the level of service we are able to provide heart attack patients in the field,” said Michelle Jans, ED provider at Story Medical. “This is an advancement that is going to literally save lives. We are proud to be able to offer this advanced level of care to our community.”
In order to be able to save the lives of sudden cardiac arrest patients and avoid neurological damage, a steady supply of oxygen to the heart and brain is necessary. Life-sustaining circulation can be created through effective and uninterrupted chest compressions. Performing manual chest compressions of high quality is both difficult and tiring, and impossible in certain situations. The quality varies depending on who provides CPR and deteriorates quickly after only one or two minutes.
The LUCAS Chest Compression System delivers hands-free compressions, allowing paramedics to give cardiac arrest patients other life-saving therapies, such as ventilation, medication and defibrillation, and to think ahead in planning the patient’s care. It also allows safer patient transport in both out-of-hospital and in-hospital situations, and makes CPR more effective from the field to the hospital. In addition, LUCAS reduces the impact of extenuating circumstances that can interrupt or affect the quality of check compressions, such as transport conditions, rescuer fatigue and rescuer experience level.
“It is of tremendous benefit to ensure that compressions are consistent,” Jans said. “But one of the less obvious benefits is that having the compressions done automatically, our paramedics are free to attend to other critical needs. By making the LUCAS 3 a part of our field response, we are essentially adding an extra set of hands. In an emergency situation, this increases the effectiveness and efficiency of our team.”
The device fits in a case about the size of a backpack and is easy for the emergency care team to store in an ambulance and transport virtually anywhere when they need to reach a patient. The unit includes a rigid, contoured board that slides under the patient. The top of the device has two wings that open and secure to the board under the patient.
The top of the device includes a rechargeable battery and “plunger” with a suction cup that performs the compressions. “The suction cup is what is key to the design and operation of this technology,” Jans said. “Because it creates suction with the chest, it not only compresses, but also pulls the chest back up. This has the potential to positively impact outcomes because it greatly increases blood flow.”
Even in the most stressful of situations, the device can be deployed in about a minute, and studies show that the mechanically controlled compressions are able to sustain a higher blood flow to the brain and heart compared to manual compressions.
“The side-effects are similar as for manual compressions,” said Jans. “The device offers compressions according to guidelines — on the middle of the chest, not more, not less.”
For more information on Story Medical’s Emergency Services team, please visit storymedical.org.