95% of the people who have sudden cardiac arrest die from it which ends up taking more than 300,000 American lives a year making CPR and defibrillation critical in the early minutes. We want to introduce you to LUCAS, the newest addition to the Avera Heart Hospital that has a humane name, but machine like life-saving capabilities.
Registered Nurse Jean Skonhuvd is the Emergency Services Director at the Avera Heart Hospitaland this piece of equipment is LUCAS: a hands-free automated CPR machine that can do what humans can't do with the degree of consistency and power.
Jean says, "It cuts down on interruptions in CPR, it frees up our hands so we can do other things, like defib them while LUCAS is running and we don't have to stop. We don't have to change people every 2 minutes, it is really designed to go down 2 inches in depth during compression and constantly goes 100 times a minute which is very very very difficult for people to do."
If the patient goes into cardiac arrest, a code blue is called and the staff immediately starts doing manual CPR while someone else gets the LUCAS.
Jean says, "It also allows for complete recoil of the chest. When you are in the middle of manual compressions, the adrenaline is going and often time people don't allow the chest to come up. When the chest recoils it pulls the blood back into the heart. The next compression pushes back through the body which is very important."
When they were first testing out Lucas last year at the Avera Heart Hospital, they'd only had it for 3 days when a patient in the ER coded (the patient had no pulse, no blood pressure and was unconscious) they immediately put LUCAS on them and brought them back to life. That day they (AHH) bought 2 of the machines. One stays in the Heart Hospital's Emergency Department, the other is on the 2nd floor of the hospital where patients recover.
Jean says, "If you do CPR on a patient and it's not effective CPR, it really isn't doing the patient any good. This just provides much better CPR and circulation than we can do manually."
If the folks at the Avera Heart Hospital who are trained to be proficient in CPR say LUCAS is the better at resuscitating patients, you should rest easier knowing you are in the right place if your heart gives out.
Officials with the Heart Hospital say their survival rate has increased since they purchased the 2 LUCAS CPR machines back in 2008.