New SD project, automatic CPR devices, to improve cardiac car - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

New SD project, automatic CPR devices, to improve cardiac care

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Friday morning, Governor Dennis Daugaard announced a new project at the state capitol aimed at advancing cardiac care in our rural state.

A high-tech automatic CPR machine will be placed in every hospital emergency room and with every ambulance service statewide to increase cardiac arrest survival rates. 

South Dakota has received $3.7 million in funding over three years from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to purchase lifesaving equipment that can increase survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest.

And for those who work in hospitals, it will change the way they can save lives.

Sudden cardiac arrest is fatal for 95 percent of its victims and it's a leading cause of death in our country.

In South Dakota, those numbers will soon go down with 'LUCAS', an automatic CPR machine to decrease the rate of death and increase survival. For regional hospitals like Avera St. Mary's in Pierre, and many rural medical centers statewide, this project means a lot.

"It's an awesome gift for everyone from our patients to staff. It's really going to help provide better patient care," SIMSD Coordinator Kandi Zackery said.

Better care simply by pressing a button.

"It's the consistency of the compressions. If you've never done CPR for a long time, it's exhausting, it's physically and emotionally exhausting. This machine allows you to give appropriate, consistent depth and rate and compressions so you can focus on the IV's, the drugs, respirations," Zackery said.

Having lost a friend of his own to sudden cardiac arrest, Governor Daugaard knows this project is vital to keeping people alive.

"It is a life or death situation that this responds to. So we're very lucky and grateful that the Helmsley trust is recognizing another opportunity to use technology to help us meet the needs we have across the state," Governor Daugaard said.

Within the next six to nine months, more than 50 emergency departments and more than 120 ambulances will start to see the LUCAS to improve patient care. The project will be fully implemented within two years.


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