It’s been used in Sweden, where it was developed, for the past 10-years or so.
But the “LUCAS” device is now making its way into ambulance associations and hospitals here in the US, including Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.
Lucas is a battery-operated device that provides consistent chest compressions during CPR.
“It’s very deep. If you do cpr for more than a minute, you get very tired. You may start off with 2 inch compressions but you get tired. And you need consistent compressions, at the same depth, to be efficient.”
Jack Lasky works at Geisinger as the liason to ambulance crews, and also does a lot of training.
He and Dr. Samuel Hammerton say they have seen LUCAS not only save lives, but save lives with cognitive ability completely in tact. Something that gets more difficult as the minutes without a heartbeat tick by.
“They can drive a car, they can play cards, they can go to a restaurant. It’s a return to their lives, when beforehand they weren’t likely to survive.”
It works like this: manual chest compressions are started until lucas can be positioned, just under the armpits. With a press of a button, compressions are started, giving emergency responders time to think about how best to care for the patient next, with the most important part of the response. Taken care of.
“We’ve trained all of personnel, not just doctors and nurses. Even the clerks.”