New Device Assists Crews Responding to Cardiac Arrests
An idea that originated at a university in Lund, Sweden can now be seen in action on the streets of Madison.
The Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System, more commonly known as the LUCAS device, is a battery-powered device used to provide mechanical chest compressions during cardiac arrest for patients both in and out of the hospital setting.
The availability of these LUCAS devices was made possible by local philanthropists through the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine at UW Health.
The Madison Fire Department added this device to its arsenal a few months ago. You will now find one on each of the five ladder trucks in the city and dispatched along with the ladder crew to all cardiac arrest responses.
When the situation warrants, the LUCAS device is placed around the patient’s upper torso, and the attached plunger is brought down and positioned over the patient’s heart. The device is then powered on and set to provide compressions at a consistent depth and rate.
One of the many benefits of the LUCAS device is its ability to provide consistent, high-quality compressions. This allows MFD personnel to perform other life-saving measures while the LUCAS device performs compressions.
Other goals in adding these devices to MFD’s toolbox include providing better and longer resuscitation efforts in the field; performing consistent, high-quality CPR during transport to the hospital in a manner that is safe for both the patient and MFD; and delivering patients to the hospital for further medical care.
This post was authored by Firefighter/Paramedic Bree Bower.