By Mercy's Jeff Raymond
Imagine being able to do CPR without getting tired -- as long as a person needs it to stay alive.
The Lucas Chest Compression System never gets tired. It doesn’t have arms that get wobbly after a few minutes. It doesn’t have to work to keep the perfect rhythm to restart a stalled heart. Lucas devices fit over a patient on a gurney or bed and perform chest compressions to increase blood flow, which can restart a heart that has stopped. The devices replace human hands in performing CPR.
When a person has sudden cardiac arrest, there is a four-to-six-minute window before there is irreversible brain damage. CPR must be performed quickly, appropriately, and for as long as the patient needs before their heart regains the ability to circulate blood.
Mercy Health Foundation’s Black & White Ball and the hospital Auxiliary raised $61,500 to purchase four Lucas devices, which will be placed in each of the four Mercy Hospital ambulances. The Foundation hopes to raise money for a fifth device, which will be placed in the Mercy Hospital emergency department.
“This lifesaving device stands out more than any other piece of equipment I have seen in my four years with the Foundation,” said Foundation Director Todd Essary. “The foundation board, physicians, coworkers, auxiliary and the community all stepped up to make this happen. I am just grateful to be a part of this project for our wonderful community.”
Statistics show Lucas devices save lives. So far in 2015, Mercy responders in Ada have treated 17 cardiac arrest patients. They saved 67 percent of them using Lucas Devices. Last year, they had 50 cardiac arrest patients and were able to save 12 percent. Although Lucas devices aren’t the only factor in whether the patients survived, they clearly increased the odds of living through sudden cardiac arrest.