December 3, 2014

Ambulance squad welcomes new ‘member’

By Annette Tait
Members of the Oliver County Ambulance Service were recently introduced to their new squad member, LUCAS – an automated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) machine capable of providing consistent, quality chest compressions for up to 45 minutes per battery, and can be used in situations when quality manual CPR is difficult or almost impossible to maintain.
“LUCAS allows greater flexibility in moving patients as the device’s backboard provides the hard surface needed for CPR,” Emergency Medical Services Instructor and Paramedic Tyler Kientopf said, noting that the device can be used while transporting a patient down stairs, through narrow hallways or to the ambulance.
Fatigue, and vehicle movement during are also factors than can affect the quality of manual CPR.
“LUCAS provides consistent, efficient CPR safely even as you’re going down the highway,” Kientopf said.
Sudden cardiac arrest -- when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops pumping -- continues to be a leading cause of death in the United States, and can occur in the young, athletic people as well as more mature members of the population. In about 70 percent of cases, cardiac arrest is caused by heart attack or other cardiac issues, but it can also be a result of trauma, asthma, anaphylactic shock or drowning.


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