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SGMC Emergency Services Equips Ambulances with New CPR Device

SGMC EMS Training Captain Todd Daniel instructs Valdosta Fire Department and Lowndes County Fire Rescue personnel on the new LUCAS CPR device

South Georgia Medical Center will soon add lifesaving technology to all of its ambulances. LUCAS devices are battery-operated CPR devices that provide chest compressions to adult patients in cardiac arrest.

A patient experiencing cardiac arrest may have to be moved multiple times before arriving to the emergency department at the hospital. Each time the patient is moved, the opportunity for an interruption in chest compression occurs.

The LUCAS device can be attached and begin to provide automatic chest compressions in less than 30 seconds.  This allows rescue first responders to complete other lifesaving tasks, such as establishing access for medications and providing oxygen and ventilation to patients in cardiac arrest. All of these things combined have been proven to reduce mortality and improve patient outcomes in those that survive pre-hospital cardiac arrest.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has linked quality, uninterrupted chest compressions with higher survival rates in pre-hospital cardiac arrest patients, which can sometimes be difficult to achieve in the pre-hospital setting.

The AHA reports that more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital each year, with only 40.2% of these patients receiving bystander CPR.

According to the Institute of Medicine, the current survival rate for someone experiencing pre-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States is less than 6%. Rapid treatment on scene of a cardiac arrest by first responders is paramount in increasing survivability.

Chief Michael Colman, SGMC EMS Director, stated, “Our EMS agency continually looks for state-of-the-art equipment, technology, and practices to improve the care we provide to the citizens in our response area. This substantial investment ensures all patients receive what is considered the gold standard for cardiac arrest patients and allows us to do so almost immediately on scene, with no interruption.”

SGMC hosted training this week for fire department personnel and emergency department nursing staff to become familiar with the LUCAS devices before they are added to the ambulances.

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