LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - CPR can save a life, but it can be a difficult challenge for EMTs to perform it for extended periods of time. A new piece of equipment at the Longview Fire Department automates CPR.
Longview Fire Department EMS Chief Amy Dodgen says the Lucas CPR Device frees up an EMT at a call.
“Instead of using your hands for CPR as we’re moving the patient, it constantly keeps compressions on the chest, and that’s the most important part of CPR is keeping compressions going throughout the entire time,” Dodgen said.
EMTs say CPR can be difficult, especially when moving a patient onto a gurney, but:
“The machine does the compressions for you,” Dodgen revealed.
The machine attaches to a small backboard and stays on the patient, even while the patient is moved.
“As soon as we put the device on we’re able to do other things like start IVs, do other care for the patient while the device is doing the compressions,” Dodgen explained.
And the device doesn’t get tired.
“When we do compressions for a long period of time they may wane in quality compared to the device,” Dodgen said.
EMTs can get worn out and have to switch out to keep doing CPR but the device will:
“Keep the compressions going with quality compressions the entire time,” Dodgen stated.
And it can do that because it’s:
“Battery powered. It can be plugged into the wall as well,” Dodgen said.
It looks a bit low-tech, but the on-board computer senses how deep to compress each patient and:
“All the data that comes in to the device can be wi-fi’d to the patient care report so we can see exactly what kind of patient care we were providing the entire time,” Dodgen said.
Lucas can’t replace an EMT, but it does help them out while potentially saving a patient.
The Longview Fire Department has eight of the Lucas Devices, enough for every ambulance in town. EMTs need to be trained on the devices and will become part of first responders’ equipment within a few months.