(BUCHANAN COUNTY,MO)Buchanan County EMS has invested $150,000 to purchase portable CPR machines. Earlier this month the department purchased 10 new Lucas Machines to provide automated CPR in the field.
Andrew King, public relations coordinator and EMT, said manual CPR is so physically taxing it typically requires medical personnel to switch out every two minutes, making the process less effective.
"It's a completely automated device. We put a board underneath their back and it's a device that sits on top of their chest and does all the compressions itself.It is completely hands off,"King said.
Each machine costs approximately $15,000, and each ambulance will be equipped with a Lucas machine.Buchanan County EMS Executive Director Wallace Patrick said the new machines take human error out of the process of providing CPR all together.
"As human, we get excited, we push faster. We're tired, we don't push deep enough, those types of things, it's just the human factor in CPR,"Patrick said."Even though we've been doing it for years and we do it effective manually, this device can do it better than the human.”
In an emergency situation Lucas provides continuous compressions, allowing EMTs to focus on other tasks.
"With a cardiac arrest a lot of things have to happen very quickly,”King said. “We have to be performing good, high quality CPR. We have to be pushing medications at very specific intervals, as well as we have to be breathing for the patient so there are a lot of things that have to happen simultaneously
The battery operated machine is mobile and can be used in a variety of locations. King said the device also makes it safer for crews when transporting patients via ambulance to the hospital.Lucas allows EMTs to be buckled in while the patient continues to receive care.
“The device never wears out. We have extra batteries for it. We can plug it in while we are using it, and it will continuously go performing perfect CPR nonstop,”King said."We can take it into houses, take it out onto the street, take it into vehicles; whatever we need to do, wherever we need to perform CPR.”
King said in many ways the machine is physically better for a patient than manual CPR.
"Some studies have shown that by using this lucas device, blood flow to the brain is increased by 60 percent over just manual CPR,"King said.