First responders in Florence now have a state-of-the-art tool to help them care for patients in cardiac distress.
The new device also protects first responders from COVID-19 infection while caring for certain patients.
The new device is called the LUCAS 3 Chest Compression System. Florence Fire Chief David Strayer introduced the device to Florence Town Council members at their Monday, Nov. 2 meeting.
The devices cost $16,000 each, but Florence received its LUCAS 3 at no cost. Florence was awarded a COVID-19 grant by Arizona Emergency Medical Systems to purchase the device.
AEMS, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a community-based, volunteer organization dedicated to improving emergency medical services and trauma care for the Central Arizona region, including Maricopa, Pinal and Gila counties.
Since 1975, AEMS, according to its website, “has been bringing together physicians, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and hospital administrators to ensure that emergency medical care is delivered in a coordinated manner and is meeting the needs of the public.”
The LUCAS 3 is designed to help improve patient outcomes in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. In addition, it improves safety and operations for medical responders. Plus, it can be deployed quickly with minimal interruption to patient care.
Strayer said the device removes first responders from the “hazard zone” of the head. Mouth-to-mouth respiration is not needed with the LUCAS 3, so first responders are no put at risk of being infected by COVID-19-positive patients.
The device is deceptively simple-looking. It can perform 102 chest compressions per minute with a depth of 2.1 inches. The device is strapped on to a patient’s chest during use. Meanwhile, a first responder is intubating, or inserting a tube, into a person’s airway in order to administer ventilation.
Mr. Strayer said the LUCAS 3 performs “85% better than trained responders” at administering CPR.
According to the device’s distributor, Stryker Medical, with LUCAS “individual variations or psychological factors are removed from CPR and there is no longer a need for switching CPR providers every two minutes. LUCAS helps provide high-quality and safer chest compressions in situations such as patient movement and transportation.”
According to Mr. Strayer, the LUCAS is allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration on helicopters and is the only such device to be approved for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the device can do more. It is data-enabled with Bluetooth connectivity and is easy to pair with PC operating Microsoft Windows. Using the LUCAS software, LUCAS Report Generator, it can create performance reports with data that can be reviewed after an event or shift.
The device summary includes a timeline, event log, chest compression statistics, pauses, user modes and device alarms and alerts.
“It sends everything the device did during a call using real-time data,” Mr. Strayer said.
The device summary offers data on compression and pauses. The time graph follows the device from the first compression during and event to the last. Pauses are automatically highlighted. Finally, the event log provides insight into user interaction, device operational mode, battery information and any alarms.
AEMS only awarded one grant for a LUCAS 3, which came with one battery and a replacement battery. While Florence was lucky to get it, only one of its emergency vehicles will carry it, Mr. Strayer said.
The two-person unit that responds to emergencies at the Arizona State Prison Complex will be the only vehicle carrying the until, thus enhancing first responders’ safety.
Town council members were so impressed by the unit that they asked Mr. Strayer how to go about getting a second one, including holding a fundraiser.