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Northville and Plymouth Add  LUCAS Chest Compression Aids to Life Saving Tools

Northville and Plymouth Add  LUCAS Chest Compression Aids to Life Saving Tools

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Jan. 9, 2020)

Northville, Plymouth, MI- Firefighters in Northville and Plymouth now have a new lifesaving tool – two LUCAS chest compression devices.

The machine helps paramedics keep their hands free, and makes it so a person having a heart attack can be transported while compressions are taking place.

According to a press release from the City of Northville, “The units are now part of the medical equipment being used at both the Northville City and Plymouth City stations. The acquisition of these devices was approved by the Northville Plymouth Fire Advisory Board on Oct. 21, 2019 and by City Council at the Nov. 4, 2019 meeting. Funds of $34,465 were used from the Fire Equipment Replacement Fund to purchase the two Stryker LUCAS 3 resuscitation devices, obtain a service contract and cover related expenses. The device had been tested for two months at the Plymouth City station prior to purchase.”

“The expectation is that these units will help save lives of people in cardiac arrest who are treated by our emergency medical technicians,” said Fire Chief Steve Ott.

In October Oakland County Times got to see the LUCAS in action first hand at a training day for elected officials that was hosted at Combined Regional Emergency Services Training (CREST) at Oakland Community College in Auburn Hills.

Several local elected officials at the FireOps 101 training were impressed with the device. “You put this around the person and it automatically does the chest compressions like when you’re moving someone,” said Ferndale City Councilperson Greg Pawlica. “Like if someone is upstairs and has a heart attack, this goes on and does the chest compressions while you’re moving them down the stairs. It may only be a few minutes, but that few minutes can save that person’s life.”

The new medical devices may also improve the safety of the emergency technicians since they won’t need to manually compress a person’s chest, which can be tiring, cause back pain, and lead to safety issues when performing CPR in a fast-moving ambulance without being able to wear a seatbelt.

In his report to Northville City Council, Chief Ott stated, “Current research has shown that the chest compression portion of CPR is the one of the most important elements in determining the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) following a cardiac arrest event. Rate, compression depth and allowance for adequate recoil between compressions are skills that even the best trained and most experienced rescuers may not always get exactly right. A mechanical chest compression device reduces this possibility, and helps to ensure that high quality chest compressions are delivered throughout the resuscitation effort.”

According to the Stryker Medical website, “The LUCAS device has been shown to improve quality of chest compressions, increase ETCO2 levels as well as being able to sustain life-saving circulation during prolonged resuscitation attempts. LUCAS has been studied extensively, shown to be safe and effective and to save patients that would otherwise have been considered futile.”

Learn more about the Northville City Fire Dept on their website.

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