Medics get $13K CPR ‘thumper’

Courtesy photo Jason Roberts of Physio-Control shows attendees of the July squad meeting how the LUCAS 2 Chest Compression System works.

EMT safety is behind a decision to buy a chest compression system for the South Lorain County Ambulance District.

At the district’s June trustees meeting, the board approved the purchase of the LUCAS 2 Chest Compression System, which delivers automated compressions to a patient on the way to the hospital.

The $13,800 needed to purchase the system is coming out of the district’s general fund.

A representative from Physio-Control attended the squad meeting July 7 and gave a demonstration on how the product works.

The battery-powered system can deliver 100 compressions a minute at a depth of two inches, which is in line with the American Heart Association’s guidelines. One battery lasts about 45 minutes and is rechargeable.

SLCAD director Dave Knapp said the district has been eager to purchase an automated CPR device for at least a year.

The district already has Physio-Control monitors that it uses regularly and felt the company’s automated “thumper” ranked the best among competitors.

It’s able to monitor blood pressure, the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream, and heart rhythm.

Knapp said the device makes it possible for EMTs to sit while administering CPR, making ambulance transports to the hospital safer.

The machine also frees up an EMT. Medics will no longer have to switch off every two minutes to abide by American Heart Association guidelines on administering manual CPR.

The automated chest compression system is also more consistent than an EMT. The number and depth of compressions doesn’t vary.

“The data shows that it’s higher quality CPR than a person can give,” Knapp said.

But he emphasized the machine isn’t meant to replace manual CPR, only to enhance it.

Knapp said he expects to receive the system by the end of the month. It will be put it in a responder truck that is dispatched to all major incidents.

Staffers will go through in-house training sessions to ensure they are comfortable and proficient using it.

Knapp said he wants to purchase one more thumper so the district has a LUCAS 2 system in its two main vehicles. He plans to look for grants to cover the cost of the second machine.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.