CLAYTON, N.J. – Gloucester County has equipped its Gloucester County Emergency Medical Services (GCEMS) ambulances and Quick Response Vehicles (QRV’s) with a Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System (LUCAS) device to help emergency medical technicians save lives.
The LUCAS is an electromechanical chest compression system that performs CPR with high accuracy and better consistency than traditional manual CPR and it can be used when EMTs are physically unable to perform manual CPR in certain settings, like prolonged resuscitation or while carrying a patient down a flight of stairs. LUCAS is able to continue providing CPR during these patient movements.
“We have already seen this equipment help save the life of one of our citizens,” Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said, “and we are fortunate to have a proactive GCEMS chief and EMT’s who are constantly training and utilizing technology and equipment to help their patients.”
Freeholder Dan Christy, Liaison to GCEMS, said that the decision to purchase the system was made after seeing the device’s effectiveness. “When we learned about the success of the equipment on patients and how it can be safer for EMT’s to use in certain situations, the county made the decision to equip all of our ambulances and QRV’s with the device,” Christy said.
Christy said that the county had a few LUCAS devices in certain emergency vehicles over the last few years, but they always had to be moved from vehicle to vehicle.
Franklin Township resident Howard Maier experienced an acute onset of chest pain while at home in March of this year, according to Christy. The 55-year-old called 9-1-1 and while being treated and transported to an area emergency department by GCEMS, Mr. Maier experienced cardiac arrest. The two-person GCEMS crew immediately stopped the ambulance and initiated CPR. Additionally, the crew requested assistance from the nearby GCEMS Quick Response Vehicle. The QRV was equipped with a LUCAS automated CPR device. Upon the QRV arrival at the ambulance’s location, the LUCAS was deployed and activated. Transport was then resumed with continuous CPR being provided by the LUCAS device. Mr. Maier was subsequently successfully resuscitated and has since made a full recovery.
“There is no doubt that his equipment helped save Mr. Maier’s life and that by having it onboard our ambulances and emergency vehicles it can help save more,” Christy said. “There are certain situations where EMT’s cannot safely and continually provide CPR and this LUCAS equipment could help be the difference between life or death.”