Rescue Lines – Spring 2015 – Lucas to the Rescue!

There is a new member of the EMS team in Virginia Beach. His name is LUCAS.

Actually LUCAS is not a person; it’s a new piece of equipment that is already making a difference in some of the nearly 500 cardiac arrest calls that Va. Beach EMS responds to each year.

The LUCASTM Chest Compression System is used when cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is being performed, and three of Virginia Beach’s volunteer rescue squads now own them. At $13,500 each, they’ve proven to be a worthwhile, life saving investment.

The LUCAS System standardizes chest compressions, alleviating the concern of first responder fatigue when performing CPR for long periods of time. The device is easy to transport and can be assembled on the patient with less than a 20 second interruption.

“I am so grateful we had a LUCAS device on the ambulance when we responded to a recent call,” says Krystal Holland, a member of Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad since 2011. “The patient was on the second floor of his home. Instead of us stopping CPR while carrying him downstairs, LUCAS performed chest compressions without interruption.”

VBVRS currently has two LUCAS Systems – one at Station 14 and another at Station 8 – and has submitted a grant to purchase two more. Typically, one first responder will start manual compressions while another sets up the device. Once it’s activated, that responder can clear the area to help in other ways, like intubating or starting an IV.

“After about five minutes of compressions, we got a pulse back,” recalls Holland. “In this short amount of time, fatigue was not a concern, but it’s reassuring to know that the LUCAS is 100{543ea03a3bb8014408f5dde5a75a383e871d6d38ca7f937ec3aa0b8ea9b322be} consistent, every time.”

Kempsville Volunteer Rescue Squad also has two devices and was the first Virginia Beach squad to put LUCAS in service. In order to maximize the use of the devices, they frequently put one or both on zone cars or supervisor vehicles, since they have a greater reach and are likely to respond to more calls.

In fact, one of KVRS’s LUCAS devices was employed within two days of it being put into service in November 2014, and the patient was successfully resuscitated.

Sandbridge Volunteer Rescue Squad recently purchased two LUCAS Systems. The Virginia Beach Department of EMS currently has four and was awarded a Rescue Squad Assistance Fund (RSAF) Grant to acquire six more, which will be placed on zone cars throughout the City.

“These devices not only seem to provide superior patient care, but they also keep our EMTs and Paramedics safer,” says KVRS’s Kevin Lipscomb. “Instead of having to stand up in a moving ambulance to perform CPR, the device does its job so our techs can sit down, strap in and direct their attention to patients’ other critical needs.”