RIVER FALLS, Wis.
The Ellsworth Area Ambulance Service
wants to improve out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest survival rates by 50
percent over the next five years.
One of the keys to reaching
this goal is the LUCAS, a computerized device which performs automated CPR.
Successful fundraising earlier in the year enabled the
service to purchase its first LUCAS; the River Falls Area Hospital
Foundation, part of Allina Health, recently presented a $3,500 grant check
to help purchase a second device.
"In the case of a cardiac
emergency, time matters," said Karen Swenson, manager of the hospital's
emergency department and a member of the hospital foundation's board of
trustees. "Getting these tools into the hands of the first responders
can make a huge difference for our patients."
"The LUCAS device,
while proven to be lifesaving, is expensive and out of the budget for our
service," explained Kris Herold, director of the EAAS. "We are so
appreciative of partners like Allina Health for helping us provide state of
the art, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest care for the citizens,
employees and visitors in our area."
The newest development in
cardiac emergency care, the LUCAS performs chest compressions far more
efficiently and effectively than the most highly trained professionals.
This is important because non-interrupted and steady chest
compressions help keep oxygenated blood flowing consistently to vital
organs like the heart and brain.
Perhaps just as important, the
LUCAS frees caregivers' hands so they can perform other life-saving
interventions. And the LUCAS is extremely portable, so it can be used not
only in ambulances or emergency departments, but also anywhere in the
community where there is a cardiac emergency."
The grant from
the hospital foundation was a match on dollars raised at the ambulance
services' first annual pig roast fundraiser.
the check presentation were (L to R) Tony Howard, Dan Morth, Karen Swenson,
Connie Burgess, Jennifer O'Neill, Dave Kidd, Kris Herold, Sandy Bjork and