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MEMS now using 'Lucas 3' for cardiac arrests

The Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services is now introducing a new device, Lucas 3, after changing their protocol for cardiac arrest response just two years ago.

Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services of Little Rock is equipping medics with a new chest compression device after changing their protocol for cardiac arrest response two years ago.

MEMS director Jon Swanson said the higher success rate led them to the new machine, called Lucas 3. The agency has purchased 16 of the machines so far and hopes to eventually equip every ambulance with the device.

“This gives rescuers a break for them to be able to think in a different manner when doing CPR,” said MEMS operations manager Chris Marshall. “This will do CPR for the crews that are there on the scene.”

The machine guarantees 110 compressions per minute, the number needed to effectively treat cardiac arrest.

“The Lucas device doesn't get tired," MEMS quality manager Mack Hutchison said. "If a firefighter or a medic, no matter the quality of shape you're in ... two, three, four minutes of continuous compressing, you're pressing about two times every second. It's physically tiring."

Just two years ago, MEMS changed their response protocol for cardiac arrests. Instead of moving a patient and interrupting chest compressions, they now stay on scene for 30 to 40 minutes.

"Prior to November 2015, our successful return of spontaneous circulation is about 15 percent,” Hutchison said. “After we implemented our new protocol, where we work the patient in the home or where we find them, that immediately went up for about 39 percent.”

MEMS is also pushing Arkansans to take their free Friend and Family CPR training program. Keep in mind, it's not a certification because they no longer teach mouth-to-mouth. To inquire about the training, you can contact MEMS (501) 301-1404.

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