KNOXVILLE – Knoxville Hospital & Clinics (KHC) now has an important lifesaving tool available to its Emergency Department staff. KHC recently announced the acquisition of a Physio-Control LUCAS 3 Chest Compression System. The LUCAS 3 will benefit patients and rescuers by enabling continuous consistent chest compressions in cardiac resuscitations.

According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest affects nearly 500,000 people each year; however, only a fraction of those patients survive to be discharged from the hospital alive. Despite all of the advances of modern medicine, the only treatments that have been proven to improve cardiac arrest survival are early access to high-quality CPR and defibrillation. In recent years, survival numbers have increased thanks to the increasing number of lay persons trained in CPR, as well as the prevalence of public access automated external defibrillators, or AEDs. However, manual CPR is physically demanding, making it difficult to provide the high-quality consistent compressions required to maximize chances of survival. The LUCAS 3 Devices change all that.

The LUCAS device provides mechanical chest compressions at a rate and depth that are consistent with current American Heart Association guidelines for CPR. Both portable and quick to apply, the device works by providing continuous high-quality chest compressions which are critical to maintaining blood flow to save a cardiac arrest patient’s brain, heart and vital organs. Performance data is collected during each event, which can then be downloaded into a computer for review as part of the medical quality assurance process.

“We are thankful to have our network of first responders to assist us, but in some cases, we may have an ambulance crew arrive with a patient in cardiac arrest. Our nursing staff and physicians are all certified in Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support and receive continuous training. However, even the most skilled person suffers from fatigue while performing chest compressions,” said Kristina Morgan, KHC Emergency Department Coordinator. “Without these devices, it is more difficult for us to provide the high-quality CPR required to maximize the chance of survival. These don’t tire out like people do, and they free the staff up to focus on other important treatments as part of the resuscitation.”

The device, which would have cost KHC approximately $16,000, was provided at no cost thanks to a grant which was funded by the Helmsley Family Trust. The grant provided nearly $6 million dollars to the Iowa Department of Public Health to distribute the devices to rural ambulance services and hospitals statewide.

“Without this grant, it would have been financially difficult to purchase this device on our own,” said Morgan. “The availability of this grant was a true benefit to our community, and greatly enhances the quality of care provided by our staff.”

Since taking delivery of the device, staff have been trained  on its use and are ready to help the next cardiac arrest victim who comes through the doors.

Knoxville Hospital & Clinics, a Critical Access Hospital serving Marion County and the surrounding area, is dedicated to providing personal, progressive quality health care with compassion.  For more information regarding this release and other happenings at Knoxville Hospital & Clinics, call the Public Relations office at (641) 842-1418 or visit www.knoxvillehospital.org.