Brookings Health System will receive a new LUCAS mechanical chest compression device thanks to a multimillion-dollar effort from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to save the lives of COVID-19 patients and protect frontline healthcare workers.
BHS Medical, Surgical & Emergency Department Director Karen Webe says the LUCAS device can automatically perform CPR on a patient, meaning one less healthcare worker to potentially be exposed to COVID-19.
Research has shown cardiac damage in as many as one in five COVID-19 patients, leading to heart failure and death even among those who show no signs of respiratory distress.
The rise in cardiac complications caused by COVID-19 exposes both patients and healthcare workers to greater risk. When hands-on CPR is performed for long periods, personal protective equipment can be less effective in keeping the virus from spreading to medical providers.
Emergency medical responders and many hospitals around the globe have adopted mechanical CPR.
The Helmsley Charitable Trust is partnering with medical facilities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Nebraska to ensure the devices are in place before the peak of COVID-19 hits. The devices will remain in place after the pandemic as part of the hospitals’ cardiac system of care.