• University Hospital Now Equipped With Automated CPR Device

    Timmy Crawford, a paramedic in the emergency department at USA Health University Hospital, demonstrates the new LUCAS Chest Compression System for emergency department staff, from left, Jennifer Zirlott, RN, Ashley Lee, RN, and Leanne Guinn, RN.

    MOBILE, Ala. -- To improve patient survival rates and minimize potential exposure to the novel coronavirus, USA Health University Hospital is now equipped with the LUCAS Chest Compression System, a battery-powered device that performs automated chest compressions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

    In the COVID-19 era, manual chest compressions on patients in cardiac arrest can be dangerous for healthcare staff performing the procedure.

    “The closeness to patients during CPR increases the danger of aerosol spread of virus,” said Stephen Bowden, M.D., director of emergency department operations at University Hospital and an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. “The ability to stand aside and not be directly exposed while performing chest compressions greatly reduces the chance of infection.”

    The LUCAS Chest Compression System provides additional benefits to cardiac arrest patients by delivering guideline-consistent, high-quality chest compressions even under difficult conditions and for extended periods of time.

    “It does not tire and gives consistent compressions, particularly in the back of an ambulance where standing and performing CPR in a moving vehicle is extremely dangerous,” Bowden said.

    Studies show improved outcomes of CPR with use of the device, while no studies show less favorable outcomes, Bowden said.

    USA Health purchased the LUCAS device using funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. University Hospital previously borrowed an extra automated CPR device from Mobile County EMS, where Bowden serves as medical director.

    University Hospital is the only Level I trauma center in southwest Alabama, indicating the highest level of care a facility can provide. Acquiring the LUCAS Chest Compression System is another step that University Hospital has taken to bring the latest and best emergency care to the region.

    Learn more about the LUCAS Chest Compression System.

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    Photo attached: Timmy Crawford, a paramedic in the emergency department at USA Health University Hospital, demonstrates the new LUCAS Chest Compression System for emergency department staff, from left, Jennifer Zirlott, RN, Ashley Lee, RN, and Leanne Guinn, RN.

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