Smyrna Ambulance Company Uses CPR Machine in Responses - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Smyrna Ambulance Company Uses CPR Machine in Responses

Posted: Dec 19, 2017 7:51 PM Updated:

SMYRNA, Del.- When emergency medical technicians with American Legion Ambulance Company #64 in Smyrna respond to cases of cardiac arrest, it can take more than 20 minutes to get a patient to the hospital for treatment.

Performing critical tasks like CPR while transporting a patient in a moving ambulance can be difficult to do for a long period of time, though the agency now uses a LUCAS chest compression device to keep patients alive.

"It frees up everyone to transport, move the patient properly and safely," said Tamara Jackson, an EMT with the company, who used to the LUCAS device shortly after it was acquired two months ago.

The devices cost $15,000 but Brad Gosch with the American Legion Ambulance Company said the machine the agency acquired has paid for itself in terms of being able to perform chest compressions and allow EMTs to remain safe.

"Not only are you looking out for saving lives in your community, but you're also saving your people," he said.

Kent County has a LUCAS machine that is used by paramedics working out of its Frederica unit. Officials said they hope to obtain another one soon.

Although some companies may be considering getting a LUCAS device or similar machine, Adam Ringle, who teaches CPR as part of his consulting firm, said anyone using the devices needs to be properly trained.

"If the device is placed off-line or at an inappropriate position it could obviously cause injury to the patient," he said.

Gosch said members of the ambulance company are trained to use the device and can get it working in less than a minute.

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