Chest compression units now in service at two NCFD stations to aid people in cardiac arrest
Posted on 01/09/2020
New device compresses chest precisely so manual CPR isn't needed. Photo from Stryker Medical website.The Northville City Fire Department has taken delivery of two chest compression devices for use in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) rather than applying hands-on pressure to the chest of a person in cardiac arrest.

The units are now part of the medical equipment being used at both the Northville City and Plymouth City stations. The acquisition of these devices was approved by the Northville Plymouth Fire Advisory Board on Oct. 21, 2019 and by City Council at the Nov. 4, 2019 meeting. Funds of $34,465 were used from the Fire Equipment Replacement Fund to purchase the two Stryker LUCAS 3 resuscitation devices, obtain a service contract and cover related expenses. The device had been tested for two months at the Plymouth City station prior to purchase.

“The expectation is that these units will help save lives of people in cardiac arrest who are treated by our emergency medical technicians,” said Fire Chief Steve Ott.

The new medical devices may also improve the safety of the emergency technicians since they won’t need to manually compress a person’s chest, which can be tiring, cause back pain, and lead to safety issues when performing CPR in a fast-moving ambulance without being able to wear a seatbelt.

In his report to City Council, Chief Ott stated, “Current research has shown that the chest compression portion of CPR is the one of the most important elements in determining the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) following a cardiac arrest event. Rate, compression depth and allowance for adequate recoil between compressions are skills that even the best trained and most experienced rescuers may not always get exactly right. A mechanical chest compression device reduces this possibility, and helps to ensure that high quality chest compressions are delivered throughout the resuscitation effort.”

According to the Stryker website, “The LUCAS device has been shown to improve quality of chest compressions, increase ETCO2* levels as well as being able to sustain life-saving circulation during prolonged resuscitation attempts. LUCAS has been studied extensively, shown to be safe and effective and to save patients that would otherwise have been considered futile.”

*ETCO2 … the partial pressure or maximal concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the end of an exhaled breath, which is expressed as a percentage of CO2