Aurora -- Residents are safer today, Aurora fire officials believe, thanks to a donation from University Hospitals Health System, which presented a Lucas CPR chest compression device to the city.
"The Lucas device has proven to provide better CPR than humans," Fire Chief David Barnes told members of City Council Aug. 26. "It also increases the safety for the paramedics transporting a victim in cardiac arrest because they no longer have to stand up in the back of the rescue squad to perform CPR."
Assistant Fire Chief John Schmader agreed, saying, "When we're moving a person in cardiac arrest, we have to pick them up and move them around the house, for example, and at the same time we're supposed to be doing 100 chest compressions per minute. Think about if you were upstairs and had to go down the stairs or a hallway.
"So we take a big problem and turn it into a huge plus [by using the Lucas device]," he said. "It does better CPR than we could do, and we can use the paramedics [to take care of other tasks]. There is no longer the need to switch CPR providers every two minutes."
The cost for one Lucas CPR unit is about $14,500.
Schmader said University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood knew Barnes was interested in purchasing two Lucas CPR units after City Council legislation was introduced in mid-July. Aurora has three rescue squads, "so [University Hospitals] donated a third unit."
"Hospitals try to treat you right so you think of them first," Schmader said, noting Ahuja is one of the hospitals that the Aurora Fire Department transports people to, and University Hospitals has an urgent care center in Aurora.
While the Lucas CPR device was given to the fire department in July, the official presentation was made at Council's Aug. 26 meeting by Susan Juris, president of UH Ahuja Medical Center, and Dan Ellenberger, director of the University Hospitals EMS Institute.
"All three units have been delivered and are in our three rescue squads to use if a person goes into cardiac arrest," Schmader said.
Since the Lucas CPR devices have been in operation in Aurora, they have not saved any lives yet, Schmader said. But that, fire officials believe, is only a matter of time.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC