Device doubles cardiac arrest survival rate in Thomas County -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Device doubles cardiac arrest survival rate in Thomas County


By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMAS COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Thomas County EMS officials hope more services across the state will start using a life-saving piece of equipment known as the Lucas 2 Device.

The device automates CPR chest compressions and has doubled the survival rate of cardiac arrest patients in Thomas County.

It's a small piece of equipment with a big responsibility.

"It will save more lives," says a confident Tony Maples, paramedic and field training instructor for Thomas County's EMS.

The Lucas 2 is an automated chest compression device that gives personnel much more time to concentrate on advanced life support procedures.

"It frees them up to really care more for the patient rather than have to focus on one aspect such as chest compression," Maples explains.

Maples says the Lucas 2 can also lessen the wear and tear on paramedics.

"There are numerous back injuries that occur nationwide every year from people doing manual CPR in the back of an ambulance and they get thrown around or off-balance and causes the injury. And this helps prevent that."

If you've ever had a CPR class you understand how after just a couple minutes of compressions, you start to get tired. That's where the Lucas 2 device comes in.

"It doesn't fatigue. It doesn't wear out. Working in rural south Georgia there are several people out there who understand we have long response times to a hospital. Sometimes 20-30 minutes out and that causes a great fatigue on already stretched resources."

So why is Thomas County's EMS the only ambulance service in Georgia with the device on all of its front line trucks?

Co-Director of Thomas County's EMS, Captain Tim Coram believes, "A lot of it has to do with the price of the equipment. You have to be a pretty good salesman to get your county commissioners to understand this and luckily ours want us to be on the cutting edge."

"We hope we can help set a state example to say hey, we're saving more lives in Thomas County," says Maples.

Coram adds, "We want everyone to live and live long."

And these paramedics say you simply can't put a price tag on saving a life.

Thomas County Commissioners liked the success rate of the Lucas 2 so much, they are considering the purchase of three additional devices for use by firefighters and EMTs in Ochlocknee, Coolidge, and Boston.

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