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Glacial Ridge Health System 

GRHS Receives Life-saving LUCAS 2 Devices

 

With the device in safe mode, Ambulance Manager Greg Meyers (center), Dr. Eric Westberg and RN Quinn Jacobs demonstrate how to install the device and locate correct chest placement in seconds.

If you have ever had to give CPR or observed it being done, you'd know how quickly the rescuer can get fatigued giving manual chest compressions. Glacial Ridge Hospital and ambulance service received new technology to help with that. An automated chest compression device, the Physio-Control LUCAS 2, is a mechanical CPR device that allows emergency medical personnel to perform hands-free, consistent, and uninterrupted CPR while attending to the patient's other needs. The LUCAS 2 device can be used in conjunction with an AED device; allowing for rhythm re-establishment during a cardiac arrest. This device eliminates rescuer fatigue that occurs with manual CPR, and decreases risk of injury to medical personnel during transport.

These devices are now in ambulances stationed in Brooten, Glenwood, and Starbuck, as well as the Emergency Department at Glacial Ridge Hospital. All staff who provide emergency medical care – from Paramedics and EMTs to Emergency Room providers and hospital nursing staff – are being given in-depth training on using the device to provide critical life-saving treatment during a cardiac arrest. In the next few months, all area first-responder teams will be shown how the device works so when the ambulance staff arrive and place the device on a patient they will know what it is and what to do next.

Each year, more than 380,000 cardiac arrests occur in the United States. Cardiac arrests are often mistakenly referred to as a heart attack. During a heart attack, blockage in a coronary artery stops blood flow to the heart muscle, causing damage or death to the muscle tissue. In a cardiac arrest however, the heart's electrical system malfunctions; disrupting, or stopping the heart's rhythm. Disruption in the rhythm causes the heart's pumping ability to decrease, resulting in little to no blood flow to the brain, lungs, or other vital organs. Without intervention, a cardiac arrest victim will die within minutes of an occurrence.

Although the LUCAS devices are widely used in the metro, only 2 in 10 ambulance services and hospitals in outstate Minnesota have access to a LUCAS device. These rural communities like Pope County have been identified by the Helmsley Foundation as areas of greatest need when it comes to access to quality, effective health care. Providing a device to all rural ambulance services and hospitals will be instrumental in improving this imbalance. The Minnesota Department of Health / Office of Rural Health & Primary Care, on behalf of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, recently provided Glacial Ridge Hospital and the ambulance service four LUCAS 2 mechanical CPR devices.

Minnesota's Commissioner of Health, Dr. Ed Ehlinger sees the Helmsley Grant as, part of their efforts to ensure quality health care state-wide. Ehlinger said their goal is, "to improve cardiac arrest survival rates by installing these devices in every ambulance and hospital in the state."

Glacial Ridge Ambulance provides 24-hour advanced and basic life support services in Pope County and a portion of Stearns County with ambulances based in Glenwood, Starbuck and Brooten. Glacial Ridge Ambulance is a part of Glacial Ridge Health System, a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), 19-bed Critical Access, Trauma Level IV hospital located in Glenwood, MN serving Pope County and portions of the four adjoining counties. Glacial Ridge Health System is comprised of the hospital, two medical centers, an ambulance service, homecare, hospice, EMS training, and a wellness center. Through compassionate, caring and comprehensive health care services, Glacial Ridge Health System provides high quality services in state-of-the-art facilities which enhance the quality of life and promote healthy lifestyles for their patients, clients, employees, organization and communities.

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