According to the medical community, COVID-19 patients oxygenate better in the horizontal, belly-down (“prone”) position, and so it has become more common for them to be nursed in this position. However, extended treatment in the prone position can also carry with it an increased risk of cardiac arrest and deterioration, compared to the horizontal, belly-up (“supine”) position. And when patients require resuscitation, they often need to be flipped onto their backs in order to perform CPR.
Improving Efficiency to Save More Patients as well as Doctors
The LUCAS device essentially works by performing consistent mechanical chest compressions on a patient, even if the patient is prone. This provides two major efficiencies for oxygenating and resuscitating patients—a healthcare professional who would otherwise be performing manual compressions is free to perform other life-saving duties, and the patient does not need to be flipped onto their back to receive CPR, if CPR is deemed necessary.
Reduced Delays, Reduced Risk of Exposure, Reduced Strain on Personnel
Located in the CK Hui’s Catheterization Lab, the new LUCAS device reduces delays in resuscitating patients—as patients do not need to be flipped—and reduces exposure to certain risks for healthcare professionals. That is, healthcare teams leveraging the device will be less exposed to COVID-19, as patients can be kept in the prone position for a higher proportion of time (exhaling downward away from physicians, as opposed to upward), and can reduce their exposure to radiation emitted by equipment such as x-ray machines. Of course, the duty of performing CPR can be physically straining on one's body, which is another way the LUCAS system can help relieve care providers.
Furthermore, researchers have already used the new device to develop new techniques aimed at better fighting COVID-19 and treating patients.
THANKS TO YOU
The CK Hui Heart Centre’s purchase of the LUCAS system was made possible by an extremely generous donation of $18,000 from Canadian Pacific. Thank you for your dedication to the cardiovascular health of Albertans.