Danville, VA - The Danville Life Saving Crew is getting another piece of equipment they say will make a big difference saving lives in the Southside. For about a week now, they've had a demo CPR machine, Luca 2, which they bring in the field.
They say it works. In fact, within 12 hours of receiving the piece of equipment, they went on a cardiac arrest call and used it. They say this new machine saved that patient's life.
For the Danville Lifesaving Crew, Lucas 2 has already become more than a piece of equipment, it's another crew member.
"I know it saves lives," said Scott Campbell, a training captain.
Lucas 2 has several advantages, starting with dependability. The crew says the American Heart Association recommends to not interrupt CPR for more than 10 seconds. But on a call, that's not always possible.
"In the field you have to stop and start," said Robbie Woodall, chief.
"For different types of rescues where we are not able to do CPR going down steps or high angle rescues or in the elevators, this device will fit on the patient and allow for uninterrupted CPR," said Campbell.
It also frees up a crew member, who would normally need to give compressions while taking the patient to the hospital.
"This device stays put, it's there. It's a whole lot safer for the medical technicians," said Campbell.
During training a computer can monitor compressions. And in the field, a sensor measures the diameter of the torso to correctly administer compressions.
"From the first time it was used we knew the benefits were there and we needed one," said Campbell.
While each machine costs $15,000, the crew says it's worth it.
"Anytime you can provide better care and you can help someone save a life in the field and you can provide a better service to the community," said Woodall.
The Lucas 2 that they have now is just a demo. The lifesaving crew plans to order one next month, and hopefully get a grant for 7 or 8 more so they can have one in each vehicle.