LRGHealthcare's new machines don't get tired doing CPR

LACONIA — A training session was held at Lakes Region General Hospital Wednesday afternoon for local EMT providers and emergency room staffers on how to use the new LUCAS chest compression units which were recently purchased for the hospital with proceeds from the annual Red Dress Gala.
Eight units were bought at a cost of around $100,000 and will be used in emergency departments at Lakes Region General Hospital and Franklin Regional Hospital as well as on several local ambulances.
''These are real life savers,'' said Laconia Fire Department Deputy Chief Shawn Riley, who explained that the battery operated units deliver uninterrupted compressions at a consistent rate and depth to facilitate the return of spontaneous circulation for heart attack victims.
He said that applying manual CPR is a difficult and fatigue-inducing process which requires 100 compressions per minute and that two EMTS, each working in two minute shifts, are needed to work on a heart attack victim.
Peter Landry, representative from Physio-Control, Inc., which supplies the LUCAS units, said the units performs at a rate of 100 compressions per minute with a depth of 1.5 to 2 inches and allows for complete chest wall recoil after each compression.
He said that studies show the effectiveness of manual chest compressions can drop rapidly — often after only one minute — due to rescuer fatigue.
He said there are about 50 units being used in the state right how, most of them in the southern part of the state.
Becky Doherty of LRGHealthcare's Office of Philanthropy said that this year's Red Dress Gala raised $60,677 and welcomed over 400 guests.
Over the past nine years this signature event has raised $402,000 for cardiac services, programs, and technology at LRGHealthcare.

LRGH Emergency Services Coordinator Josh McCabe, Laconia Firefighter-EMT Jay Ellingson and Deputy Chief Shawn Riley of the Laconia Fire Department demonstrate how the new LUCAS chest compression unit works. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)