Nurses at 100 Mile District General Hospital have been given a helping hand in resuscitation with the arrival of its new Lucas 3 Chest Compression System.
The $25,000 battery-operated device – long on the hospital’s wishlist – is one of two lifesaving pieces of equipment that have arrived at the hospital, thanks to the South Cariboo Health Foundation’s Starry Nights campaign. The other is a coagulant analyzer, which helps to detect deep vein thrombosis such as blood clotting.
Kathy Munroe, manager of acute care, said the Lucas 3 is an “amazing piece of equipment” that will do compressions for the nurses. The mobile unit, which is secured around the patient’s body, is equipped with a pump capable of 102 compressions per minute.
“That little machine will free up the nurses’ hands to do everything else that is needed and eliminate the need to pull staff from other departments,” she said.
She noted they recently had two cases back to back, which resulted in a couple of hours of compressions. The general medicine team came over to assist and spell each other off.
“By the end of it, they were shaking, working by adrenaline… this machine will eliminate all of that. If we do have two codes at one time we can use the Lucas on one person which will take one nurse to monitor and this would free up the other staff to be able to focus on the other person.”
Munroe anticipates they will require the Lucas 3 about every two weeks on average.
SCHF fundraiser Brenda Devine said the unit’s mobility means it can also be used across departments. Paramedics can use it in the field, while it can also be used to transport people in the middle of compressions.
The device was bought using funds collected in the last year’s Starry Nights campaign, which raised $50,000. The SCHF aims to raise money for equipment the hospital may need, but isn’t necessarily funded by Interior Health. In 2020-21, the key piece of equipment was the $43,000 coagulant analyzer, which also just arrived at the hospital.
That machine was funded in a 60-40 split with the Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital Foundation.
Taralynn Leclair, a medical laboratory technologist, said the new machine will test how long it takes for a patient to clot but can also be used for therapeutic monitoring for those on anti-coagulant drugs such as warfarin.
The new machine is a huge improvement over the old one, she said, as they can run more tests faster with less downtime. The main tests will be done for INR, PT or D-Dimer, which is used to determine blood-clotting disorders.
“Almost all STAT patients who come in have INT and PPT done so it’s really important in heart health,” Leclair said. “We’re so excited. This is going to save us a lot of tech time. It’s going to make a huge difference.”
The foundation also recently provided two therapy dogs – at about $100 each – for long-term care. (SEE related story A12).
“With any of the money left over, we’ve purchased a few other items. We don’t hold on to anything,” Devine said. “As soon as it comes in we try to find projects to put that money toward so it’s not just sitting in the bank.”
Chris Nickless, chair of the SCHF Board, noted the foundation has provided more than $5 million in hospital equipment since it was started 20 years ago.
“The foundation is fortunate the community supports us in such a huge way because without that community money we can’t do this.”