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Published on April 16, 2020

State-of-the-art equipment enhances caregiver safety during COVID-19

Group of nurses

Earlier this year, the Southeastern Health Foundation purchased a LUCAS hands-free, mechanical CPR system for Southeastern Regional Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit. The $16,000 purchase would prove to be a timely one as the impact of coronavirus became more and more apparent during early March.

“In February, the LUCAS system was purchased to serve as an additional resource for the Code Blue Team,” said SeHealth Critical Care Director Anita Thurman, a nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing practice. “Little did we know then, this piece of equipment would be a key tool in Code Blue response and recovery amid COVID-19.”

According to the equipment’s distributor, LUCAS helps provide high-quality and safer chest compressions in situations such as patient movement and transportation, during prolonged CPR.

The mechanical CPR system allows for hands-free compressions, which led to recommendations for use during COVID-19 because of limited contact by the caregiver.

“Since the COVID-19 outbreak, all guidelines have been modified to minimize exposure,” added Thurman. “These guidelines include the use of the LUCAS for facilities, like ours, who are fortunate enough to have one.”

Other benefits of the system include eliminating the need to manage a manual compression rotation schedule as well as freeing up the caregiver to focus on other equally critical tasks.

“When our board approved this purchase for SRMC’s ICU, they were ahead of the curve, really, in placing our staff in the safest scenario possible as they treat patients who may have COVID-19,” said SeHealth Foundation Executive Director Sissy Grantham. “These healthcare providers are on the front line of defense and anything we can do to minimize their exposure while providing care using cutting edge technology is the best case scenario not only for them but also for our patients.”

The COVID-19 CARES Act now allows for non-itemized tax deductions of up to $300 given to non-profits, like SeHealth, who are involved with efforts related to coronavirus. To make a donation to the SeHealth Foundation, visit www.srmc.org/foundation click on “Give Now” and designate your gift for COVID-19 in the comments section.

Employees of SRMC’s Intensive Care Unit display LUCAS mechanical CPR equipment recently purchased for their department by the Southeastern Health Foundation.