Paramedics get high-tech helpers

FORT FRANCES – “Cutting-edge technologies” are giving a boost to emergency care services in the Rainy River region.

Joshua Colling, chief of Rainy River District Paramedic Services, said Friday the LUCAS 3 Chest Compression System and the MegaMover Plus will enhance emergency medical care and improve patient outcomes.

Six LUCAS 3 units have been acquired at a cost of about $14,000 each paid out of provincial and local funding, Colling told Newswatch.

The paramedic service describes LUCAS 3 as “a state-of-the-art device that provides consistent and high-quality chest compressions during CPR, ensuring optimal circulation and increasing the chances of survival for patients in cardiac arrest.”

This technology allows paramedics to deliver more consistent and sustained chest compressions while focusing on other critical aspects of patient care, Colling said.

“Instead of one paramedic being tied up doing chest compressions, the machine’s doing it,” he said. “That allows the scene to be a lot more efficient.”

Paramedics like the LUCAS 3 from the perspective of personnel safety in addition to patient care, he said.

“You can envision in a moving ambulance, CPR might be a little risky” because a paramedic needs to stand while administering it, he explained.

With the LUCAS 3, paramedics can remain seated in a moving ambulance while the machine administers chest compressions.

“So from a safety perspective and also from an extricating-a-patient perspective, to have this machine doing high-quality CPR is phenomenal,” Colling said.

More LUCAS 3s will be acquired eventually so that “even our backup and spare ambulances will be equipped,” he added.

The MegaMover Plus is a strong, flexible and easily portable stretcher or “patient transport system” that supports the safe movement of a person needing medical attention.

The stretchers are comparatively low-cost at about $50 each.

They’re also disposable, Colling said. “When one gets contaminated, we just replace it. One gets disposed of and we put another one in service.”

The two acquisitions “represent a positive leap in the direction of modern health and organizational safety practices,” he said.

The new equipment can be seen at the paramedic service’s booth at the Fort Frances Business and Community Expo, April 26-27 at the Fort Frances Curling Club, and at ambulance bases during Paramedic Services Week (May 19-25).

Mike Stimpson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source