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CentraCare Health – Long Prairie receives life-saving device from MDH and generous donor

Published in Media Releases Author: CentraCare

CentraCare Health – Long Prairie recently received a LUCAS 2 mechanical CPR device, courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Health/Office of Rural Health & Primary Care, on behalf of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Known as an automated chest compression device, the Physio-Control LUCAS 2 Chest Compression System is a mechanical CPR device that allows medical personnel to perform hands-free consistent and uninterrupted CPR while attending to their patient’s other needs.

“We are so pleased and grateful that the Minnesota Department of Health and the Helmsley Trust have made it possible for our staff will have this life-saving device available to use when some suffers a cardiac arrest,” said Donna Yohnke, RN, emergency department coordinator. “The LUCAS 2 will help our providers and ambulance crews maximize their efforts during those crucial minutes after a cardiac arrest occurs.”

Every year, more than 380,000 cardiac arrests occur in the United States. Cardiac arrests are often mistakenly referred to as a heart attack. Unlike a heart attack, however, where blockage within a coronary artery stops blood flow to the heart muscle; causing damage or death to the muscle tissue, a cardiac arrest occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions; disrupting, or stopping the heart’s rhythm. Disruption in the rhythm causes the heart’s pumping ability to decrease, resulting in little to no blood flow to the brain, lungs, or other vital organs. Without intervention, a cardiac arrest victim will die within minutes of an occurrence.

Although widely used in Minnesota’s metro region, less than 80 percent of ambulance services and hospitals in greater Minnesota have access to a LUCAS device. These rural communities have been identified by the Helmsley Foundation as areas of greatest need when it comes to access to quality, effective health care. Their goal is to improve cardiac arrest survival rates by installing these devices in every ambulance and hospital in the state.