Helmsley Charitable Trust grant award: Life-saving CPR equipment helps limit COVID-19 exposure

LUCAS Device

Members of the St. Peter's Health Ambulance team demonstrate the LUCAS mechanical chest compression device.

May 7, 2020

St. Peter’s Health announced today that it received a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to fund the purchase of LUCAS mechanical chest compression devices. The LUCAS mechanical CPR device can help deliver exceptional cardiac care while protecting health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Mechanical CPR has been adopted by emergency medical responders and hospitals due to its ability to deliver extended CPR in compliance with the American Heart Association guidelines. Cardiac complications caused by COVID-19 can expose patients and health care workers to greater risk, as hands-on CPR can be needed for extended periods of time.

According to Walter Panzirer, a trustee or the Helmsley Charitable Trust, “LUCAS has been proven, effective tool in saving lives during cardiac arrest and having more of them available during this pandemic will save even more lives, including those of doctors, nurses and other health care workers.”
St. Peter’s Health already has seven LUCAS devices. The five LUCAS devices purchased using the grant will be located in the emergency department, intensive care unit (ICU), patient tower and emergency services (ambulance) departments.
Sandra Haschle, PhD, MSN, MA, RN, NE-BC is the Procedural Senior Nursing Director at St. Peter’s Health. She oversees patient care areas including the operating room and emergency department. According to Haschle, “The additional LUCAS devices will be placed in the hospital where sudden cardiac arrest may take place. It will also allow us to equip more of our ambulances with the device for pre-hospital care.”

Manual CPR can be an exhausting process. “The LUCAS devices enable our medical personnel to perform consistent, un-interrupted, hands-free manual CPR without ever getting tired. This gives us a huge advantage," Haschle said. 
The Helmsley Charitable Trust distributed nearly $5 million in funding across five upper-Midwestern states to pay for 367 LUCAS mechanical CPR devices.