CPR first Aid: Understanding the Difference between an AED and The LUCAS CPR Machine

CPR first aid consists of the application of rescue breathing as well as chest compressions. Compressions should be the initial step. If the person is skilled and confident, then mouth to mouth resuscitation can be carried out.

The technique assists in reestablishing the unconstrained flow of blood. CPR improves the chances of survival when it occurs on time and appropriately. The process is vital as it helps in averting tissue damage due to lack of oxygen.

The use of defibrillation is another essential process that should occur during an incident of cardiac arrest. It is the action of applying an electric current to restore the normal rhythm of the Sino-atrial node.

AEDs and LUCAS devices: What They Are & How They Work

LUCAS Machine:

The LUCAS CPR device is a mobile tool for conducting chest compressions for an extended period. Its primary function is to help in saving a life during an incident of cardiac arrest. Its name stands for Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assisted System.

Traditionally, CPR was conducted by a bystander or emergency response services. However, in recent times, there has been a surge of mechanical compression devices that perform CPR. These devices run almost autonomously as they conduct the life-saving technique.

Compression is carried out by an automated machine that is powered electrically or utilizes air pressure. Statistics indicate that the tool can administer CPR first aid continuously and, at times, can even perform better than a person.

Since the device is somewhat automated, it allows people to deal with other issues during a medical emergency. The chest compression instrument can fit even the most massive human chest cavity.

The tool allows for uninterrupted chest compressions during the movement of the victim to the hospital. It also gives a chance for other life-saving techniques to be conducted— for instance, the percutaneous coronary intervention procedure.

The instrument enhances the safety of medical personnel during transport as they don’t have to carry out CPR on the move. The latest form of the device is the LUCAS 3 variant.

The LUCAS instrument comes in a case that you need to open to assemble the contents. It consists of a back plate and the upper compression part. During CPR, the victim is first laid on his or her back.

The victim is lifted gently by the shoulders, and the back plate is then placed underneath them. The patient is then placed on his back, and hand compressions are applied. These compressions are continued before that upper section is introduced.

The upper part of the instrument is then prepared and placed on the chest cavity of the victim. The back and front segments must fit into each other before the device starts. The compression pad must be located directly above the sternum.

These adjustments should o quickly and carefully to minimize time wastage. If there is a size issue, and the device does not fit, the hand compressions should occur immediately.

The control panel then helps to initiate the compressions. These presses can either be continuous or interrupted, depending on the required sequence. Straps assist in securing the person’s neck and limbs to limit movements that may disturb the LUCAS CPR machine.

It is essential to ensure that there is a backup battery on standby in case the one in use runs out. It helps in reducing interruptions in between compressions cycles. Defibrillation can happen as the machine runs. However, it is crucial to ensure the wires do not cross paths with the compression pad of the instrument.

Removal of the device happens when the victim is considered stable or after they undergo a transfer to life support machines. Removal of the tool can occur when the individual passes on.

Automated External Defibrillator.

In recent years there has been an upsurge in incidents of cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is mostly a result of a particular condition called arrhythmias. It is whereby there is an irregular heartbeat as a result of improper electrical signals.

The role of the AED is to send a corrective shock to the heart to restore the normal heart rhythm.The AED contains an inbuilt battery that creates the electrical signals. Chest plate electrodes and wires serve as a path for the electrical signals to pass to the victim.

Nowadays, you can locate these tools in most public spaces. AEDs come in diverse types and variants. All of them contain an instruction manual that gives the user all relevant data on the portable defibrillator. You should always read the manual before operating any AED.

When a cardiac incident arises, the first thing any respondent should do is to recognize the manifestations of cardiac arrest. Secondly, you should locate a phone and contact the emergency paramedic services and explain the situation.

Find the portable defibrillator and read the manual on how to use it effectively. When you understand how the tool works, operate it, and provide an appropriate shock to the victim. Since the scenario may vary, you may need to administer several electric dosages.

Depending on the instructions, you may need to initiate CPR immediately after utilizing the AED. Always ensure you carry out CPR in the correct order. Start with chest compressions and switch to mouth to mouth only if you are proficient in CPR first aid.

Once the paramedics, some ensure you notify them of all the actions that you took before they arrived. Finally, if you ever encounter any difficulties when using an AED, quickly look for help around you. If a portable AED ever causes damage or fails to work, remember you can file a report on the official FDA website.

The Similarities of the LUCAS device and the Portable Defibrillator.

When it comes to CPR, AEDs and LUCAS devices play critical roles in preserving life. Below are the main similarities between these two devices.

  1. Both Machines Allow for Subsequent Application of Medical Procedures.

During CPR first aid, there are instances where the individual does not respond to chest compressions or even defibrillation. When this occurs, advanced medical methods have to be applied and often, along with chest compressions and defibrillation.

These advanced therapeutic techniques include but not limited to ECPR. The Extra corporeal Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (ECPR) is a technique under CPR. It involves moving a victim’s blood through a device that conducts oxygenation of the blood and pumps the blood back to the victim.

The intervention is applied only under specific conditions, and not everyone requires this technique during CPR. It typically occurs when there is an air leak in the lungs, or there is high blood pressure within the blood vessels of the lungs.

The use of the LUCAS instrument and the AED allows for the respective application of chest compressions and electric current during the occurrence of ECPR. These techniques further improve the chances of survival for the victim.

Another technique in which you can utilize the LUCAS device and the external defibrillator is the  PCI. Percutaneous coronary intervention is a medical method conducted in a hospital by qualified cardiologists. 

The PCI involves the use of a pliable tube that is passed through blood vessels until it reaches the coronary artery. The tube contains a balloon that is inflated to open up the artery. A stent then assists in holding the open artery in place. The apparatus is deflated and removed from the patient.

During PCI, it is essential to conduct continuous chest compressions as the procedure occurs. AEDs should also be on standby in case arrhythmias arises during the PCI procedure.

  • Both Devices Assist Caregivers to Work safely and effectively.

In the past, it was normal for caregivers to switch after three minutes. Such a technique helps to prevent the build-up of fatigue during CPR. Fatigue affects the quality of compressions and resuscitation.

Emergency service providers and hospital staff also face risks as they attend to cardiac arrest victims. You can easily contract the virus by just administering CPR without the proper personal protection equipment.

 Hands-only CPR can be risky, especially during the movement of the patient to the hospital or during the resuscitation procedure.

During transport, a lot of things may happen. There may be bad weather, bumps, potholes, or any other uncertainty that may result in a minor or major accident. 

When this happens, the patient may be injured further, but the caregiver would be the one at most peril. It is because the person would have been issuing hands-only CPR or defibrillation while standing as the vehicle moves.

The use of the LUCAS and AED device allows the personnel to stay seated safely in a seat during transport.

The use of automated cardiopulmonary resuscitation also helps in improving the efficiency of staff. Once the defibrillation occurs, chest compressions can follow, then the situation can change from chaotic to calm.

Care providers can concentrate and make appropriate discernments to assist the victim. This way, they can conduct the correct diagnosis and apply the needed remedy.

  • Both devices allow for the application of quality CPR care.

Both AED and LUCAS devices help in providing quality CPR to affected victims. Let us start by looking at the LUCAS CPR tool.

The use of the LUCAS CPR device ensures that continuous high caliber compressions reach the victim. The device is very accurate in terms of pressure and the number of compressions.  

Different people apply different forces of pressure while issuing CPR first aid. When you couple this with situational incidents, it may affect the quality of the compressions.

Another benefit of the machine is that it comes with a suction cup. This part sticks to the chest during compressions and decompressions. It helps to alleviate a common issue during manual CPR, where the chest does not rise after compression.

When this happens, it requires the use of mouth to mouth technique alongside the chest compressions. The LUCAS CPR machine uses the cup to ensure the chest rises and drops ensuring air is reaching the lungs.

Such quality CPR helps to increase the chances of survival and reduce the probability of brain or nerve damage. Research has shown that the tool improves the flow of blood in the brain, which is vital for survival.

Automated external defibrillator work by correcting arrhythmia. Carrying out chest compressions can be useless if you don’t fix this abnormal heart rhythm first.

AEDs also come with clear guidelines on how to operate it as well as when to start compressions. Once you utilize the AED, then you have a higher probability of effectively resuscitating a person (up to 80%).

  • You Can Utilize the LUCAS and AED Devices Quickly.

AEDs come with specific operational protocols that are either in audio or written form. A characteristic feature of portable defibrillators is that you must utilize them up to five minutes after a victim loses consciousness.

Portable defibrillators come in various variants, but all have a simple design that allows for quick application of the device on a victim. All you should do is follow the AED manual and apply the electrodes and appropriate charge on the cardiac arrest victim.

The design of the LUCAS CPR machine allows for easy and swift application onto the victim. It has a large upper structure that can fit even large individuals. Its straps serve as a security measure to firmly protect the patient from slipping out of position as the device runs.

During the change from hands-only resuscitation to mechanical CPR, it was noted that the interruption time was only seven to ten seconds. It means that you can configure the device to start chest compressions as soon as possible.

Its specially made structural design helps to ensure it fits quickly and efficiently. It helps to ensure that CPR occurs as fast as possible to preserve life.

  • Both tools come with client support.

When a client buys a LUCAS device or an AED, it comes with unparalleled support from the manufacturing firms. The firms offer both local and online training on all the essentials of how to operate the devices.

The LUCAS CPR machine also comes with a vast repair service. Their crew are highly trained and have more than ten years’ experience. They make sure that all devices run smoothly and undergo maintenance so that they can work for as long as possible.

There is also a twenty-four-hour technical support center that is always on standby to assist customers. The manufacturing firm also holds seminars where clients get to learn the latest information and trends associated with CPR.

In short, when you invest in a LUCAS medical instrument, it comes with top of the line support. Not only will you get the help and service you require but also much more.

AEDs also come with support contact information that you can use in case of an emergency. You will receive tips and advice on how to operate the device correctly.

When you buy an AED, you can contact their support team so that they can advise you on the best AED training regimen you can undertake.

  • Both tools offer a high level of portability.

AEDs, in a real sense, are just mobile and external forms of the implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Both act as corrective measures that remedy abnormal heartbeats. AEDs contain all the necessary components for restoring the normal sinoatrial rhythm.

An AED can fit into any standard-sized bag. It usually has a box-like design that can fit almost anywhere. For this reason, it is quite common to find them in paramedic vehicles, malls, and even schools.

The LUCAS device is a practical CPR first aid tool because of its portability. The case which contains the instrument is slightly larger than the average backpack. Such a tool is easy to assemble and disassemble form the case. You can transport and use it in virtually any location, including airplanes.

LUCAS devices use a battery system, further increasing its portability. Even when electricity is not available, they can continue to run for a prolonged period. If power is available, it has a charging system that can you can connect to the usual socket allowing it to run longer.

The principle dissimilarities between the LUCAS and AED devices.

Although these two tools work under the same CPR process, they have several differences. Here is an overview of the main differences between portable defibrillators and LUCAS CPR machines.

  1. Risk of injury.

Portable defibrillators only work by passing an electric signal to a person suffering a cardiac arrest. Such tools have a very low likelihood of causing harm because of its simplicity. Even if you accidentally shock someone using the device, you are very unlikely to cause injury or damage.

Since the LUCAS instrument conducts CPR by mechanical action, it delivers a higher force of pressure as compared to human hands. Such a power generated by the device is likely to cause injuries or aggravate current injuries that the victim may have.

A common injury associated with the use of the LUCAS 2 device includes skin lesions, bruises, and rib fractures during CPR. Rib fractures were found more related to the LUCAS 2 device as compared to hands-only CPR. Sternum fractures are also a risk that may occur during the use of the equipment.

These resulting injuries may contribute to additional complications and affect the outcome of medical care as well as the quality of life of the victim.

  • Level of training.

CPR is sensitive; a small delay or mistake can save or destroy a person’s life. For you to effectively conduct CPR, you need to have some form of CPR training.

A LUCAS machine requires you to undergo training before you can use it. The CPR first aid tool can look complicated for a first-timer.

Remember, one must be able to disassemble the case, assemble and put the device into use accurately and ASAP. Not everyone who has access to it can operate it effectively,

Any errors in setting and operating the equipment may result in loss of life or occurrence of injury. Thus, it needs a robust training and demonstration on how to manage the instrument.

AEDs, on the other hand, come with clear instructions that allow most users to operate them effectively without any prior experience.  If you have some knowledge of CPR, then you can likely use an AED without incident.

Some AEDs come with a display and audio interaction interface that provides the user with specific instructions on what to do. With AED training, you can improve the efficiency of how you utilize this tool during an emergency.

  • Price ranges.

Both LUCAS and AED come with quite expensive price tags. However, out of the two, AEDS are cheaper. AEDs prices are diverse but range from $1000-$2000 per unit.

 At the time of writing this literature, the cost of one unit of the latest LUCAS 3.1 tool is about $16000. This price is quite an amount for such a device that should be saving lives.

Its price means that only well-funded health care institutions and emergency response departments can afford a LUCAS. The majority of emergency service providers in big cities have access to such tools. However, this is not the case in a rural town.

We don’t even have enough of them in significant public places where many incidents of cardiac arrest are rampant. However, AEDs are cheaper, meaning they are widespread in most public areas.

In Summary:

The LUCAS device is a mobile tool for conducting chest compressions for an extended period. Its primary function is to help in saving a life during an incident of cardiac arrest.

On the other hand, the work of the AED is to send a corrective shock to the heart to restore the normal heart rhythm. The AED contains an inbuilt battery that creates the electrical signals. Chest plate electrodes and wires serve as a path for the electrical signals to pass to the victim.

Both tools have a significant impact on the whole CPR first aid process. Proper defibrillation and successive application of chest compressions can help improve the likelihood of surviving cardiac arrest.