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‘Robot paramedics’ carry out chest compressions on patients in ambulances

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A robot paramedic is to be used for the first time to carry out chest compressions on ambulance patients to free up the emergency team who can perform other vital treatments.

The device is known as LUCAS 3 and is able to deliver consistent, high-quality CPR chest compressions whilst the patient is on their journey to hospital. CPR is essential to maintaining oxygen levels in the body and flow of blood when someone is no longer breathing.

South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) is the first ambulance service in the country to use the robots, which cost about £12,000.

An SCAS spokesman said: “Once paramedics arrive and begin CPR or take over from bystanders who may have initiated it, the transition from manual compressions to LUCAS can be completed within seven seconds, ensuring continuity of compressions.”

Data of the event can also be collected which can be reviewed at a later date.

Dr John Black, medical director at SCAS, said: “We know that delivering high quality and uninterrupted chest compressions in cardiac arrest is one of the major determinants of survival to hospital discharge but it can be very challenging for a number of reasons.

“People can become fatigued when performing CPR manually which then affects the rate and quality of compressions, and patients may need to be moved from difficult locations, such as down a narrow flight of stairs, or remote places which impedes the process.”

Dr Black went on to explain that these devices don’t “fatigue or change” their delivery as a human might. This means “high quality CPR can be delivered for as long as is required.”

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Source: The Independent, 22 May 2020

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