Newsroom > DHHS News Release
For Immediate Release
May 18, 2016
Taylor Gage, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1970
Leah Bucco-White, DHHS, 402-471-9356
Lt. Gov. Foley Provides Update on LUCAS 2
Devices have helped save 16 lives in the first year
LINCOLN – Today, Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley announced that at least 16 lives have been saved in the year since Nebraska emergency medical services and hospitals received the Physio-Control LUCAS® 2 chest compression system. The lifesaving equipment came from a grant of almost $6 million from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is in the second year of administering the three-year grant which is being used to purchase LUCAS 2 to increase the chances of survival for Nebraskans having a heart attack.
“One hundred and fifty LUCAS 2 devices have been distributed to EMS services and hospitals across the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Foley. “LUCAS 2 gives communities an additional resource in their arsenal to improve cardiac patient care and save lives.”
“Partnerships play a critical role in patient care. This equipment helps strengthen Nebraska’s cardiac care systems and enhances the connections between EMS providers and hospital networks and ultimately it’s the patient who benefits,” said Judy Martin, Deputy Director of Public Health for DHHS.
DHHS’ Emergency Medical Services program coordinates purchase and distribution of the devices as well as the appropriate training. Approximately 340 ambulance services and 85 hospitals in Nebraska will receive LUCAS 2 by the end of 2017.
LUCAS 2 is an external, mechanical device that provides automated chest compressions to an adult in cardiac arrest. The device is a consistent and effective way to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). LUCAS 2 is designed for use by first responders and hospital personnel and it enhances opportunities to improve outcomes for heart attack patients.
See the story about a Nebraska City resident whose life was saved and the role LUCAS 2 played in the emergency care he received by clicking here
LUCAS 2 enhances existing cardiac care efforts and continues to build on the good work already being done in Nebraska.
In 2013, the state Legislature appropriated $150,000 which helped move Nebraska’s cardiac care systems ahead. The funds were used to purchase or upgrade electrocardiogram devices for ambulance services. The devices monitor and identify problems with the heart and increase communication between EMS providers and hospitals when a person is having a heart attack. Additionally, LB 657, signed by the Governor in 2015, also included $160,000 to continue this effort.
In 2014, a $4.1 million Helmsley Charitable Trust initiative, Mission: Lifeline, was announced in Nebraska. The American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate who is leading the initiative partnered with the Helmsley Charitable Trust and DHHS along with Nebraska hospitals and EMS services across the state to provide important training and equipment.
Just over 500 Nebraskans died from heart attacks in 2014. From cutting down on the amount of time to diagnose a cardiac event to getting patients to the proper facility and notifying the hospital cardiac team so they’re waiting and ready to go, cardiac care systems speed up the process which in turn increases chances of survival, achieves better outcomes and enhances life expectancy.
About The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in a variety of selected areas. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $1.5 billion to a wide range of charitable organizations. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $285 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana. For more information on the Trust and its programs, please visit www.helmsleytrust.org.