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University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center partners with municipalities to equip EMS teams with life-saving equipment

Susan Juris, President, UH Ahuja Medical Center
Susan Juris, President, UH Ahuja Medical Center
LUCAS chest compression devices enhance communities’ emergency services

Beachwood, Ohio – Throughout 2013, University Hospitals (UH) Ahuja Medical Center worked with UH EMS & Disaster Preparedness Institute to donate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) equipment to fire departments in its service area. The equipment enables the municipalities’ emergency medical services teams to more effectively stabilize heart attack victims in the field.

During the first phase of this ongoing initiative, UH Ahuja Medical Center has purchased state-of-the-art LUCAS chest compression systems for EMS teams in Aurora, Bainbridge, Beachwood, Lyndhurst, Orange Village, Solon and Warrensville Heights. “LUCAS is a battery-powered device that delivers vitally important continuous CPR compressions at a consistent rate in cardiac arrest situations,” says Dan Ellenberger, NREMT-P, Director of Emergency Services, University Hospitals. The system facilitates steady blood flow in the patient from the moment it is activated.

“With cardiac arrest, there are many things paramedics must do and the faster they can accomplish them, the better the chance of survival for each patient,” says Patrick Kearns, Beachwood Fire Chief. “The LUCAS system frees up our paramedics to more rapidly start an IV and administer the proper medication. In the few months that we’ve had the device, it has proven to be life-saving technology for patients we have then delivered to UH Ahuja Medical Center’s Emergency Department doors.”

University Hospitals’ collaboration with the emergency services teams in UH Ahuja Medical Center’s service area extends well beyond donated equipment. “We train every EMS team on the proper utilization of their new LUCAS chest compression system,” says Ellenberger.

“The Ahuja Medical Center staff starting with the president of the hospital, and UH Emergency Services, are very involved in our community and with our fire department,” says Chief Kearns. “They were here for LUCAS instruction and they also made arrangements for the LUCAS manufacturer to train us. They will come to our department weekly to deliver any type of training we need. I cannot speak highly enough about the entire University Hospitals system.”

In 2013 UH Ahuja Medical Center purchased the seven municipalities’ LUCAS devices with its own funds. In 2014 the initiative is expanding with the infusion of philanthropic dollars. “We decided to engage our hospital’s Leadership Council, led by Co-Chairs David M. Carr and Fran Doris and whose members live in the communities we serve,” says Susan Juris, President, UH Ahuja Medical Center. “Over several months, our area’s fire chiefs educated our passionate Council members about the vital EMS-hospital link and how important the LUCAS system is to saving lives in the communities they call home.”

As a result, the Leadership Council began raising money for more LUCAS devices. With the additional philanthropic funds, UH Ahuja Medical Center committed to donating LUCAS CPR systems to the village of Chagrin Falls on January 14 and to the city of Pepper Pike on January 22 during their respective city council meetings. “The collaboration between UH Ahuja Medical Center, UH EMS Services and the communities we serve empowers our area’s emergency teams to respond in the field faster and better than ever,” says Juris. “UH Ahuja Medical Center is committed to providing this vital equipment as we expand our critical life-saving initiative throughout the region.”

UH Ahuja Medical Center is a fully accredited Chest Pain Center, providing advanced heart attack care to its patients.

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