An automated CPR device.

An automated CPR device.

The state Department of Public Health has won a grant that will allow it to make automated devices that perform CPR compressions available to emergency responders and hospitals across the state.

The chief of the Bureau of Emergency and Trauma Services, Rebecca Curtis, says the $6.3 million grant will be used to purchase the devices.

“Once this machine is on, it takes care of the compressions of CPR, as well as the decompressions of CPR,” Curtis says. “A typical EMS provider is completely worn out after five-to-ten minutes of providing chest compressions.” There’s another advantage to having the machine do the work.

“Those chest compressions are done much more efficiently, effectively, and then the outcomes are just greatly improved,” Curtis explains. This particular device is called the Lucas-2. She says the grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust is important as many small fire departments raise their own funds for equipment.

“Each device costs approximately $10,000 a piece. so that’s a lot of money, a lot of money that rural health care providers, rural E-M-S can’t really think about providing with their pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners,” Curtis says. Those who are interested can apply for money to buy a machine.

“They will be awarded through an application process, through the system on the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website. And then we anticipate the first shipment will start late spring, early summer,” according to Curtis. She says the manufacturer will work with the departments to train them on the machines.