Mercy Health Love County - News

Ambulances Have New Cardiac and Bone Stabilization Gear

Posted on Friday, November 15th, 2019

Natasha West, Paramedic and EMS Training Coordinator

Medics have been training recently on two new medical devices.

The Lucas 3 mechanical CPR device is going into ambulances. It performs critical, hands-free life-saving treatment during a cardiac arrest. This allows crew members to attend to other patient needs while the device administers CPR. The machine’s compressions over the sternum are perfect every time and it does not get tired.

“It’s like having an extra crew member in the ambulance,” said  EMS Training Center Coordinator Natasha West, Paramedic. The Lucas  3 is battery-operated and piston-driven.

Ambulance crews have an alternate CPR device already in use. The AutoPulse Resuscitation System also provides automated CPR to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. The AutoPulse squeezes the patient’s entire chest to improve blood flow to the heart and brain.

The other new device being demonstrated in the training center requires no batteries or electronics but is a marvelous pulley system.

The T-Pod Responder Pelvic Stabilization Device is a specialized pelvic belt designed to bring fractured pelvis bones together and keep them secure while transporting the patient to the emergency room.

Made of lightweight polyurethane about 12” wide and a few centimeters thick,  the fabric belt is wrapped around the patient’s lower abdomen. On top, the medic cuts or folds the cloth to leave an 6”-8” gap centered over the pelvic area.  The T-Pod pulley, a plastic closure device, is then applied to the ends of the belt.   The T-Pod has rows of buttons connected by a single pulltab  string.  The medic slowly pulls the string to snugly compress the pelvic region then tightens the device by weaving the string like a shoelace around the buttons.

Internal bleeding can occur with pelvic trauma. Once in place, the T-Pod should reduce the patient’s pain and improve vital signs. West admires the device because of its symmetrical compression and because there are no metal parts.  “It can be opened for examination in the ER then re-closed afterward, and it can remain on for an x-ray,”  she said.

Prior to the invention of the pulley belt a few years ago, ambulances and emergency rooms everywhere relied on a bedsheet splint to bring the pelvis together, West said. This method could not be optimally tightened and eventually came loose.

The Love County EMS Training Center teaches emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighter/medics, hospital clinical staff, and the general public how to perform lifesaving procedures.

The complete list of training center courses is shown on the internet at or by calling the hospital at (580) 276-3347. Scholarships and discounts are available to Love County residents.

Love County EMS is operated by the hospital. Tad Hall, PA-C, manages the emergency room and the EMS.