POOLE Hospital has welcomed a new member of the team to the emergency department – and his name is LUCAS.

The hospital has purchased a Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System – also known as a LUCAS machine – following a £6,000 grant from the Talbot Village Trust.

This state-of-the-art piece of kit, which is above and beyond what the NHS can routinely provide, gives patients in cardiac arrest consistent chest compressions for extended periods.

Dr Gary Cumberbatch, clinical director, emergency and urgent care said: “Thank you so much to Talbot Village Trust for this device, it really is going to make such a difference to our patients.

“It will also take some of that physical pressure off staff meaning that we can provide even better care to the patient who is receiving the treatment.”

Currently, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is delivered manually for a maximum of two minutes. It requires a high amount of physical effort to sustain continuous, effective CPR during a prolonged cardiac arrest. After two minutes, a change of staff is required which leads to an interruption in CPR.

However, The LUCAS machine provides patients with consistent, high-quality chest compressions for extended periods of time.

Emergency healthcare staff say prolonged CPR is often required as a result of drowning, for hypothermic patients in cardiac arrest and when thrombolysis has been given to a pulmonary embolism. All of these scenarios can require up to an hour-and-a-half of CPR.

Bruce Hopkins, matron, emergency and urgent care, said “This machine is a great addition to the amazing resuscitation team we already have here at the hospital - it is a fantastic piece of equipment and will help so many local people.”

Last year there were 90 cardiac arrests in the hospital.

Sir Christopher Lees, chairman of Talbot Village Trust, said: “There was an immediate need for Poole Hospital to own this specialist equipment, to continue delivering the exceptional level of care that patients receive at the hospital.

“We are pleased to have provided this grant and ensure the long-term care of our communities.”

Meanwhile, Janine Golding, community fundraiser for Poole Hospital Charity, said: “The charity is extremely grateful to the Talbot Village Trust and looks forward to a continued partnership with them.”