Heart patients treated at St George’s Hospital, London, are benefiting from cutting-edge technology that is helping clinicians to save the lives of those who have suffered a cardiac arrest.

The LUCAS 2 is an automated chest compression device that takes over the ‘cardiac massage’ part of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when a patient goes into cardiac arrest. This allows clinicians to perform emergency treatment quicker which increases the patients’ chance of survival. St George’s is one of only three pioneering heart attack centres in London currently using the LUCAS 2.

Pitt Lim, consultant cardiologist and clinical lead for cardiac intervention said: “This device allows blood to continue circulating in patients whose hearts have stopped beating to allow life-saving coronary angioplasty and stenting to take place in a controlled situation. Coupled with our 24/7 enhanced heart attack service, where patients are transferred directly to the operating theatres bypassing even A&E, we are able to push the boundaries and improve on the care we provide our cardiac patients. We have had some really positive outcomes recently and this is all thanks to the specialist team approach and new technology.”

Patient Cliff Daubney, from Surrey, was one of the first patients at the hospital that the device was used on. He said: “The care I have received from the team here at St George’s has been phenomenal. The nurses are wonderful and have made me very comfortable during my stay here. This machine is an amazing piece of equipment, and will help save the lives of many patients.”

Breege Skeffington, senior sister, coronary care unit said: “Mr Daubney came to the hospital suffering from a prolonged cardiac arrest. A number of treatment options were used and it was decided that the LUCAS 2 machine would be most efficient. This gave him regular chest compressions during CPR, and ensured blood was still pumping around his body. This method of treatment was more successful, and helped to bring his condition back under control.”

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact the Communications Unit on 020 8725 5151 or email communications@stgeorges.nhs.uk. Outside working hours, please page us by calling 0844 822 2888, leaving a short message and contact details for pager SG548.

The LUCAS Chest Compression System is distributed and manufactured by Physio-Control. A photo of the device is available on request.

St George’s is one of the biggest and busiest of the eight specialist heart attack centres in the Capital, serving the southwest London population and, since March 2011, patients from across east Surrey. It provides emergency care, diagnosis, medical treatment and outpatient services for all heart disorders. This includes heart attacks, heart failure, heart valve disease, heart muscle disease, congenital heart defects, high blood pressure and arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). The hospital is the heart attack centre for southwest London, providing a 24-hour emergency angioplasty service, enabling life-saving treatment to be given to heart attack patients.