In a life or death situation, every second counts.
"Every minute they go without having CPR the chances of them not surviving the event go up 10 to 15 percent per minute," says Port Aransas EMS chief Tim Macintosh.
But even with more than 30 years of EMT experience, Port Aransas EMS Chief Tim Macintosh says the task never gets easier.
"Rescuer fatigue with CPR is very common,” says Macintosh. “After 2 min it shows the effectiveness of your compressions drop anywhere from 15 to 20 percent"
Which is why the department recently purchased the Lucas, a CPR machine.
The device performs what Macintosh considers to be perfect CPR.
"Provides continuous CPR normally somewhere between 100-120 beats per minute," says Macintosh.
This allows EMT’s to focus on saving the patient.
"Establishing an airway, getting IV access, preparing the drugs," says Macintosh.
The department acquired the Lucas at the end of March.
EMT’s were trained to position the device in under 30 seconds.
Days later, they put it to the test.
"We got a call for a patient short of breath. starting to turn blue," says Macintosh.
With the help of the patients family, the first officer on scene, and the Lucas performing continuous CPR, the patient survived.
"He woke up two days later and said I’m hungry,” says Macintosh. “He walked out of the hospital I think three days after that."
While it’s not life-proof, the Lucas gives people a fighting chance.
"It does give us the best opportunity to restart their heart," says Macintosh.
As of now, the department only has one machine.
That will soon change thanks to donations from Sand-Fest and the Port Aransas community.
Chief Macintosh says in the next three months they have a total of three Lucas’, one for each ambulance.