Local fire department adding equipment to combat medical emergencies

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas – October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness month. The Brownsville Fire Department has new equipment that will help those in need. More than 350,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest every year. The fire department is adding new equipment in their ambulances to combat these medical emergencies.

Deputy Fire Chief Cesar Pedraza explains how the LUCAS machine can help patients. “The LUCAS device is designed specifically when the heart is not beating and therefore can compress the chest and the heart at the same time, creating artificial circulation throughout the body.”

The fire department has three LUCAS devices in their ambulances. This new device gives uninterrupted and constant compression that keep the patients’ blood flowing. Cardiac arrest can be mistaken as a type of heart attack, but Deputy Chief Pedraza says they are not the same thing.

“A heart attack is the heart’s inability to receive adequate amount of oxygen either through an occlusion or blockage of a vessel or some other event. An actual cardiac arrest is when the heart itself stops beating.” said Pedraza.

According to the Heart Rhythm Society more than 65 percent of Americans underestimate the seriousness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. This month is dedicated to helping the public become aware of the dangers and ways they can help save someones life.

The Brownsville Fire Department is working on getting the LUCAS device on all of their ambulances and fire trucks.

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