CPR robot that’s saving lives is now standard EMS equipment in Honolulu

Honolulu EMS calls the automated CPR machine a game changer.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 5:16 PM HST|Updated: May. 19, 2023 at 9:45 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu EMS calls the automated CPR machine a game changer.

LUCAS, the Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System, can do chest compressions consistently for at least 30 minutes ― all on one charge.

Sunny Fitzgerald, a paramedic with EMS, said LUCAS has saved lives.

LUCAS allows first responders to perform other life-saving measures for a patient while CPR continues, “starting an IV, giving them medications,” Fitzgerald said.

Honolulu EMS purchased 50 LUCAS machines using federal CARES Act funds. Each one cost about $14,000.

And every EMS ambulance is now equipped with one on board.

Honolulu EMS shared the devices with the Honolulu Fire Department, giving HFD half of the machines. HFD has also used LUCAS during rescues.

Fitzgerald said the robot doesn’t get tired and doesn’t get rolled around while in the back of an ambulance so the patient is getting the best form of CPR available.

“It’s almost impossible to keep the same rate, depth, recoil, that’s all super important for CPR,” Fitzgerald said, “There’s no way that a human can compete with that.”

One downfall of the machine: It is difficult to watch as it performs chest pumps on a real person.

Fitzgerald said paramedics have had to reassure family members during the process, that the machine is providing their loved one with the best chance of survival.