Benefit of mechanical chest compression devices in mountain HEMS: lessons learned from 1 year of experience and evaluation.

Research paper by Urs U Pietsch, Volker V Lischke, Christine C Pietsch

Indexed on: 03 Dec '14Published on: 03 Dec '14Published in: Air Medical Journal


Pre-hospital care of cardiac arrest patients in the mountain environment is one of the most challenging problems for helicopter medical emergency services (HEMS) teams. To provide high-quality chest compression with minimal hand s-off-time is very demanding in the alpine area.We used and evaluated mechanical chest compression devices (Lucas and AutoPulse) and investigated if these are good and useful tools in the alpine HEMS. Over a period of 12 months we performed 7 CPRs in remote alpine terrain.On the strength of our past experience, CPR under special circumstances like deep hypothermia, in which a prolonged CPR is essential, the use of the Lucas and/or AutoPulse was an easy and sufficient tool even in difficult alpine terrain which requires special rescue missions like winch or MERS evacuation.