Health Matters: EleGARD saves lives during heart attacks

Amazing

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Two months ago we reported on a new CPR system that Baptist Health became the first to use.

And now, a local heart attack patient is giving credit to the EleGARD for saving her life.

Darlene Skogen, of Greenbrier, recently met the system’s inventor.

“Without that, you know I wouldn’t have made it,” she says about her heart attack.

There are three technologies: the EleGARD, Lucas and Rescue Pod.

The system combined benefits people like Darlene, who suffered sudden cardiac arrest.

The system raises the head and thorax in order to improve circulation to the brain, a first with artificial resuscitation.

“I had come to work, I was sweating and complaining about it being hot outside,” Skogen explains.

She doesn’t remember much, not even the heart attack. Paramedics rushed her to the hospital while using the system.

“Even though the patient is in full cardiac arrest, I mean we are talking about complete heart stop, when this system is used they are waking up and making purposeful motions,” says Wendall Pahls, Medical Director of Emergency Services.

Since June, Pahls says they’ve used the technology on nearly 20 patients.

Thirty years in the making, the co-inventor, Keith Lurie, is learning more about how it’s helping Arkansans.

“You know you spend a lot of time working on the technology, working with companies, working in the research lab and then you see somebody and meet somebody who’s been resusitated. It’s just pure joy,” says Lurie.

Doctors are seeing double, even triple the opportunity for patients to make a full recovery.

They believe it will change the way CPR is performed everywhere.

“Well over a hundred patients have been treated and I can tell you that there are multiple stories that are as striking as Darlene,” Lurie adds.

Darlene’s story is emotional for her family, who are grateful for the device that gave her a second chance.

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