Survivor Jos Kerkvliet thanks paramedics who saved his life with help of Lucas device
The SECAmb team talk Jos through how the Lucas device operates.
A man has 'met' the robot lifesaver who gave his heart vital compressions as ambulance crews fought to bring him round from a cardiac arrest.
Jos Kerkvliet, 55, suffered a sudden heart stoppage while in bed in the early hours earlier this year.
His wife Alison called 999 from her Little Chart, Ashford home and was given CPR instructions by emergency medical advisor Bethany Turner as paramedics rushed to help.
When they arrived, Alan Phillpott, lan Hougham and James Edwards continued the CPR before using a ‘Lucas’ device to continue to automatically administer compressions to Jos’s heart.
They also shocked his heart with a defibrillator seven times to re-establish a normal rhythm.
The device works by replacing human hands to give chest compressions to cardiac arrest patients.
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Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) Alan Phillpott said: “While it doesn’t replace the need for early conventional CPR, the Lucas is a great device as it is able to free up the paramedics to help treat the patient and it is also as efficient as the best conventional hand delivered chest compressions with the added advantage of not becoming tired.
"It’s an excellent example of a really successful outcome using the device.
"There have been examples of patients beginning to come round while still being resuscitated as the machine ensures the heart continues to pump the patient’s blood effectively."
He said Jos's resuscitation was a textbook case from start to finish.
He added: "Alison was doing a great job and she should be really proud."
Now Jos and Alison have met the team again for the first time since the dramatic events of May 10.
Jos is now due to retire but worked as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Director of Neuro-rehabilitation services in Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.
He was treated by a specialist at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford after being resuscitated at the scene for approximately 45 minutes.
Jos was fitted with a stent and although he suffers from some memory loss has made an amazing recovery.
He and Alison met the SECAmb ambulance staff at the Trust’s Ashford Make Ready Centre recently.
He said: “It’s been really great to meet the team and say thank you in person.
"I’m so grateful for everything everyone did. From Bethany helping Alison, to everyone at the scene and right through to the great treatment I received at William Harvey Hospital and the aftercare in the community I’ve received from the cardiac and long-term conditions team.
“I’m sure there will be many more people who receive the same level of care given to me with hopefully the same outcome.
“The Lucas does also sound like an amazing piece of equipment. But also I really think it’s so important people learn CPR.
"I think there should be an obligation for everyone to receive training."
Alison said: “I remember that Bethany was so good on the phone with me. I’d been trained in CPR but it was so helpful that she was giving me clear instructions over the phone about what to do. She was just brilliant.”
Video: Paramedics demonstrate the 'robot lifesaver' in action
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