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Use of the Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System in the MD902: a fire safety assessment
  1. J S Farmery,
  2. M Carter
  1. Kent Air Ambulance Trust, Marden, Kent, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J S Farmery
 Kent Air Ambulance Trust, Unit 14, Wheelbarrow Industrial Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent TN12 9QJ, UK; jfarmery{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Background: The Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System (LUCAS) is a gas-driven mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation device. If oxygen is used as the driving gas in a confined environment, there is a potential fire hazard. 24% oxygen is considered the threshold for increased risk.

Objective and methods: Three trials were conducted using different cabin ventilation settings to determine the rise in oxygen concentration in an MD902 helicopter during use of the LUCAS.

Results: The oxygen concentration rose rapidly with the aircraft at rest, but during flight, using realistic cabin ventilation settings and durations of use, the oxygen concentration failed to reach 24%.

Conclusion: The LUCAS is safe for normal-duration flights in an MD902 helicopter. It is potentially unsafe in a static MD902 and, by extrapolation, in other static aircraft of similar or smaller size such as the EC135 or Bolkow 105.

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Footnotes

  • Funding: This study was funded by the Kent Air Ambulance Trust.

  • Competing interests: None.

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