Sheridan Memorial Receives Funding to Confront Cardiac Threat from COVID-19

The highlight of May at Sheridan Memorial Hospital was the hospital reopening. (Courtesy photo)

Sheridan Memorial Hospital is among hospitals in five states that will receive funds intended to save the lives of COVID-19 patients and protect the frontline healthcare workers caring for them.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has announced a $4.7 million grant across five upper-midwestern states to pay for LUCAS mechanical CPR devices that will be deployed to hospitals caring for patients during the pandemic and beyond.

Two of the mechanical chest-compression devices will be purchased for Sheridan Memorial Hospital.

Walter Panzirer, a trustee for the Helmsley Charitable Trust, said LUCAS has been a proven, effective tool for saving lives during cardiac arrest. He said the devices will protect the frontline healthcare workers from exposure while they’re trying to save a patient, by providing mechanical CPR in place of the hands-on CPR that’s otherwise required.

Research has shown cardiac damage in as many as one in five COVID-19 patients, leading to heart failure and death even among those who show no signs of respiratory distress. Among patients who recover, many could have long-term effects from such heart damage.

Ada Kirven, who’s director of donor relations for the Sheridan Memorial Hospital Foundation, said the Helmsley Trust is a remarkable resource for rural healthcare and the community hospital, adding that contributions such as this make an immense difference.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust is partnering with medical facilities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Nebraska as well as Wyoming to ensure the LUCAS devices are in place before the peak of COVID-19 hits.

The devices will remain in place after the pandemic as part of the hospital’s system of cardiac care.

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