The Helmsley Charitable Trust is providing $4.7 million for hospitals, including those in Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Carrington, N.D., to purchase CPR mechanical devices to save the lives of COVID-19 patients and protect the frontline health care workers caring for them.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is distributing $4,711,481 for the purchase of these cardiopulmonary resuscitation devices by hospitals in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana.

In this area, Grand Forks’ Altru Hospital will receive funding for 11 devices, while hospitals in Devils Lake and Carrington will each receive funding for one.

Other North Dakota hospitals that will receive funds are in Fargo, for 28 devices, Bismarck, 11, Minot, 7, Dickinson, 2, and Garrison, Jamestown, Turtle Lake and Williston each receiving funds for 1.

Since 2015, the Helmsley Trust has given nearly $33 million for the purchase of more than 2,400 LUCAS devices by hospitals and first responders.

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The LUCAS Chest Compression System devices deliver consistent, uninterrupted chest compressions, which allows health care workers to concentrate on other equally important aspects of patient care, thereby improving the patient’s chances for survival.

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.

The rise in cardiac complications caused by COVID-19 exposes both patients and health care workers to greater risk, as hands-on CPR may be needed for extended periods and personal protective equipment may become less effective in preventing the virus from spreading to health care providers.

The trust, which began grant-making activity in 2008, also supports projects, through its Rural Healthcare Program, that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and emergency medical services personnel.

Under this program, more than $452 million has been awarded to organizations and initiatives in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa and Montana.