We have citizen scientists and citizen journalists, so why not citizen first responders? The location-aware app PulsePoint Respond connects public safety agencies with CPR-trained citizens for assistance with nearby cardiac emergencies.
There are apps for all sorts of things these days, most of which probably aren't adding a thing to our lives, except for distraction and entertainment, but sometimes you run across one that's just brilliant, such as this one, which could actually help save someone's life. It's like an Amber Alert, but for Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims.
In a cardiac emergency, the first few minutes are crucial, and while trained medical crews can respond to a 911 call fairly quickly, survival rates can drop significantly with every minute without CPR, so the faster that CPR can be administered, the better. The PulsePoint Respond app (iOS and Android) , which was developed by a California nonprofit, allows participating local emergency services to send push notifications to nearby CPR-trained citizens, who may be able to begin CPR much faster than emergency medical services could.
Citizens who have been trained in CPR, and who are willing to perform CPR on a stranger, can download the PulsePoint Respond app and apply to be notified if someone nearby is in need of CPR. The push notifications, which include the victim's location, come from the local emergency call center at the same time that emergency services are dispatched, and alert trained users in the vicinity, who can respond as they are able.
"At the time of need, users that have opted-in receive a push notification accompanied by a distinctive alert tone. The notification is followed by a map display showing the dispatched location of the emergency along with the precise location of the citizen rescuer – providing for easy navigation between the two. The map display also shows the exact location of the nearest AEDs. In many cases nationwide, nearby AEDs have not been used when they may have made a big difference. The application aims to address this type of failure by informing citizen rescuers where the nearest AED is located – in real-time and in context of their current location." - PulsePoint
The PulsePoint also displays all of the local emergency response incidents in real-time, and allows users to listen in on live emergency radio traffic, providing a "virtual window into the emergency communication centers" of local participating agencies.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), which is not the same as a heart attack, is a leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for about 325,000 deaths each year, with less than an 8% survival rate. Administering CPR to a victim of SCA can be a lifesaver, by maintaining the blood flow to the heart and brain until emergency medical technicians can take over.
Find out how you can get involved as a citizen first responder for cardiac emergencies at PulsePoint. And even if you don't think you'll use the app, if you haven't been trained in CPR yet, consider taking a class and learning this valuable lifesaving skill.