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New PulsePoint App Aims to Reduce Sudden Cardiac Arrest Deaths

PulsePoint is an innovative new location-aware phone application that empowers everyday citizens to provide life-saving assistance to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

Communities within Santa Barbara County can now use the application to dispatch CPR-trained citizens to major cardiac emergencies where the potential need for bystander CPR is high.

Notifications are made simultaneously with the dispatch of paramedics to anyone within the area that is CPR-trained and has indicated their willingness and ability to assist during an SCA emergency.

These notifications are only made if the victim is in a public place and only to potential rescuers that are in the immediate vicinity of the emergency. When notifications occur, they intend to target potential citizen rescuers that are primarily within walking distance of the event.

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 application also directs these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after SCA, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival, but only about one quarter of SCA victims receive bystander CPR.

Of U.S. adults, 57 percent say they’ve had CPR training, and most would be willing to use CPR or an AED to help save a stranger’s life, yet only 11 percent say they’ve used CPR in an actual emergency.

SCA is a major cause of death in the United States, contributing to 300,000-350,000 annually (SCA kills nearly 1,000 people a day or one person every two minutes).

SCA can happen to anyone at any time. Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.

PulsePoint notifications are generated by the 911 dispatch. It is important that all citizens know to call 911 in the event of a cardiac episode, no matter how seemingly small it is. Hesitating to call 911 could prevent life-saving CPR to be administered by a trained bystander. 

To get the PulsePoint app, go to PulsePoint.org or simply search for PulsePoint in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

Joyce Reed represents PulsePoint.

 

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