How Can YOU Save a Life? – PulsePoint: Empowering Superheroes

Anthony Unger, OMS-3, BS
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

My uncle believed he was a healthy man. Surviving cancer at a young age caused him to live a very positive and compassionate life. It was no surprise he signed up for a 100-mile bike ride supporting our veterans. He completed the two-day journey and contacted our family to share his joy and sense of accomplishment. Within minutes of sending his final text, he suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were called immediately, but they arrived on the scene too late. He had passed at only 48 years-old. Stories like this are far too common; however, there is a mobile app combating this paradigm.

Approximately 395,000 cases of cardiac arrest occur outside of a hospital setting in the U.S. each year, in which less than 6 percent survive [1].

PulsePoint works with local public safety agencies to establish communications with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certified citizens. The use of location-aware mobile devices allows the people to respond to a SCA and begin CPR as well as automated external defibrillation (AED) administration before EMS arrive. The mission of PulsePoint is to empower the community and allow its citizens the opportunity to save the lives of SCA victims.

The national average arrival time of EMS is about 8 minutes, but 14 minutes in rural areas [2]. Survival from SCA is close to 90 percent if defibrillation is performed within the first minute. Survival decreases by 7 to 10 percent for every additional minute defibrillation is postponed. Survival is less than 5 percent in adults with a 10 minute delay of treatment [3].

How it works:

When 911 is contacted and alerted of a possible SCA, the local dispatcher sends out a PulsePoint notification simultaneously with the dispatch of advanced medical care. The location-aware application will alert users in the vicinity of the SCA. The app also directs these potential rescuers to the exact location of the closest AED.

You have nothing to lose, while someone else has everything to gainDownload PulsePoint and potentially save a life in your community!

PulsePoint is a non-profit foundation and is free to download. There is no penalty should you decline the ability to respond to the SCA. PulsePoint is not yet available in all counties, but is expanding steadily.

For additional information go to PulsePoint.org.

References:

  1.  IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2015. Strategies to improve cardiac arrest survival: A time to act. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  1. SCAA (Sudden Cardia Arrest Association). About AEDs. Retrieved from http://www.suddencardiacarrest.org/aws/SCAA/pt/sd/news_article/43774/_PARENT/layout_details/false
  1. Seaman, A. 2017, July 19. Be prepared for ambulance wait times. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-emergency-response-times/be-prepared-for-ambulance-wait-times-idUSKBN1A42KQ
2019-01-15T21:52:04+00:00January 9th, 2019|Current Events, The Fast Track Issues, Winter 2019|

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