Amy Schatz,

August 24, 2014 | by

Life Saving Crowdsourcing App Expands Reach To Stop Cardiac Arrests

Recode LogoOff-duty firefighter Scott Brawner was working out in a suburban Portland gym this spring, listening to Pandora, when suddenly the music stopped.

An app on his phone warned him that someone nearby needed CPR. Brawner reportedly raced around the gym, trying to find the victim before heading to the parking lot, where he saw a man sprawled on the pavement. He began giving the man CPR until fire and rescue units showed up.

The man’s survival wasn’t just a blessing for his family, it was a huge victory for the PulsePoint Foundation, a Bay Area non-profit whose app is making it easier to alert CPR-trained people that someone nearby needs help.

Crowdsourcing has been used for everything from political campaigns to potato salad, but PulsePoint’s app represents the first time it has been used on a wide-scale to help save dying people in cardiac arrest. Victims have very little time – generally ten minutes or under – to receive CPR before they either lose brain functions or die.

PulsePoint’s free app connects to local 911 call centers and alerts users when there is someone nearby in need of CPR. PulsePoint users get an alert the same time as local emergency responders.

It also shows the location of the closest automatic defibrillator (if there is one nearby) as well as a reminder about how to do CPR, just in case the user has an adrenaline-induced brain-freeze. A related PulsePoint app is trying to get people to crowdsource the locations of automatic defibrillators so volunteers will know where to find them.

“As a fire chief I was always focused on response times. Trying to get help to people faster,” said Richard Price, a former San Ramon Valley Fire Department chief, who is the force behind the app and the non-profit foundation that oversees it. Crowdsourcing volunteer CPR-trained volunteers “is a very efficient, low-cost way of making an impact.”

Price came up with the idea for the app five years ago after a disturbing incident one day while eating a sandwich.

He was at a local deli when he heard sirens, Price remembers. Emergency vehicles pulled up and he rushed outside to see what was going on. A man in a shop next door had collapsed and emergency responders were unable to revive him.

“He was on the other side of the wall, I couldn’t see him,” Price says. “He lay there unconscious with no one doing CPR. I had a (automated defibrillator) nearby in my vehicle.”

Although the iPhone had been introduced a few years before, apps that took advantage of location-based information were only starting to be developed.

“It just struck me that we could have off-duty professionals – police, firefighters, nurses and all the CPR trained citizens – who had to be in the exact right place at the right time,” he said. “We have these phones now. Could we use someone’s phone to determine their locations…give them the same capabilities as first responders?”

Price’s fire department had little money to spend on the project. He says he talked to developers around the Bay Area but couldn’t find anyone who would help them for the right price. He eventually connected with a computer science program at Northern Kentucky University, which required students to develop a working app as a graduation requirement.

A group of students created a working prototype “at almost no cost,” Price says. They tested the app in the San Ramon area and eventually found support from PeopleSoft co-founder David Duffield, whose enterprise cloud applications company WorkDay, volunteered to take over. The company still volunteers engineering time to develop and maintain the technology.

The PulsePoint Foundation was created in 2011, which holds all of the intellectual property for the app, as well as funding from WorkDay and other groups to help expand the app’s reach. The foundation also partnered with Physio-Control, a medical device developer specializing in automated defibrillators, to market the app technology.

Los Angeles County began using the system earlier this month, joining about 700 local communities in 20 states which have connected the technology to their 911 call centers. Another 200 communities are in the process of adding the service, Price says, which generally costs about $5,000 a year.

View the full story by Amy Schatz at Re/code.

Collier County NBC

August 23, 2014 | by

Collier County Sheriff’s Office looks to integrate CPR app with 911 system

COLLIER COUNTY, FL – Thanks to a communication technology upgrade at the sheriff’s office, Collier County residents can soon find out where victims are in need of CPR almost as soon as someone calls 911.

The city plans to integrate a mobile app called Pulse Point into its computer-aided dispatch system as part of a technology upgrade.

NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral

“The app typically displays all emergency activity in the jurisdiction, but alerts CPR-trained citizen and off-duty professional to nearby cardiac arrest [where CPR and AEDs are needed],” said president of the Pulse Point Foundation Richard Price.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office says they are still working out pricing with the company; along with if the call taker or dispatcher will send the information to the app. Pulse Point is only activated for emergencies in public places. It could save lives.

“The leading cause of death in adults in the United States, there are about 1.2 million heart attacks each year,” said chief of Collier County Emergency Medical Services Walter Kopka,

Kopka says heart attacks lead to more deaths than car crashes. He claims having someone there to jumpstart CPR could be a huge help.

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“If all they do is push on their chest until professional rescuers arrive they’ll be pushing oxygen up to the brain. And that’s exactly what we want done, prior to our arrival. Keeping the brain alive,” said Kopka.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is working out the details to sync it up with its 911 system.

A PSA from the company show’s how it works: http://vimeo.com/77306721

All people would need to do is download the app and sign up to get alerts in their area. Then alerts will show up on their screen.

Other cities like Orlando are already using Pulse Point.

View the full story by Sophie Nielsen-Kolding at NBC-2 Florida.

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WKYC (NBC)

August 20, 2014 | by

Court bailiff saves a life with CPR

CLEVELAND — Donald Austin of Cleveland owes his life to strangers. Strangers who had a basic skill that was needed at a critical time. On July 29th, Austin took a friend to traffic court. While waiting on his friend, Austin collapsed from a massive heart attack.

Deputy Bailiff Stephen Gaines was just feet away when it happened and jumped into action.

Trouble viewing video?

“It surprised me that the training I had just snapped back into me with CPR,” Gaines says. The officer adds he had help from several colleagues including a Cleveland Police officer who assisted with the CPR, several other court officers and Sheriff’s Deputies. All who’ve had CPR training.

Meanwhile, Cleveland EMS and MetroHealth, where Austin was taken, say that the PulsePoint app was also activated. PulsePoint is a free app that you can download onto your phone and it will alert you if someone is having a heart attack nearby. It will also give you the closest AED location. No one knows who’s app was activated, but there was someone else willing to help Austin.

Austin can’t thank the officers enough.

“I have a second chance with my family and people that love me, I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart for acting as fast as they did because they saved my life,” he says.

View the full story by Monica Robins at WKYC (NBC).

Steve Lopez, LA Times

August 10, 2014 | by

App could boost chances of cardiac arrest victims

Later this month I’ll be marking the two-year anniversary of my death.

That’s not a line you see too often, is it?

My heart gave out after knee surgery, because of an arrhythmia. Even for those who suffer cardiac arrest in a hospital, the survival rate is low. But I was lucky. A nurse quickly used CPR and brought me back from the dead in less than a minute.

CPR-needed Alert MapLast week while driving to work I heard my cardiologist, Dr. Leslie Saxon, on KNX-AM (1070) talking about a new app that could save the lives of those stricken by cardiac arrest. The Los Angeles County Fire Department is encouraging civilians to download the app and join a growing army of crowd-sourced good Samaritans — 13,000 so far — who can keep someone alive until emergency crews arrive.

Before I tell you how the app works and how simple it is to use, let me tell you why it’s so important.

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death, killing more than 1,000 people a day in the United States. The victims, who include children, often have no symptoms and consider themselves perfectly healthy. As opposed to a heart attack (a plumbing problem in which blood flow to the heart is blocked), cardiac arrest is the sudden loss of heart function caused by an electrical malfunction in which the heart’s pumping action is disrupted.

Without CPR — and I mean chest compressions, not mouth-to-mouth resuscitation — death can occur within minutes. That means a five-minute response to a 911 call might be too late.

“It’s going to take a community to impact the dismal survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients,” Saxon said.

The idea for the app was hatched several years ago by a Bay Area fire chief who thought there must be a way to put the 13 million people with CPR training to better use. So, what if the moment someone dialed 911 in a case of cardiac arrest, nearby civilians could be notified on their mobile phones and do CPR until paramedics arrive?

Richard Price, now retired from the San Ramon Valley Fire Department, helped establish a nonprofit that has now linked its PulsePoint app to emergency systems in about 200 California fire departments and several hundred more around the country. He said the Los Angeles Fire Department may be signing on soon.

“There have been some pretty significant stories of lives saved, directly attributable to the app,” Price said.

Most interventions, so far, have been by off-duty emergency responders who downloaded the app. But as Price points out, any civilian can learn CPR in a matter of minutes. The PulsePoint app itself has a “how-to” feature with a diagram on how to place the heels of the hands in the center of the chest and push down firmly and rapidly, about 100 times per minute.

If you have the app and you’re in the L.A. County Fire Department coverage area, you’ll get a beep on your iPhone or Android device if you’re within one-quarter mile of where the fallen person is. Although it might be best in some cases to simply do CPR until trained responders arrive, a related app will give you a map showing where the nearest portable Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, is located.

Even if you’re not comfortable using one, you might be able to alert someone who is. Not all cases of cardiac arrest call for an AED, but the machines are designed for quick diagnosis, with clear and simple instructions on safe use by lay persons.

Price said it will take some time for the location of all AEDs to be loaded into the app. And it’s going to take some time, as well, for AEDs to become more prevalent. Concerns about cost ($1,200 or more per unit) and legal liability have impeded wider use.

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Bob Roy, a Riverside man whose 14-year-old son, Travis, went into cardiac arrest at his middle school in 2005 and later died, has been lobbying to require schools to have AEDs.

“You’re a hundred times more likely to need an AED than a fire extinguisher, and which of those two are required by law?” asked Roy, who has helped place dozens of the devices in schools through the nonprofit thetravisfund.org.

Former state Sen. Joe Simitian, now a Santa Clara County supervisor, said resistance to AEDs is based in part on fears of legal liability if the devices malfunction. But the technology has improved dramatically since regulations were written, he said, and it may be time to legislatively broaden legal protection for those willing to try to save someone’s life.

More people die each year from cardiac arrest than from lung, breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. And Dr. Frank Pratt, medical director for the L.A. County Fire Department, says it’s time for cardiac arrest to be addressed with the same urgency.

“If this number of people were dying from an infection or a defect in an automobile or a stove, there’d be a national uproar,” Pratt said. “The PulsePoint app gives us an opportunity to reinvigorate the dialogue on the whole public health problem of sudden cardiac arrest.”

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LA Times Logo

August 6, 2014 | by

LA County Fire Dept. cardiac arrest app to ‘crowd-source good Samaritans’

Hoping to turn regular cellphone-toting Angelenos into rapid responders, the Los Angeles County Fire Department has linked its dispatch system to a cellphone app that will notify CPR-trained good Samaritans when someone in a public place nearby is having a cardiac arrest.

The app, called PulsePoint, sends Fire Department alerts out to mobile phone users at the same time that dispatchers send the official message out to emergency crews — increasing the possibility that a cardiac arrest victim can get life-saving CPR from a bystander while medical responders are still on the way, department officials said Wednesday.

The program also provides cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructions and the location of defibrillators nearby.

“Every person who knows CPR, downloads this app and activates it has their own fire department radio in their pocket,” said Fire Department medical director Dr. Franklin Pratt. “They become the first first responder.”

Enlisting nearby citizens who are prepared to deliver “hands-only CPR” — hard and fast compressions in the center of the chest — could greatly improve survival rates among cardiac arrest sufferers, Los Angeles County fire officials said.

Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby, who was on hand for a press event in Inglewood debuting the system, told The Times that the average emergency crew response time for his department was 5 minutes countywide, and sometimes longer in lower-density, far-flung communities such as Lancaster and Palmdale.

“If a citizen can begin CPR before the paramedics arrive, it increases survival,” he said.

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Medical director Pratt said that when the heart stops beating, the opportunity for survival with a good quality of life diminishes after about 3 or 4 minutes because of injury to the brain and changes in the body that make the heart less responsive. But in the first couple of minutes after cardiac arrest there’s still oxygen in the blood, he added. Immediate CPR can keep that oxygen flowing to the brain.

View the full story by Eryn Brown at the Los Angeles Times.

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Los Angeles County Seal

August 6, 2014 | by

PulsePoint App Now Available to Los Angeles County

Mobile app empowers CPR-trained users and off-duty professionals to provide help immediately after cardiac arrest

Contact:
Captain Tom Richards
C: (213) 247-8524
O: (323) 881-2472

LOS ANGELES – August 6, 2014 – To aid cardiac arrest victims quickly, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, The PulsePoint Foundation and The Wireless Foundation are making the PulsePoint app available to individuals in the Los Angeles County area today. Aimed at average citizens and off-duty professionals trained in CPR, the app alerts registered users when a sudden cardiac arrest occurs in a public place in their immediate vicinity. Informed at the same time as emergency responders, users are given detailed instructions, including the location of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) nearby.

More than 13,000 people in Los Angeles County have already downloaded the app, but local promotional campaigns are in development to help raise awareness among the County’s more than 4 million residents. The leading cause of death in the U.S., cardiac arrests outside hospitals are responsible for more than 1,000 deaths a day and 424,000 a year. Effective CPR administered immediately after a cardiac arrest can potentially double or triple the victim’s chance of survival, but less than half of victims receive that immediate help.

“Widespread deployment of the PulsePoint app can significantly strengthen the Chain of Survival by increasing the chance that lifesaving steps will be taken by CPR-trained individuals prior to the arrival of our personnel,” said Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby. “Mobile technology can help us build a safer, more resilient community, and thanks to the donation by The Wireless Foundation, PulsePoint is available to Los Angeles County at no cost to our organization.”

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“This is a perfect example of the ‘connected life’ that provides enormous benefits for all thanks to this very simple concept, which is to alert CPR-trained individuals to a nearby cardiac arrest situation so they may assist until the professional responders arrive on the scene,” said Meredith Attwell Baker, President of The Wireless Foundation and President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association. “If you’re CPR-trained, please download the PulsePoint app now to help save a life.”

In addition to the PulsePoint app, the Los Angeles County Fire Department will be launching PulsePoint AED app to help locate and record all public access defibrillators in the county for use during cardiac arrest emergencies. Once validated, these crowdsourced AED will be visible in the PulsePoint app as well as for dispatcher use during emergency calls. The PulsePoint apps are available for iPhone and Android and can be downloaded from the iTunes Store™ and Google Play™.

About the Los Angeles County Fire Department
Founded in 1923, the Los Angeles County Fire Department is an international leader of the fire service, and one of the largest emergency service agencies in the world. Each day, more than 900 emergency responders are on duty to provide fire protection, life safety and environmental protection services to more than four million residents and commercial businesses in Los Angeles County’s 2,296-square-mile area. When called into action following major international disasters, the Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team responds around the globe as members of California Task Force 2. Once back in Los Angeles County, these same elite responders can be found at work in hometown neighborhoods in 58 cities and unincorporated areas. The Department proudly continues to be a frontrunner in firefighting technology, offering specialized training opportunities in Urban Search and Rescue, Emergency Medical Services, Hazardous Materials, Air Operations and Homeland Security. Behind the scenes, more than 800 dedicated business professionals help carry out the mission. Learn more at www.fire.lacounty.gov.

About the PulsePoint Foundation
PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its mission is to make it much easier for citizens who are trained in CPR to use their life-saving skills to do just that…save lives! Through the use of modern, location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens and empower them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest. Deployment of the PulsePoint app can significantly strengthen the “chain of survival” by improving bystander response to SCA victims in public settings and increasing the chance that lifesaving steps will be taken prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS) professionals. PulsePoint is built and maintained by volunteer engineers at Workday and distributed by Physio-Control of Redmond, WA. The original idea came from Richard Price, the former chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Department, who wanted to bridge the gap between the critical minutes following SCA and the 13 million Americans who are CPR trained, but often don’t know their skills are required. Learn more at www.pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/PulsePoint and @PulsePoint.

About The Wireless Foundation
The Wireless Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to developing and supporting initiatives that use wireless technology to help American communities. The Foundation’s innovative programs benefit consumers in areas such as education, healthcare, safety and the environment. The Foundation was formed by CTIA-The Wireless Association® member companies in 1991. Learn more at www.wirelessfoundation.org.

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Los Angeles County Seal

August 5, 2014 | by

Los Angeles County Launches Pulsepoint CPR “Citizen Responder” Mobile App

Press Conference August 6, 2014, 10 A.M.

Home Depot, 3363 W. Century Boulevard, Inglewood

 

Contact: Contact: Contact:
Fire Inspector Rick Flores Amy Storey Shannon Smith
Los Angeles County Fire Department The Wireless Foundation PulsePoint Foundation
213-200-1829 202-736-3207 616-724-4256
rflores@fire.lacounty.gov astorey@ctia.org ssmith@smithmediarelations.com

 

WHAT: Los Angeles County is launching PulsePoint, a free mobile app that alerts registered users whenever a cardiac arrest occurs in a public place in their immediate vicinity. Informed at the same time as emergency responders, bystanders are given detailed instructions, including the location of the nearest automatic external defibrillator (AED), and can begin hands-only CPR until responders arrive. County officials will join PulsePoint Founder Richard Price and The Wireless Foundation to talk about how this mobile technology will aid cardiac arrest victims quickly and will improve survivability in Los Angeles County.

PulsePoint Demonstration: Following all remarks, a live narrated demonstration of how the PulsePoint app works will take place. A “victim” will experience a sudden cardiac arrest in the parking lot adjacent to the press conference podium. A “Good Samaritan” trained in CPR will receive a phone alert while inside the Home Depot and will run out to provide chest compressions while responders are dispatched. Los Angeles County Fire Station 173 personnel will arrive to simulate patient care and transport.

WHEN: Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 10 A.M

WHO:

  • Los Angeles County Second District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
  • Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby
  • Dr. Franklin Pratt, Medical Director, Los Angeles County Fire Department
  • Athena Polydorou, Executive Director, The Wireless Foundation
  • Richard Price, Founder and President of the PulsePoint Foundation
  • Danny Gutierrez and Roslyn De La Torre, Bystander CPR Good Samaritans
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest Victim Elbert Kirby, along with his wife Wanda Kirby

*Note: Fire Inspector Rick Flores will be available for Spanish language interviews.
A sign language interpreter will also be present.

WHERE: Home Depot Store, 3363 W. Century Boulevard, Inglewood

WHY: Survivability rates for sudden cardiac arrest are less than 8% nationwide and approximately 6% in Los Angeles County. Every two minutes, someone dies from sudden cardiac arrest. Survivability depends greatly on receiving immediate CPR. PulsePoint will provide immediate notification to those nearby who can provide chest compressions to double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. Learn CPR. Get the App. Save a Life.

VISUALS:

  • 40-foot PulsePoint promotional banner draped between two Los Angeles County Fire Department ladder trucks behind speaker area
  • A live, narrated demonstration of how PulsePoint works
  • Hands-Only CPR training booth featuring customized LACoFD CPR training kits
  • A Public Service Announcement video will be provided at the event (thumb drive)

Check-In, Refreshments:
A media check-in table will be provided.
Refreshments provided by Company 77 Pizza, courtesy of The Wireless Foundation.

We Thank Our Partners:
Special thanks to The Wireless Foundation, the PulsePoint Foundation, and Physio-Control for their generous partnership in launching this lifesaving app in Los Angeles County.

Press Conference Host:
Battalion Chief Anderson Mackey, LACoFD Public Affairs

Learn CPR.  Get the App.  Save a Life.

#PulsePointLA

Web: Social Media:
www.fire.lacounty.gov www.facebook.com/LACoFD
www.pulsepoint.org www.twitter.com/LAC0_FD
www.wirelessfoundation.org www.youtube.com/user/LosAngelesCountyFD
San Diego Logo Trio

July 30, 2014 | by

San Diego City/County Launch Coverage