September 29, 2015 | by

Mobile App Helps Save Life of Santa Clara Cardiac Arrest Victim

Life-saving CPR performed after mobile app notifies nearby off-duty ER physician to emergency

SANTA CLARA, Calif., September 30, 2015 – On Sunday, May 24, 2015, 53-year old Santa Clara resident Kory Trebbin was attending church when, without warning, he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and was left unresponsive and without a pulse. Witnesses dialed 9-1-1 to alert authorities and while professional first responders were called to the scene, a nearby off-duty ER physician simultaneously received an alert via her smartphone notifying her of this emergency just blocks from her house. The alert was sent via PulsePoint, a 9-1-1 connected mobile app designed to alert CPR-trained citizens of SCA emergencies in their vicinity.

KTVU Newscast: PulsePoint app alerts nearby CPR-trained bystanders

The PulsePoint mobile app is designed to reduce collapse-to-CPR and collapse-to-defibrillation times by increasing CPR-trained citizen awareness of cardiac events beyond a traditional “witnessed” area. The app also directs users to the precise location of nearby public Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

The PulsePoint app directed the off-duty ER physician to the exact location of the emergency based on the 9-1-1 call information. Using this information, the physician made her way to the nearby church where Mr. Trebbin had collapsed and remained lifeless. The off-duty physician, who handles these medical emergencies everyday on the job, performed CPR until a Santa Clara Police Officer arrived equipped with an AED. The AED was used to deliver a shock before fire department paramedics arrived on the scene.

Because of the physicians’ advanced training she presented her credentials to the arriving paramedics and assumed patient responsibility onsite. The physician, alongside paramedics, delivered three additional shocks to Mr. Trebbin before his heart established a productive rhythm. The team then transported him to the closest hospital, which happened to be where the off-duty physician was a practicing emergency room doctor. She was able to alert the attending doctor to Mr. Trebbin’s condition from the ambulance, seamlessly transferring his care.

Mr. Trebbin was without a heart beat for a reported 18 minutes, but walked out of the hospital, healthy and without cognitive impairment, just four days later.

“It’s a miracle I’m alive,” said Kory Trebbin. “I’m so thankful to those who called 9-1-1 and to the professional first responders who rushed to the scene. But the reason I’m alive today is because PulsePoint connected me to someone who could, and did, save my life.”

Santa Clara County was one of the first counties in the nation to fully integrate this technology with its 9-1-1 system. The collaboration and allocated resources from the Santa Clara County fire departments, the PulsePoint Foundation, El Camino Hospital and the tech company Workday brought this lifesaving technology to Santa Clara County citizens. The coordinated effort by the Santa Clara Fire Department, the Santa Clara Police Department, the PulsePoint-notified citizen responder and the care provided by the emergency room combined to save Mr. Trebbin’s life.

About the PulsePoint Foundation
PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through the use of location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens, empowering them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Deployment of the PulsePoint app can significantly strengthen the “chain of survival” by improving bystander response to cardiac arrest victims and increasing the chance that lifesaving steps will be taken prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS). PulsePoint is supported by the Wireless Foundation, built and maintained by volunteer engineers at Workday and distributed by our marketing and implementation partner Physio-Control, Inc. Learn more at www.pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter. The free app is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

About Cardiac Arrest
Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 424,000 deaths each year, more than 1,000 deaths per day. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. However, less than half of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR and even fewer receive a potentially lifesaving therapeutic shock from a public access AED. Improving bystander CPR rates and access to AEDs is critical to the chain of survival, which requires: (1) early recognition of the emergency and phoning 911 for EMS, (2) early bystander CPR, (3) early delivery of a shock via a defibrillator if indicated and (4) early advanced life support and post-resuscitation care delivered by healthcare providers. Different than a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart stops working properly. For every minute that passes without a SCA victim receiving resuscitation, the chances of that person surviving decrease 10 percent. After 10 minutes the chances of survival are minimal.

About Santa Clara
Santa Clara is a family-oriented and business-friendly city, led by a city government that has developed an award-winning ethics program and a commitment to fostering public trust. Located in Santa Clara County at the southern end of San Francisco Bay, about 45 miles south of San Francisco, Santa Clara is a strategic regional hub, convenient to freeways, airports, railroads, expressways, light rail and other public transportation. Home to global companies such as Intel and Citrix, world-class educational institutions like Santa Clara University, and the San Francisco 49ers who play at Levi’s Stadium. The City of Santa Clara offers history, innovation, culture, sports and fun and represents The Center of What’s Possible.

Media contact:
Shannon Smith
ssmith@smithmediarelations.com
O: (616) 724-4256
C: (773) 339-7513

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August 25, 2015 | by

Thousands of San Diegans Register for Life-Saving Apps

More than 35,000 San Diego County residents now receive alerts on their phones letting them know of a chance to potentially save someone’s life nearby.

That’s how many people have downloaded and registered for the PulsePoint Respond app in the past year since it launched locally. The app, which is free, lets users trained in CPR know when and where their help is needed.

A second app, called PulsePoint AED, lets users know where automatic external defibrillators (AED) are located nearby. The chance of saving a victim of cardiac arrest doubles when AEDs are used in addition to CPR.

The mobile apps were launched in July 2014 and March 2015 in a partnership between the County, City of San Diego, San Diego County Fire Chiefs’ Association, American Medical Response, Rural/Metro and the PulsePoint Foundation.

San Diego PulsePoint Launch

More than 1,800 local AEDs are also now listed in the PulsePoint AED app. As part of the crowdsourcing campaign in March, participants competed for prizes by using the app to identify both new and existing AEDs to expand the database of AED locations. The effort increased awareness about both apps and resulted in the registration of dozens of new AEDs.

“The more users we can add, and AEDs we can register, the more lives we have a chance to save,” said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Horn. “By working together to introduce and integrate this technology into the community, we are making San Diego a safer place to live.”

San Diego iPhone 6 AED MapThe crowdsourcing campaign participants received “points” for registering AEDs in the community. The Wireless Foundation launched an accompanying Twitter campaign to encourage San Diego residents to join the contest. Joe Ferraro, an Assistant Chief of Emergency Medical Services for the Miramar Fire Department, received the most points and won a new iPad, courtesy of American Medical Response. Other prizes included a signed Chargers football, signed Padres hat, Balboa Park and Midway Museum passes and Amazon gift cards.

“I want to thank all of the county residents who helped us add and verify AEDs through PulsePoint,” said Supervisor Ron Roberts, who led the effort to bring PulsePoint and its sister app to all of San Diego County. “Their efforts are making a difference. Chief Ferraro himself is a great example of how our firefighters are embracing PulsePoint. It’s also exciting to see the two apps bringing the community and first responders together in a joint effort.”

The PulsePoint app has proven especially popular with emergency responders.

“PulsePoint is something all of the local fire agencies are excited about,” said Don Butz, President of the San Diego County Fire Chiefs’ Association and Chief of Viejas Fire Department. “We’ve encouraged all of our firefighters and paramedics to download the app. It’s our way of always being available to save a life, even when we’re not on-duty. I encourage every resident who has CPR training to download the app and join our effort.”

The way the app works is all registered users who are within a quarter mile of someone in cardiac distress receives an alert on their phone asking them to respond. Up pops a map on your smartphone, as well as the location of an AED device if one is nearby.

Both of the free apps are available through Google Play or the Apple App Store. While the campaign is over, it’s still important to register AEDs with PulsePoint AED as it could save the life of someone in need. San Diegans are also encouraged to get trained in CPR, learn how to use AEDs, and sign up to receive the PulsePoint alerts and respond if needed. The American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and San Diego Project Heartbeat provide CPR and AED trainings throughout the year.

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Source: San Diego County News Center

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April 15, 2015 | by

“Find the AED Contest”: Residents Asked To Find Automated External Defibrillators (AED) For A Chance To Win Prizes

CONTACT:
County Fire – Stephanie Stuehler
408.335.8897 or
stephanie.stuehler@sccfd.org

Cupertino, CA – April 15, 2015 – Santa Clara County Fire Department in collaboration with the City of Cupertino, El Camino Hospital, and the PulsePoint Foundation announce the launch of the “Find the AED Contest”. Participants locate and submit photos of unregistered automated external defibrillators (AED) by using the PulsePoint AED app on their smart phone.

The contest will run from April 15 – May 15, 2015 and the top three winners who find the most AEDs in Santa Clara County Fire Department’s jurisdiction and specifically in the City of Cupertino will each receive a prize, such as an Apple Watch.

“Members of the community can use their smart phone to take photos of AEDs and upload the location information to the PulsePoint AED registry,” said Santa Clara County Fire Department’s Fire Chief, Ken Kehmna. “It is important to build an accurate registry to enable professional first responders and citizens responding to PulsePoint alerts to quickly find and use AEDs during emergencies. This contest will help us build that registry.”

The American Heart Association estimates that immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation with an AED can more than double a victim’s chance of survival. The PulsePoint AED and PulsePoint Respond apps are available for free download from the iTunes Store and Google Play. For more information about the contest, please visit www.sccfd.org/newsevents.

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Source: Santa Clara County Fire Department

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April 13, 2015 | by

PulsePoint App Helps Save Life of Cardiac Arrest Victim

Media contacts:

Shannon Smith, PulsePoint Foundation
ssmith@smithmediarelations.com
O: (616) 724-4256
C: (773) 339-7513

Chris Ernst, El Camino Hospital
Chris_Ernst@elcaminohospital.org
O: (650) 962-5853
C: (415) 710-9445

Life-saving CPR performed after mobile app funded by El Camino Hospital
notifies nearby citizen responder

SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 13, 2015 – On Wednesday, March 25, 2015 lifelong Sunnyvale resident Walter Huber was sitting down to dinner when he received an alert through PulsePoint, a 9-1-1 connected mobile app designed to alert CPR-trained citizens of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) emergencies in their vicinity. This app alert helped save a man’s life.

The PulsePoint app displayed a map showing Huber, 21, the location of the emergency, which was based on 9-1-1 call information. Using this map Huber made his way to the reported SCA patient’s location—a soccer field just steps from his home—where he found a man unconscious and surrounded by his teammates. Just minutes earlier the man had collapsed, unresponsive and without a pulse, prompting his teammates to call 9-1-1. Huber, who is CPR trained, immediately assessed the patient and began hands-only CPR. He provided chest compressions until a Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Officer arrived in a patrol car equipped with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The AED delivered a life-saving shock, effectively bringing Farid Rashti, 63, back to life.

“When someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating without any warning so time is critical,” said Dr. Chad Rammohan, M.D., medical director of Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Chest Pain Center at El Camino Hospital and a Palo Alto Medical Foundation physician. “It’s the ‘electrical shock’ from the AED that helps to restore the person’s heartbeat and it’s the mechanical pumping from CPR that helps the SCA victim to recover some blood flow to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and the rest of the body.”

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A family history of heart disease coupled with a 2004 heart attack, resulting in quadruple bypass surgery, has led Rashti, a Campbell, Calif. resident, to live a healthy lifestyle. However, while playing soccer on March 25th, he was hit by the ball on the left side of his chest. He felt a sharp pain, unlike during his earlier heart attack. He switched to goalie where he could catch his breath when, he recalls “suddenly everything started to go black and that is the last thing I remember.” Rashti had suffered a SCA. The only way for a person to survive a SCA is to immediately receive 1) CPR, 2) an electrical shock from an AED, and 3) transport to the closest hospital emergency room.

“Thankfully the PulsePoint app alerted me to someone in need, only steps away, so I could put my training to good use and, as it turns out, help save a life,” said Huber, a Mission College student. “The fact that you could potentially save a life with this app confirms how important it is for everyone to learn CPR and download PulsePoint.”

“I’m so grateful that I was in public, surrounded by people,” said Rashti from his home where he’s been recovering. “Without my friends calling 9-1-1, the PulsePoint responder starting CPR and the patrol officer shocking me back to life with an AED, I would not be alive today.”

Santa Clara County, in which the City of Sunnyvale is located, was one of the first counties in the nation to fully integrate this technology with its 9-1-1 system. The collaboration and allocated resources from the Santa Clara County fire departments, the PulsePoint Foundation, El Camino Hospital, and the tech company Workday brought this lifesaving technology to Santa Clara County citizens. The coordinated effort by Santa Clara County, Rashti’s teammates, the PulsePoint-notified citizen responder and the care provided by the emergency room at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center helped save Rashti’s life.

“Every element in this chain of survival was enhanced by quick action and cutting edge technology. All Sunnyvale public safety officers are trained as police officers, firefighters and EMTs so they arrive on scene and immediately bring life-saving support with an AED and first aid equipment,” said Steve Drewniany, Deputy Chief of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety. “It was the quick action by Farid’s friends and Walter that set the entire response in motion. You couldn’t ask for a better example of how technology like PulsePoint and AEDs can save lives, which is why we’re making full use of them here in Sunnyvale.”

The PulsePoint mobile app is designed to reduce collapse-to-CPR and collapse-to-defibrillation times by increasing citizen awareness of cardiac events beyond a traditional “witnessed” area. The app also directs users to the precise location of nearby public AEDs. The free app is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

About the PulsePoint Foundation
PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through the use of location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens, empowering them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Deployment of the PulsePoint app can significantly strengthen the “chain of survival” by improving bystander response to cardiac arrest victims and increasing the chance that lifesaving steps will be taken prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS). PulsePoint is supported by the Wireless Foundation, built and maintained by volunteer engineers at Workday and distributed by our marketing and implementation partner Physio-Control, Inc. Learn more at www.pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter.

About Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety
Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the City of Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety is one of the largest fully-integrated Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) public entities in the United States serving a City of over 147,000 residents. All of the Department’s Officers are fully qualified cross-trained Police Officers, Firefighters, and EMT-Basic professionals. Public Safety Officers fulfill these roles in their daily duties, ensuring the highest levels of efficiency and competency for the Sunnyvale community.

About El Camino Hospital
El Camino Hospital is an acute-care, 443-bed, nonprofit and locally governed organization with campuses in Mountain View and Los Gatos, California. In addition to heart and vascular care, key medical specialties include behavioral health, cancer, men’s health, neuroscience, orthopedic and spine, senior health, urology, and the first Women’s Hospital in Northern California. The hospital is recognized as a national leader in the use of health information technology and wireless communications, and has been awarded the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center as well as back-to-back ANCC Magnet Recognitions for Nursing Care. To learn more, visit our website, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or view videos on YouTube. For a physician referral, visit our website or call the El Camino Health Line at 800-216-5556.

About Cardiac Arrest
Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 424,000 deaths each year, more than 1,000 deaths per day. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. However, less than half of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR and even fewer receive a potentially lifesaving therapeutic shock from a public access AED. Improving bystander CPR rates and access to AEDs is critical to chain of survival, which requires: (1) early recognition of the emergency and phoning 911 for EMS, (2) early bystander CPR, (3) early delivery of a shock via a defibrillator if indicated and (4) early advanced life support and post-resuscitation care delivered by healthcare providers.

Different than a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart stops working properly. For every minute that passes without a SCA victim receiving resuscitation, the chances of that person surviving decrease 10 percent. After 10 minutes the chances of survival are minimal.

Source: Business Wire

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Media Assets

PulsePoint App Visuals
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Farid Rashti (Survivor)
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Walter Huber (PulsePoint Responder)
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SpacerChildhood Photo Walter Huber grew up wanting to be in public service. This picture was taken while Huber was just at toddler, sitting in a Sunnyvale fire truck.

Deputy Chief Steve Drewniany, City of Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety (DPS)
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Richard Price, Founder/President, PulsePoint Foundation
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Dr. Chad Rammohan
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San Diego Logo Trio

March 16, 2015 | by

San Diego County, City, Fire Chiefs Launch AED App, Crowdsourcing Campaign

Someone collapses nearby you at the gym, the store or even at work. They are showing the classic signs of sudden cardiac arrest: no heartbeat, no breathing. What do you do? How can you help?

Finding and deploying an automated external defibrillator (AED) can help save a life in those critical minutes before a paramedic arrives. In fact, you’re twice as likely to survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest if you receive both cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED assistance, compared to CPR alone.

Knowing where AEDs are located during an emergency is at the heart of a new crowdsourcing campaign launched by the County of San Diego, City of San Diego and San Diego County Fire Chiefs’ Association at a news conference Monday at the County’s Waterfront Park. The goal is to create a robust electronic map identifying the location of AEDs in the region, using a new app called PulsePoint AED. The PulsePoint AED app is the companion app to the PulsePoint Respond app, recently launched in San Diego County, which notifies nearby responders of a cardiac emergency through a “CPR needed” alert, providing a map of the emergency’s location and identifying nearby approved AEDs.

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Horn, Supervisor Ron Roberts, San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Javier Mainar and San Diego County Fire Chiefs’ Association President Don Butz and other local fire and government officials on Monday asked for the public’s help in using the app to locate additional AEDs in the County as part of the crowdsourcing campaign. Members of the public who register the most AEDs will earn prizes as part of a contest organized by the PulsePoint Foundation. Prizes will include an iPad donated by American Medical Response, an autographed football from the San Diego Chargers, Amazon gift cards donated by PulsePoint, a family four pack of tickets to the USS Midway Museum, two pairs of One-Day Explorer passes to Balboa Park donated by the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and an autographed Padres hat donated by the team.

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“Introducing this app today is yet another way to make heart health a priority and to boost survival rates for cardiac arrest victims,” said Bill Horn, Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors. “Now citizens can play a key role. We need your help.”

Horn also announced that the County plans to purchase about 30 new AED devices to place in Sheriff’’s supervisor vehicles.

The new app was developed by the Pleasanton, California-based nonprofit PulsePoint Foundation and distributed by Redmond, Washington-based emergency medical device company Physio-Control, Inc. San Diego has used the PulsePoint AED app to build one of the most extensive and model AED registries in the country.

“This new technology is going to help us create the most comprehensive database of AEDs we’ve ever had in the region,” said Supervisor Ron Roberts. “As citizens, we can help one another in previously unheard-of ways.”

Roberts said the app is just the latest heart health advancement in the region, along with Love Your Heart, Strike Out Stroke and Sidewalk CPR day.

The PulsePoint AED app allows anyone in the community to submit an AED, including the exact location, description and photo of the AED. All submitted AEDs are verified by San Diego EMS professionals before they appear in PulsePoint Respond. When PulsePoint Respond issues a “CPR needed” alert, providing the location of the emergency, it also provides the location of the nearest AEDs.

“We’ve already had great success registering more than a thousand AEDs across the City of San Diego through the PulsePoint AED app,” said San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Javier Mainar. “We’re asking for citizens to help build out a similar system throughout the region.”

Chief Don Butz, the President of the San Diego County Fire Chiefs’ Association, said fire agencies around the county are behind the effort.

“Every minute does make a difference when it comes to sudden cardiac arrest,” said Butz. “Each minute a victim waits for CPR, their chance of survival drops by up to 10 percent. In those moments before our first responders arrive, citizens can make a difference. Knowing where AEDs are is a big piece of the puzzle.”

Officials also demonstrated how to use an AED, and American Medical Response provided free CPR training and AED instruction and taught citizens how to use the new PulsePoint AED app from noon-3 p.m. on the south side of the County Administration Center building near the snack bar.

You can download the apps through Google Play or the Apple App Store, start registering AEDs with PulsePoint AED and be eligible to win a prize. You’re also encouraged to get trained in CPR and how to use AEDs and sign up to receive the alerts when your help may be needed. The American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and San Diego Project Heartbeat provide trainings throughout the year. You may just help save someone’s life.

For more information, visit the County’s PulsePoint information page or to download the apps, visit PulsePoint.

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Dane Co Incident Map

February 6, 2015 | by

Dane County Community Partners to Introduce Life-Saving Program

App Alerts Bystanders to CPR need

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 06, 2015

Contact:
Leah Huibregtse
Sr. Communications Strategist, Meriter–UnityPoint Health lhuibregtse@meriter.com
Work: (608) 417-5685; Cell (608) 516-2256

(MADISON, Wis.) – Meriter – UnityPoint Health, City of Madison Fire and Dane County EMS are proud to introduce the community to PulsePoint, a mobile app to help keep your heart beating in an emergency.

“Effective CPR given right after sudden cardiac arrest can significantly increase a victim’s chance of survival,” said Dr. Joseph Bellissimo, Cardiologist at Meriter – UnityPoint Health, which is funding PulsePoint through the Meriter Foundation. “We are thrilled that we are part of the team that’s bringing PulsePoint to our community.”

“PulsePoint is the result of the hard work and collaboration of a number of organizations in Dane County,” said Joe Parisi, Dane County Executive. “We know that people in our community are willing to help and this program connects them directly to those who need it most.”

Connected with the Dane County 911 Center, the PulsePoint app alerts CPR-trained bystanders when a sudden cardiac arrest occurs in a safe public place within their immediate vicinity. Users will be able to quickly find the victim and begin CPR immediately rather than idly waiting for EMS to arrive. The app also gives detailed instructions and locations of nearby automatic external defibrillators (AEDs).

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“We know that PulsePoint has saved lives elsewhere, and I am confident it will be successful here, too. The City is pleased to collaborate with Meriter-UnityPoint Health, Dane County EMS and the 911 Center in this project. This is a great success for the public we serve,” said Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.

“When it comes to cardiac arrest, every second counts. Every minute a person waits for help, their chances of survival decrease by as much as 10 percent,” said Madison Fire Chief Steven Davis. “We are always looking for new and innovative means to improve survival from cardiac arrest, and we are all looking forward to the potential success of this technology.”

PulsePoint is not limited to emergency responders or those with official CPR certification. It can be used by anyone who has been trained in CPR. Those looking for a CPR training course or more information on PulsePoint should visit meriter.com/pulsepoint

Download Source: Dane County Press Release (PDF)

Related: WISC-TV (CBS) News Story

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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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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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