February 4, 2014 | by

The Importance of Hands-Only CPR

CPR TrainingIn honor of American Heart Month, local first responders are teaming up to re-educate the public on the importance of heart health and cardiac issues.

Every year 360,000 Americans suffer from cardiac arrest outside of the hospital and every 90 seconds someone dies from cardiac arrest.

Unfortunately, only 41% of people who suffer a heart attack get help from a by-stander or witness. In the Fargo-Moorhead area that number is as low as 33%.

One of the main reasons area first responders have teamed up to stress the importance of giving Hands-Only CPR. Paramedics and firefighters say it’s easy and can be done in two simple steps.

View the news story at Valley News Live.

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January 25, 2014 | by

PulsePoint App Helps EMS Save Cardiac Arrest Lives

This week on the show, I thought I would review the PulsePoint app from the PulsePoint Foundation at PulsePoint.org. I’ve interviewed Richard Price from PulsePoint a few times on the MedicCast and featured him last year as an EMS 10 Innovator on the MedicCast TV weekly commentary but I’ve never actually reviewed the app itself.

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App Notifies Bystander CPR Providers

For those of you who don’t know what it is, the PulsePoint app is a mobile app that connects bystander CPR trained individuals to any nearby reported cardiac arrests in a given jurisdiction. It works like this. First a jurisdiction has to sign up to integrate their computer dispatch system with the PulsePoint system.

Then, when a cardiac arrest is reported, not only are EMS, Fire and police crews dispatched, bystanders who have installed the app in the area are also alerted when they’re within about a 1/4 mile of the GPS location reported by the 911 call. It gives them walking directions to the location of the cardiac arrest patient and nearby AEDs.

Early Compressions Key to Saving Life

The goal is to get bystander compressions started as soon as possible, before EMS arrives on the scene, giving the patient the best chance of survival. This system has already saved countless lives and is installed in hundreds of jurisdictions worldwide.

Read the full post and learn more about Jamie Davis at The MedicCast.

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January 23, 2014 | by

Cardiac app coming to Bend

Smartphone app alerts of heart emergencies

Bend, ORYou’ve gone into cardiac arrest.

With every minute that passes without resuscitation, you’re 10 percent less likely to survive. After 5 minutes, your odds are cut in half.

Paramedics with the Bend Fire Department take an average of 8 minutes to show up, so your life may hinge on the off-chance a nearby Good Samaritan knows CPR.

If you live in Bend, that chance may increase as soon as this summer. The Bend Fire Department is implementing a smartphone app called PulsePoint, which syncs with the local emergency dispatch to automatically alert volunteers within close range to start CPR on a cardiac arrest patient before the ambulance arrives.

Steve O’Malley, Bend Fire’s deputy chief of emergency medical services, said the department in recent years has stepped up its handling of cardiac arrests — recording data and reviewing each case, examining its protocols against American Heart Association guidelines — and part of that means allowing the public to get involved.

“What this does is it gives legs to people that are public-safety minded, that are altruistic, that would like to help their fellow man,” he said. “It just kind of gives a really tangible way to make that happen.”

Once PulsePoint’s software is synced with emergency dispatch, those who download the free app receive an alert on their phones any time there is a report of a cardiac arrest within a half-mile from them. (Cities can set their own distances. Urban areas usually go with a quarter-mile.) The alert is automatic, so 911 dispatchers don’t need to press any more buttons than usual. The cardiac arrest also must happen in a public place in order for the alert to go off.

Read the full article by Tara Bannow at The Bulletin.

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December 24, 2013 | by

How CPR Can Save a Life

Image by Margaret RiegelMillions of people have been trained in CPR in recent decades, yet when people who aren’t in hospitals collapse from a sudden cardiac arrest, relatively few bystanders attempt resuscitation. Only one-fourth to one-third of those who might be helped by CPR receive it before paramedics arrive.

With so many people trained, why isn’t bystander CPR done more often?

For one thing, people forget what to do: the panic that may ensue is not conducive to accurate recall. Even those with medical training often can’t remember the steps just a few months after learning them. Rather than make a mistake, some bystanders simply do nothing beyond calling 911, even though emergency dispatchers often tell callers how to perform CPR.

Then there is the yuck factor: performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a stranger. So pervasive is the feeling of reluctance that researchers decided to study whether rescue breathing is really necessary.

Two major studies, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in July 2010, clearly demonstrated that chest compressions alone were as good or even better than combining them with rescue breathing. In both studies, one conducted in Washington State and London and the other in Sweden, a slightly higher percentage of people who received only bystander chest compressions survived to be discharged from the hospital with good brain function.

When a person collapses suddenly because the heart’s electrical function goes awry, it turned out, there is often enough air in the lungs to sustain heart and brain function for a few minutes, as long as blood is pumped continuously to those vital organs. In addition, some people gasp while in cardiac arrest, which can bring more oxygen into the lungs. Indeed, the studies strongly suggested that interrupting chest compressions to administer rescue breaths actually diminishes the effectiveness of CPR in these patients.

Read the full article by Jane Brody at The New York Times.

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December 23, 2013 | by

Local Fire Departments Develop New App

Moorhead ProfileHave you ever wanted to be a superhero?

Well, even though you won’t ever be able to fly, the Moorhead and Fargo Fire Departments have joined a mobile device app service called Pulsepoint that could give you superpowers.

The application’s motto is “Enabling Citizen Superheroes” and the Fire Department hopes it will do just that.

Do you know CPR?

Are you willing to save a life?

These are the main questions behind the app PulsePoint.

“A citizen running the application will receive a notification, if they sign up for alerts, when they are within one quarter mile of somebody recording a cardiac arrest incident in Fargo Moorhead. There might be somebody only a minute away that is trained in CPR and is able and willing to help,” said Moorhead Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Wallin.

More than 1,000 people die from cardiac arrest each day, and ¼ of those people don’t get CPR in time.

This smart phone application will notify people when someone in their immediate area is suffering sudden cardiac arrest so that if they know CPR they can get there before authorities do.

“They found that for every minute that CPR is withheld or delayed you lose about 10% of your chance of recovery, and within 10 minutes we typically have brain death starting to occur,” Wallin said.

Citizens feel this application will do great things for the community.

“I think it’s a good idea, I think that anytime you have that kind of help right there to save someone’s life it’s good,” off duty nurse Jennifer Kwasnkiewski said.

Read the full article by Jamie Elias at KVRR FOX.

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December 23, 2013 | by

Fargo, Moorhead unveil app to get quicker help for sudden cardiac arrest victims

Moorhead Fire Chief Richard DuysenA new local smartphone app may help save lives by turning more people into rescuers.

A new local smartphone app may help save lives by turning more people into rescuers.

The PulsePoint app is integrated with the Red River Regional Dispatch Center, which handles calls throughout the metro area. When a call comes in about a suspected cardiac arrest, the 911 communications center activates an alert to PulsePoint app users simultaneously with Fargo and Moorhead fire and police units and F-M Ambulance.

Using a smartphone’s geo-location services, the app alerts users trained in CPR who are within a quarter-mile of the victim, directing them via a live map to the person suffering cardiac arrest. It will also show the nearest automated external defibrillator, or AED.

Fire chiefs from both cities unveiled the app during a news conference at Fargo City Hall on Monday and said they expect the app to improve the communities’ survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest – a frequently fatal condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.

“When someone experiences cardiac arrest, time is critical,” said Fargo Fire Chief Steve Dirksen. “A victim may die within minutes unless they receive early CPR and have access to a defibrillator.”

Moorhead Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Wallin said the two cities are the first fire departments in North Dakota and Minnesota to implement PulsePoint.

“I would like to think we are at the front of a wave that is just sweeping across the country right now,” Wallin said.

Read the full article by Robin Huebner at INFORUM.

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December 7, 2013 | by

Need to Save a Life? There’s an App for That.

Three years ago, San Ramon Valley Fire Chief Richard Price was eating dinner when he heard ambulance sirens. Someone next door had suffered a cardiac arrest and was unconscious.

“That whole time, while that crew was making their way to the scene, I had an AED in my car. I could’ve started CPR,” says Price. This event made Price realize that the system in place to help people during a cardiac crisis is not good enough. So, he — like many health care innovators today — turned to technology to enhance our society’s ability to save lives.

Every year, around 383,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur in the U.S. and less than eight percent of people who suffer them outside of a hospital survive. That’s because the first few minutes after cardiac arrest are vital to survival. After a person’s heart stops beating, brain damage can occur in four to six minutes. By 10 minutes, there is almost no chance of survival.

Even in Price’s former fire district, which he said had many advantages, ambulance response times were seven minutes in the city, eight in the suburbs, and fifteen in rural areas. Quality CPR given immediately after cardiac arrest can double, even triple, the chance of survival but this can only happen if CPR-trained people nearby know that someone needs their help.

That is the exact problem that Price is working to remedy.

Rather than merely reflecting on his experience as an unfortunate inevitability, Price was resolved to find out what more he could do to prevent similar situations in the future. That is how he came up with PulsePoint, an app that notifies CPR-trained bystanders of nearby cardiac arrests.

Read the full post by Taylor Kubota at the Xerox Healthbiz Decoded blog.

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November 23, 2013 | by

Taking pulse of CPR

Clark County unveils smartphone app that can help save lives of cardiac arrest victims

Troy-Wayrynen_TheColumbian_11222013_300pxApproximately 360 to 370 people go into cardiac arrest annually in Clark County, and an average of 17 percent survive, Dr. Lynn Wittwer said Friday.

Wittwer, the county’s emergency medical services program director, said he was defining “survive” as patients who leave the hospital in good neurological condition.

While a 17 percent survival rate ranks higher than many places in the United States, Wittwer would like to increase the survival rate to 30 percent.

And a tool he believes will help was unveiled Friday at the Clark County Public Service Center: PulsePoint, a free smartphone app that alerts CPR-trained users to a cardiac arrest in public.

The Vancouver Fire Department has been working about two years to get the app activated here, ever since Chief Joe Molina heard about it in California. A $25,000 grant paid for the behind-the-scenes work that Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency had to do in order for the app to work countywide. When a call about a cardiac arrest goes to 911, users of PulsePoint who are within 400 yards of the call will be alerted.

Chief Nick Swinhart of the Camas-Washougal Fire Department demonstrated the app Friday.

Now that Vancouver police and sheriff’s patrol cars are equipped with automated external defibrillators, the PulsePoint app has the next greatest potential to increase survival rates for cardiac arrest victims, Swinhart said. Emergency responders are hoping residents who know CPR will download the app, greatly increasing the chance that if someone suffers cardiac arrest in public there will be someone able to respond within a few minutes.

After downloading the app, the user clicks “Clark County” from a list of agencies. Then, under settings, her or she selects “CPR” from call types.

The user can listen to emergency radio traffic if alerted to a nearby cardiac arrest call. A map will show the patient’s exact location.

Doug Smith-Lee, EMS manager for CRESA, reiterated the app only alerts people to calls made from nearby public locations.

Read the full article by Stephanie Rice at The Columbian. Photo by Roy Wayrynen.

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November 21, 2013 | by

Did you know your smartphone can help save a life?

Press conference at 9:00 am to announce PulsePoint coverage in Clark County, Washington

CRESAVancouver, Wash. – November 22, 2013 – Now your smartphone can help you save a life. A free smartphone app called PulsePoint is now available in Clark County, Washington. PulsePoint enables subscribers who are CPR-trained to be alerted to a cardiac arrest at the same time emergency responders are notified.

Registered users will be notified when a cardiac arrest has occurred in a public place within their vicinity. PulsePoint will give the citizen responder mapping directions, notify them of any automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in at area and provide the radio traffic of the emergency responders.

Early CPR is the key if the victim is to survive. When a person goes into cardiac arrest, their heart, brain and other vital organs no longer receive oxygen. Researchers have found that without early CPR within the first 3 to 5 minutes, victims’ chances of survival are dramatically reduced.

The free PulsePoint app can be found in the Apple App store, or in Android Apps on Google Play. Within the app select Clark County, Washington – CRESA. You only need to be willing to do “Hands-Only” CPR. According to the American Heart Association, Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR in the first minutes of cardiac arrest.

Subscribers can also view active fire and emergency medical incidents and monitor emergency radio traffic.

Businesses, schools and other public sites with an AED are asked to visit CRESA website to see if their AED is listed in the PulsePoint database. Register your AED here.

Play a key role in cardiac arrest victim’s survival – Learn CPR and become a PulsePoint subscriber today.

Media Events and PSA
Media are invited to attend a press conference where the CPR alert for cardiac arrests will officially launch.

What: Press Conference to unveil the PulsePoint smartphone app.
When: Friday, November 22nd at 9:00 am.
Where: Clark County Public Service Center, Rm 679, 1300 Franklin, Vancouver WA.
Activities: CRESA’s PulsePoint PSA unveiled; cardiac arrest survivor speaks on the importance of citizen response and CPR; PulsePoint demonstration

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. Learn more at www.pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/PulsePoint and @PulsePoint.

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View the CRESA/PulsePoint Public Service Announcement

Contact
Doug Smith-Lee
Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency
doug.smith-lee@clark.wa.gov
(360) 737-1911 ext. 3949
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November 14, 2013 | by

CNBC Innovation Cities: The Rise of Health Apps

CNBC Innovation CitiesWhether it’s apps that tell us how far we’ve walked or run, or how many calories are in our meals, today’s technology is helping us keep tabs on how healthy we’ve become – or how much we’ve fallen behind.

One such app, PulsePoint, can be used to help save a life. “PulsePoint is a mobile application that alerts citizens who are CPR-trained of nearby cardiac arrests so they can get CPR started while the crews are still en route,” Richard Price, President of the PulsePoint Foundation, said in a report for CNBC’s Innovation Cities.

Using cloud technology, the app connects with local emergency communication centers of emergency services signed up to the program. When a cardiac arrest takes place in a nearby public space, subscribers in areas covered by the app – which is currently available in over 350 communities across 14 states in the U.S. – are notified with a push notification and an alert tone on their phone, followed by a map showing the precise location of the emergency.

Sudden Cardiac arrests account for roughly 325,000 deaths per year in the U.S. Today, 75,000 people have PulsePoint on their phones, although it is impossible to verify how many users are CPR trained.

A former fire chief in California, the inspiration for the app came to Price in an unusual place. “The original idea came from an incident where I was having lunch in a deli and was surprised by a crew arriving to a cardiac arrest that was happening right next door that I wasn’t aware of,” Price said. “We knew that all that time the crew was traveling to the scene we could have CPR in progress sooner,” he added.

While PulsePoint is helping save lives, motor company Ford has developed technology to help those who suffer from allergies. Ford’s SYNC system, which allows drivers to change radio stations and check the weather with simple voice commands, is now enabling users to stay healthy with the Allergy Alert App, developed by IMS Health.

Watch the video segment by Anmar Frangoul on CNBC.com

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