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February 23, 2015 | by

How a Smartphone App Can Help You Save a Life

App notifies you of nearby sudden cardiac arrests

When someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest, they need immediate help. That’s because the chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest drops 10 percent for every minute that passes before they receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

A smartphone app called PulsePoint Respond aims to solve that problem by connecting people struck by sudden cardiac arrest with the people who can give them help during the time it takes for emergency medical service (EMS) workers to arrive.

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and becomes irregular. The heart beats dangerously fast and blood is not distributed to the body. In the first few minutes, blood flow to the brain may be reduced so drastically that a person loses consciousness. Death follows unless treatment is begun immediately.

Finding help

With emergency medical workers taking an average of seven minutes to arrive at an address — let alone locate the patient at the address — the PulsePoint app crowdsources lifesaving help for people with sudden cardiac arrest, says Thomas Beers, Manager of Emergency Medical Services at Cleveland Clinic.

The app, which is available free on iTunes and Google Play, is integrated into the 911 procedures of participating cities. When emergency dispatchers receive a call regarding a suspected sudden cardiac arrest, they activate an alert to PulsePoint app users at the same time they dispatch local EMS.

The alert notifies app users only when an emergency is in a public place within a quarter-mile. The app uses a smart phone’s geolocation service to direct you to the sick person’s location and the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED), a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can deliver an electric shock to restore a normal rhythm.

About 1,100 cities and 22 states across the nation participate in the PulsePoint program, which is a project of the PulsePoint Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Participating cities include Las Vegas and Los Angeles. In 2014, Cleveland Clinic sponsored the cost of the software integration for dispatch centers in the city of Cleveland and five suburban fire departments.

“Cleveland Clinic’s heart program continues to rank as the best in the nation and we saw it as a natural fit to bring the PulsePoint tool to Northeast Ohio,” says Brad Borden, MD, Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Emergency Services Institute. “We hope that local citizens will join us in our fight to combat the No. 1 cause of death in the United States and encourage everyone who is trained in CPR to download and use the application.”

Hands-only CPR

You don’t have to be formally trained in CPR to help save the life of someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. You can give hands-only CPR by simply pushing hard and fast in the center of the victim’s chest. The PulsePoint app has information on how to do hands-only CPR and even plays a ticking rhythm so you can time your life-saving pushes most effectively.

Having sudden cardiac arrest victims get CPR immediately is so important that in 2008, the American Heart Association (AHA) revised its recommendations to encourage bystanders without formal CPR training to use hands-only CPR in emergency situations.

“If we don’t have people engaging in CPR early on, we’re way behind,” Mr. Beers says. “Without CPR, there’s very little chance we can save them.”

Leading killer

Sudden cardiac arrest affects about 1,000 people a day across the country and claims nearly 90 percent of its victims, according to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. It is the leading cause of death for people older than age 40.

Sudden cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, which occurs when one or more of the coronary arteries is blocked, preventing the heart from receiving enough oxygen-rich blood.

With sudden cardiac arrest, CPR keeps enough oxygen in the lungs and gets it to the brain until normal heart rhythm is restored with an electric shock to the chest through defibrillation.

“The PulsePoint app engages people to work as a team to save a life,” Mr. Beers says. “The more people we have out there with this app who can catch the alert, the more likely they can help others in need and give them a better chance for survival.”

Source: Cleveland Clinic

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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.

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“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).

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February 10, 2014 | by

Cleveland Clinic, City Of Cleveland and Westshore Fire Departments Launch Smartphone App to Help Improve Community Response to Sudden Cardiac Arrest

PulsePoint Connects CPR-Trained Citizens to Cardiac Emergencies

Monday, February 10, 2014, Cleveland: Cleveland Clinic in conjunction with the City of Cleveland and five WestShore fire departments has launched the PulsePoint CPR/AED smartphone app to help improve sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival rates.

The PulsePoint app helps improve community response to SCA victims by notifying and enabling citizen bystanders that lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is needed and where someone can access a nearby automated external defibrillator (AED).

“Cleveland Clinic’s heart program continues to rank as the best in the nation and we saw it as a natural fit to bring the PulsePoint tool to Northeast Ohio,” said Brad Borden, M.D., Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Emergency Services Institute. “We hope that local citizens will join us in our fight to combat the No. 1 cause of death in the United States and encourage everyone that is trained in CPR to download and use the application.”

The PulsePoint software has been integrated with the computer aided dispatch systems in the cities of Cleveland, Bay Village, Westlake, Rocky River, Fairview Park and North Ridgeville. Upon receiving a call regarding a suspected sudden cardiac arrest victim, the 911/emergency communication center activates an alert to PulsePoint app users simultaneously with the dispatch of local emergency medical services (EMS). Using a smart phone’s geolocation service, the app directs citizen responders within close proximity, to the victim’s location and the nearest public access AED. The alert will only notify app users when an emergency is taking place in a public setting.

“This is another example of the strong partnership the City of Cleveland has with Cleveland Clinic that helps improve quality of life for citizens and visitors of this community,” said Cleveland EMS Commissioner Nicole Carlton. “PulsePoint will provide the general public a unique opportunity to assist in the reduction of cardiac arrest mortality and partner with our first responders in a meaningful way. The app also provides detailed locations of all of the automated external defibrillators installed and maintained by the Division of EMS. Rapid application of defibrillation and CPR can improve survival rates to sudden cardiac arrest exponentially.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 325,000 deaths each year or 1,000 deaths per day. When SCA occurs, the heart stops beating in an effective, organized manner. As a result, blood is no longer pumped throughout the body. The person suddenly passes out and appears lifeless, except for abnormal gasping which may last several minutes. Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. Failure to act and doing nothing in a cardiac emergency can lead to unnecessary deaths.

“The seconds and minutes following a sudden cardiac arrest are critical to saving a person’s life,” said Bay Village Fire Chief Christopher Lyons. “The PulsePoint app will allow citizens to partner with their local fire departments in providing immediate assistance to those in such need. We very much appreciate that the Cleveland Clinic has partnered with the WestShore fire departments to bring this technology and its potential lifesaving assistance to the communities we serve. We hope that everyone with CPR training will download this app immediately. We also hope that people will consider signing up for a CPR class if they are not yet trained.”

The free PulsePoint app is available to the public for Apple iOS and Google Android devices from the Apple App Store and Google Play. After downloading, select “Cleveland EMS” and “WestShore Fire Departments” as the agencies to follow. There is also a “CPR How-To” section on the app that offers instructions on performing CPR for those not certified.

“We are very excited to partner with Cleveland Clinic and bring PulsePoint to the citizens of Cleveland,” said Richard Price, President of the PulsePoint Foundation. “This allows us to expand our reach in offering the lifesaving capabilities of the app and help improve cardiac arrest survival rates throughout the region.”

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals, more than 75 Northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 16 full-service Family Health Centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and, currently under construction, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2012, there were 5.1 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 157,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 130 countries. Visit us at www.clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at www.twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.

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.

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

Contact
Jenny Popis
Cleveland Clinic, Corporate Communications
popisj@ccf.org
216.444.8853

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January 15, 2014 | by

University Hospitals, East Side suburbs use PulsePoint app to enlist CPR-trained people to help first responders

The PulsePoint app lets any CPR-trained user know when there is an emergency within a quarter mile, and also provides the location of the nearest defibrillator. The app is coordinated with emergency dispatch centers and aims to get CPR to victims of cardiac arrest as quickly as possible, saving valuable minutes in an emergency.

CVD App ImageCLEVELAND, Ohio– If someone collapses in a public place and needs CPR, University Hospitals and an East Side 9-1-1 dispatch center are now using an app called PulsePoint to let ordinary citizens know about it, hoping that people with CPR training who are close at hand will step in until emergency workers arrive.

PulsePoint is a free app launched in 2009 after San Ramon Valley Fire Chief Richard Price watched his own fire department’s trucks arrive to a medical emergency at a store next to the deli where he was eating lunch. A man at the store had collapsed and needed CPR, but because it was a medical emergency, Price didn’t know about it.

“If it had been a big fire, they would have called me,” Price said. “But these calls happen all the time. Had I known, I probably could have made a difference, because I had a defibrillator in my car.” Fortunately, the man survived.

Price worked with engineering students at Northern Kentucky University to develop the app, and 500 cities in 16 states are now using it.

The PulsePoint system is incorporated into the 9-1-1 protocol: in an emergency in which a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest in a public place, app users within a quarter-mile will receive a notification of the event and also see where the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED) is located. An AED is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can deliver an electric shock to restore a normal rhythm if necessary.

Daniel Ellenberger, director of the EMS training & Disaster Preparedness Institute at UH, brought the technology to Northeast Ohio after seeing it demonstrated at a conference last year. Columbus-area emergency dispatchers began using the notification system over the summer.

“I thought this would be a great fit for us with our mission,” Ellenberger said. “Before anyone is going to survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, they have to have great CPR. We have to train people, but part of that is being notified that they’re needed.”

Read the full article by Brie Zeltner at The Plain Dealer.

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June 22, 2013 | by

Heart Attack or Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

In the swirling media coverage of actor James Gandolfini’s sudden death, the terms “sudden cardiac arrest” and “heart attack” were sometimes used as if they are interchangeable.

They’re not.

Sudden cardiac arrest and heart attack are actually two distinct cardiac conditions. Walid Saliba, MD, cardiologist and Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Electrophysiology Lab, explains.

Read the full post by Cleveland Clinic.

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