June 6, 2014 | by

A CPR App Is Saving Lives One Text at a Time

Calling 9-1-1 triggers a life-saving chain of events from a free smartphone app.

In May of this year, cardiac arrest struck Drew Basse, a 57-year-old truck driver in Clackamas, Ore., too suddenly for him to even call for help.

“I remember sitting down in my car and the dome light being on — then I was completely knocked out,” Basse said. He didn’t even have time to call 9-1-1. But a passing security guard did, starting a life-saving chain of events involving a free smartphone app called PulsePoint.

The security guard’s 9-1-1 call automatically sent a message to PulsePoint, and a text message alert went out from the app saying that someone needed CPR.

Scott Brawner, an off-duty firefighter from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue in Canby, Ore., happened to be on a treadmill at a nearby 24-hour fitness center when he got the app alert on his iPhone, telling him where someone was in need of CPR.

Brawner was surprised when the app kicked in, he said. “I was listening to Pandora — it turned off the radio, made a tone, and showed a map and AED location,” he said. “I had never seen the place before and I ran right to it.” On the way, Brawner could see where he was going on his iPhone map.

Full Story

He found Basse alone in his car sitting bolt upright. The security guard was there and shaken up, said Brawner, and he didn’t know CPR.

“I wasn’t even breathing when Scott Brawner found me,” said Basse.

“I pulled Drew out of the driver’s seat, laid him on the ground, and started CPR. I did a few hundred cycles of hands-only CPR — 100 beats per minute, compressions only. Then the ambulance and fire department came and I moved aside. It’s a little bit of a blur,” said Brawner.

The firefighter found out about the PulsePoint smartphone CPR alert system at the fire department he worked about a year ago. “During the roll-out I thought it would be great to put on my phone, and my wife downloaded it too. She’s also trained in CPR,” Brawner said. “I’ve been a paramedic for 34 years and have never seen anything like it,” he said about the app, which works on both iOS and Android devices.

While the American Heart Association reports that 9 out of 10 of the 359,400 people who went into cardiac arrest outside of a hospital in 2013 died, Basse’s case turned out differently.

View the full story by Jennifer J. Brown at Everyday Health.

Less Story