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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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February 14, 2014 | by

Announcing the Rollout of PulsePoint in Spokane County

Media Contact: Captain Scott Crawford – (509) 954-4750, PIO Bill Clifford – (509) 928-1700

What: The Spokane County Combined Communications Center and Spokane County Fire Departments are proud to announce the arrival of the PulsePoint smartphone App in Spokane County.

When: Friday, February 14, 2014 from 10:00 AM to Noon

Where: Spokane Fire Department Field House, 1618 N. Rebecca Spokane, WA 99212

Now your smartphone can help you save a life. A free smartphone App called PulsePoint will soon be available in Spokane County. PulsePoint enables subscribers who are CPR trained to be alerted to a sudden cardiac arrest at the same time emergency responders are notified. Registered users will be notified when a sudden 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 the area, and provide radio traffic of the emergency responders. Early CPR is the key if a sudden cardiac arrest victim is to survive. When a person goes into sudden 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, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival are dramatically reduced. The free PulsePoint app can be found in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

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

Activities:

Welcome and introductions: Bobby Williams – Spokane Fire Chief

PulsePoint Origins and History: Bryan Collins – Spokane Valley Fire Chief

PulsePoint – Enhancing the chain of survival: Michael Metcalf, M.D. – EMS Council

Spokane County Combined Communications Center role in PulsePoint activations: Brian Schaeffer – Spokane Fire Assistant Chief

A personal story of survival: Survivor Speaker – Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation

On screen walkthrough of finding, downloading, installing, and configuring the app: Brian Schaeffer – Spokane Fire Assistant Chief

  • Find the app on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
  • Install the app.
  • Choose agency and alert options.
  • Learn about other features.

PulsePoint demonstration: With sudden cardiac arrest victim, PulsePoint activation, Good Samaritan response, AED acquisition, arrival of SVFD Paramedics and AMR, demonstration of Pit Crew CPR.

Closing Remarks: Bobby Williams – Spokane Fire Chief

Additionally there will be:

Knowledge experts on site to show event participants PulsePoint and help them install and configure the app on their phones and other devices.
Handouts discussing Early Activation, Early CPR, Early Defibrillation with the AED, Rapid Transport, Emergency Room and Hospital Care.
Heart healthy snacks and drinks for attendees.

Websites:
http://pulsepoint.org/
http://www.spokanevalleyfire.com/
https://www.facebook.com/spokanefire

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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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