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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LA Mayor Logo

March 7, 2015 | by

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Opens LAFD PulsePoint Press Conference


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The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) formally launched PulsePoint on Wednesday, March 4th at an event at Woodrow Wilson High School in El Sereno where 120 students became CPR trained. Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas was joined by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAUSD ESC-East Superintendent Roberto Martinez, PulsePoint Foundation President Richard Price and The Wireless Foundation Executive Director Athena Polydorou to discuss the LAFD’s rollout of the free PulsePoint app.

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LAFD and LAUSD

March 4, 2015 | by

Los Angeles Fire Department Partners with PulsePoint Foundation

Brings Lifesaving Technology to Angelenos via 9-1-1 Integrated Smartphone App

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has joined with the PulsePoint Foundation and The Wireless Foundation to bring life-saving technology to Angelenos via PulsePoint, a mobile app designed to increase citizen awareness of cardiac events beyond a traditional “witnessed” area and engage them in potentially life-saving CPR.

The partnership was formally launched Wednesday, March 4th at an event at Woodrow Wilson High School in El Sereno where 120 students became CPR trained. Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas was joined by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAUSD ESC-East Superintendent Roberto Martinez, PulsePoint Foundation President Richard Price and The Wireless Foundation Executive Director Athena Polydorou to discuss the LAFD’s rollout of the free PulsePoint app.

“This app connects trained lifesavers who may already be on scene with people who need immediate help, when seconds count the most,” Mayor Garcetti said. “My back to basics agenda is focused on implementing technologies that can make a difference in ways that are most important to our residents, and there is no greater priority than emergency response. I want to see this app activate an army of civilian first responders across Los Angeles,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“Our new partnership with PulsePoint allows the LAFD to help save lives with our smartphones, which is technology that most of us already have in hand,” said Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas. “I am excited that Angelenos have another crucial tool at their fingertips that can help them further engage with their communities and fire department.”

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Targeted toward off-duty professionals and citizens trained in CPR, the PulsePoint app alerts users when a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs in a nearby public place, directs them to the patient location and provides CPR guidance while LAFD paramedic units are en route to the call. The app also notifies users of the closest available Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). Early application of bystander CPR and rapid defibrillation from an AED have proven to be crucial in improving a person’s chance of surviving SCA. 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.

The PulsePoint app also provides users with a display of the LAFD’s active and recent incidents citywide. On average, the LAFD responds to nearly 1,200 daily calls for service; more than 85 percent are for emergency medical services.

“Our youth represent the next generation of CPR-trained citizens. These students living in a connected world have come to expect technology to improve their lives and the lives of those around them,” said Richard Price, founder and president of the PulsePoint Foundation. “The premise of a PulsePoint Connected community truly resonates with them and they have proven to be active participants in this strengthening of the Chain of Survival.”

“Wireless technology plays a critical role in our everyday lives, and the PulsePoint app is a perfect example of how location-based services, apps, smartphones and crowdsourcing help save lives,” said Athena Polydorou, Executive Director of The Wireless Foundation. “The Wireless Foundation is proud to sponsor the roll out of PulsePoint and bring this life saving service to Los Angeles City at no cost to the Fire Department.”

“PulsePoint is a great way to engage bystanders in emergency response and this new Los Angeles partnership will empower a future generation of CPR responders,” said Brian Webster, president and CEO of Physio-Control, PulsePoint’s marketing and implementation partner. “With PulsePoint offering lifesaving technology, the Los Angeles Fire Department contributing high quality CPR expertise, and the Los Angeles Unified School District building a program that engages students, this is truly a model program for engaging a community to respond to sudden cardiac arrest.”

The free PulsePoint app is available for iPhone and Android and can be downloaded from the iTunes Store 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 the Wireless Foundation

The Wireless Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to developing and supporting initiatives that use wireless technology to help American communities. The Foundation’s innovative programs benefit consumers in areas such as education, healthcare, safety and the environment. The Foundation was formed by CTIA-The Wireless Association® member companies in 1991. Learn more at www.wirelessfoundation.org.

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Although a heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the two are not the same. SCA is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly, whereas a heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, but the heart continues to beat. Each year, more than 420,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. Survival rates nationally for SCA are less than eight percent, but delivery of CPR can sustain life until paramedics arrive by maintaining vital blood flow to the heart and brain. However, only about a third of SCA victims receive bystander CPR. Without CPR, brain damage or death can occur in minutes. The average EMS response time is nine minutes, even in urban settings; after 10 minutes there is little chance of successful resuscitation. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after SCA, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

# # #

LAFD: Peter Sanders, (213) 359-7141
PulsePoint: Shannon Smith, (773) 339-7513
The Wireless Foundation: Amy Storey, 202-736-3207

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Cleveland Clinic Logo

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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News 3 (WISC-TV) Logo

February 5, 2015 | by

App could help Dane County citizens save lives

WISC-TV (CBS) News Story

Dane County residents are being asked to download a new smartphone app that could turn them into citizen first responders when someone is having a sudden cardiac arrest.

It’s called PulsePoint, and two Madison firefighters have worked to bring the technology that’s currently operating in cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Cleveland to the Dane County 911 Center. When an emergency call for a cardiac arrest comes in, if the event is in a public place, an alert will be sent to those who have downloaded the app who are within one-quarter mile of the incident, at the same time that it’s sent to paramedics.

The goal is to crowd-source Good Samaritans, and get CPR help to victims before paramedics can arrive. The app provides instructions on how to do CPR in addition to directions to the person who suffered the cardiac arrest.

“We know there’s people out there with the training. We know there are people out there willing to help, and we know that they’re presently unaware many times of incidents that are close to them,” Madison firefighter Christopher Carbon said. “When you show up on scene and you do have bystander compressions going on, you immediately know the chances of survival are better.”

Last year, there were 547 sudden cardiac arrests in Dane County. The Pulse Point Foundation reports an estimated 325,000 people die every year in America from sudden cardiac arrest or roughly one every two minutes. Doctors say permanent brain damage or death can occur within eight minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest.

“Cardiac arrest, you know you hear that and you know it’s go-time,” said Madison firefighter Paul Britain, who worked with Carbon to bring Pulse Point to Dane County. “It’s happening all over, all the time.”

Evidence of how the app can work came last fall in Spokane, Washington, when a 911 call came in for a non-breathing baby at a ballet studio. The Pulse Point alert went out and using GPS technology, an alert popped up two blocks away on the phone of a local mechanic who volunteered as an EMT. He left the car he was working on, raced to the scene, administered CPR and saved the baby’s life before paramedics could get there.

“I thought that’s what it means,” Britain said after hearing about the Spokane story. “That’s what this project means to me. That’s how it works and that’s how it should work.”

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Carbon, who also works with Meriter Hospital, brought the idea to the medical center’s foundation, which agreed to pay at least $20,500 to install, operate and promote the program for its first year. National estimates are that 55-60 percent of all Americans have had some form of CPR training. Carbon said people want to help and the app gives them the chance to do so.

“It’s sort of like somebody opening the door and yelling outside for help, but just having a larger radius and more reach to it,” he said. “I do think the willingness to help is there. The excitement here is that people can return to their normal lives. People can enjoy their families and enjoy their careers and enjoy the things they were doing before the (cardiac arrest) happened. So, I think that’s where some of this excitement comes about. That when it works, it can work really well.”

Carbon and Britain believe Wisconsin’s Good Samaritan law protects those who would offer help to those in need. Further, they say the app tracks phones or places that phones are rather than people, thereby protecting the privacy of those who have the phones.

“There is an option to respond, it’s not an obligation,” Carbon said. “At the end of the day, I think we would always say, doing something is better than doing nothing.”

The app is available on both Apple and the Android phones.

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Richard Price TEDx

January 11, 2015 | by

The Heart of a Big Idea

In his recent TED Talk Richard Price, president of the PulsePoint Foundation, describes the original inspiration for the PulsePoint app and the challenges of advancing a big idea.

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