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May 20, 2020

PulsePoint Resources During COVID-19

Spike in Cardiac Deaths Related to COVID-19

The New England Journal of Medicine reported a 58 percent increase in the number of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs) in the first 40 days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, as compared with the same period last year. Many U.S.-based hot spots have reported a similar increase in OHCA as the pandemic spreads.

  • With social distancing and a reduction in public space use during the pandemic, along with hospital avoidance, more cardiac arrests are occurring at home, and survival rates are lower due to delays in CPR and AED use.
  • Bystander CPR was down more than 15 percent during this period.
  • It’s estimated that COVID-19 accounts for 77.4 percent of the increase in cases of OHCA.

Another consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by The New York Times, has been the disproportionate number of first responders exposed to the virus. This has resulted in some emergency workers holding off on or lessening the time they perform “risky procedures like CPR.” In New Jersey, University Hospital ambulances said they typically saw three to five cardiac arrests in a 24-hour period, but in April they averaged 14 per day.

Tools to Support Emergency Responders

PulsePoint is committed to supporting public safety agencies and continues to develop features that help agencies effectively and safely respond to OHCA events and create greater crew awareness of potential COVID-19 related incidents.

PulsePoint offers Verified Responder for medically trained community members and Verified Responder Pro for public safety agency employees. These users are notified of all cardiac arrest events, including those in private homes, with a larger activation radius if desired.

Verified Responder

PulsePoint Verified Responders are invited members of the community with medical or rescue training such as public safety retirees, firefighters from local agencies living in the jurisdiction, CERT members, doctors, nurses, and residential security staff or residents with special neighborhood responsibilities. These users share all the basic functionality of PulsePoint Respond with the addition of residential response.

Verified Responder Pro

PulsePoint Verified Responder Pro is intended for agency personnel who are provided advanced functionality. Professional verified responders are shown all calls in the jurisdiction along with complete address information and routing for all incident types. These users receive additional notification options and more detailed incident information, such as calls coded as COVID-19 related.

Real-time COVID-19 reporting is available to PulsePoint agencies upon request. This can help agencies and first responders manage exposure tracking and may also be a data point to predict future positive COVID-19 cases and assist with resource planning.

These features are available to all PulsePoint agencies currently using Verified Responder.