PulsePoint COVID-19 OHCA

May 20, 2020 | by

PulsePoint Resources During 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.


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 VR Pro COVID-19

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.

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June 10, 2015 | by

Clinical Trial: Mobile-Phone Dispatch of Laypersons for CPR in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Bystander-initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before the arrival of emergency-medical-services (EMS) personnel is associated with a rate of survival among patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest that is up to three times as high as the rate among patients who do not receive such assistance. Low rates of bystander-initiated CPR are a major obstacle to improved survival rates.

The usual approach to increase rates of bystander-initiated CPR has been to train as much of the public as possible. However, this approach is associated with substantial costs and uncertain effects on rates of bystander-initiated CPR. With the use of a mobile-phone positioning system, persons who have mobile phones can be located and sent to assist patients with suspected out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; this approach has been reported in prior pilot and simulation studies.

We hypothesized that the use of a mobile-phone positioning system to dispatch lay responders who are trained in CPR to assist patients with suspected out-of-hospital cardiac arrest would increase the proportion of cases in which CPR was performed by trained bystanders.

The use of a mobile-phone positioning system for location and dispatch of lay volunteers who were trained in CPR to patients nearby who had out-of-hospital cardiac arrest significantly increased the rate of bystander-initiated CPR.

Read more about the study and results in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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