New app may make a lifesaving difference in a cardiac emergency

New app may make a lifesaving difference in a cardiac emergency

A new smartphone app is saving lives, one notification at a time.

PulsePoint Respond is a free mobile app that alerts all potential first-responders — including citizens and off-duty medical professionals — who are within a quarter-mile of a person experiencing a cardiac arrest.

The app provides directions on where to find the person in need, then displays reminders on how to deliver chest compressions. The alert goes out at the same time as emergency dispatch to firefighters and paramedics, which may cause multiple responders to appear on the scene to help the victim. However, too many responders is better than not enough. Civilian responders are granted immunity from civil liability in accordance with each state’s Good Samaritan laws.

The lifesaving app, which is currently active in more than 3,300 communities in 42 states, was started in 2010 by a Bay Area nonprofit PulsePoint Foundation. To date, more than 153,000 users have been notified of a cardiac arrest through the app.

The app does not alert participants to a cardiac arrest occurring in a private residence. Cardiac arrest occurring outside of a medical setting kills over 1,000 Americans each day, according to the American Heart Association. Effective bystander CPR delivered immediately after a heart attack can double or even triple a person’s chances of survival.

The app goes beyond CPR alerts. You may receive notification of events such as flooding, wildfires and utility emergencies.

If you have health care training or just want to do your part to prevent deaths from cardiac arrest in your community, download PulsePoint Respond. It’s now available in both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

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