Charlotte, NC – Life-saving technology can now be in the palm of your hand if you live in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. A new app hopes to send help to those in cardiac arrest before first responders arrive.
In April 2014, Paul Wylie says he was an otherwise healthy 50-year-old until he went to work out one morning. “In the middle of one the springs doubled over and fell on my face,” said Wylie. 911 was called and firefighters and paramedics rushed to his gym. Wylie says he had no prior heart problems.
“I was really active. I was working out all the time. That’s what sudden cardiac arrest is. It’s a silent killer,” said Wylie.
But Wylie was able to survive because two fellow gym members performed CPR until first responders arrived. “They saved my life, that’s why I am here,” said Wylie.
But not everyone can be lucky enough to have those trained in CPR nearby. Mecklenburg County, North Carolina is trying to change that with the help from a new app called PulsePoint.
When a cardiac arrest call comes into the county 911 center, those with the app – who are trained in CPR and are within a quarter-mile of the call will receive a push alert. An address will pop up letting users know just how close someone is who is in need of life-saving CPR.
“Minutes matter and that’s why this app is so critical to help us increase cardiac arrest survival,” said MEDIC Deputy Director Jeff Keith.
An ambulance can sometimes take eight to ten minutes to arrive. That’s enough time to cause life-altering damage to the body.
“In the first 6 minutes of cardiac arrest I would not have brain function because of the way the brain deteriorates because it’s not getting enough oxygen,” said Wylier.
The app even lets users know where the nearest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is located. The service is online now in Mecklenburg County and is a free download in your app store.
Amanda Rhodes, National Account Manager with CPR Educators says beginning CPR immediately after a collapse and having an AED device attached to the victim is critical to patient survival. “For every minute that someone is in cardiac arrest, they lose 10% survivability without defibrillation with an AED. That means if someone collapses and by-standards begin CPR and an AED is attached and the victim is defibrillated within 4 minutes, the individual has a 60% chance of survival. If you do not have an AED nearby, and it takes the Fire Department or EMS 8 or 9 minutes to arrive and defibrillate the victim – their chance of survival has dramatically decreased to around 10-20%,” said Rhodes.
Download the app today – if you have an AED add it to the app if it is not there already. Rhodes says “when minutes matter, seconds count. Early high-quality CPR and early defibrillation are key to survival.”