Guest Blog: Enabling Citizen Superheroes

brendablogWhy do only 5% of victims survive a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), despite advances in emergency response systems and cardiac care?  It’s simple—CPR trained individuals don’t get to most victims fast enough. After just 10 minutes without resuscitation, chances of survival are minimal. The SCA victim’s fate is largely left to chance.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States. Different than a heart attack, SCA is caused when the heart's electrical system malfunctions. Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can restore the heart’s normal rhythm.

El Camino Hospital, governed by the El Camino Healthcare District, funded the development of an easy-to-use cell phone app by the nonprofit PulsePoint Foundation. PulsePoint was the vision of founder Richard Price, the former Fire Chief of San Ramon, who wanted to bridge the gap between the critical minutes following SCA and the 13 million Americans who are CPR trained but don’t often know their skills are required. PulsePoint is now being used in more than 600 communities across 18 states.   The engineering for the app was donated by Workday, a Silicon Valley-based tech company.

Integrated with the 911 system, the sophisticated location-based mobile app notifies CPR-trained citizens, who are within walking distance of the victim, of the critical need for CPR. The app guides them to the victim and also shows the location of the closest publicly accessible AED. This notification happens simultaneously with the dispatch of emergency service crews, to alert bystander response while emergency services make their way to the scene. For a look at what the app can do, watch this recent news report from Oregon:

“The close collaboration between El Camino Hospital, the fire and EMS departments, and the PulsePoint Foundation is a great example of how public and private partnerships can benefit our entire community,” said Mike Wasserman, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, at the county-wide launch of the app in February of this year. The positive response of elected officials, nonprofits and service clubs, chambers of commerce, health organizations and the public has been enthusiastic and sustained. PulsePoint is part of the hospital’s community education program on heart health, CPR, and the need to install more AEDs in underserved areas.

The free PulsePoint app is available for iPhone and Android and can be downloaded from the iTunes Store™ and Google Play™.

For more information about how to bring PulsePoint to your city, contact Richard Price of the Pulse Point Foundation or Brenda Taussig (650-988-7512) at El Camino Hospital.  ECH_small_cmykbrendablog1.png

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