New smartphone app can save your life - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

New smartphone app can save your life

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Cleveland Clinic in conjunction with the City of Cleveland and five WestShore fire departments has launched the PulsePoint CPR/AED smartphone app to help improve sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival rates. 

The PulsePoint app helps improve community response to SCA victims by notifying and enabling citizen bystanders that lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is needed and where someone can access a nearby automated external defibrillator (AED).

"Cleveland Clinic's heart program continues to rank as the best in the nation and we saw it as a natural fit to bring the PulsePoint tool to Northeast Ohio," said Brad Borden, M.D., Chair of Cleveland Clinic's Emergency Services Institute.

"We hope that local citizens will join us in our fight to combat the No. 1 cause of death in the United States and encourage everyone that is trained in CPR to download and use the application."  

The PulsePoint software has been integrated with the computer aided dispatch systems in the cities of Cleveland, Bay Village, Westlake, Rocky River, Fairview Park and North Ridgeville.

Upon receiving a call regarding a suspected sudden cardiac arrest victim, the 911/emergency communication center activates an alert to PulsePoint app users simultaneously with the dispatch of local emergency medical services (EMS).

Using a smart phone's geolocation service, the app directs citizen responders within close proximity, to the victim's location and the nearest public access AED. The alert will only notify app users when an emergency is taking place in a public setting. 

"This is another example of the strong partnership the City of Cleveland has with Cleveland Clinic that helps improve quality of life for citizens and visitors of this community," said Cleveland EMS Commissioner Nicole Carlton.

"PulsePoint will provide the general public a unique opportunity to assist in the reduction of cardiac arrest mortality and partner with our first responders in a meaningful way.  The app also provides detailed locations of all of the automated external defibrillators installed and maintained by the Division of EMS.  Rapid application of defibrillation and CPR can improve survival rates to sudden cardiac arrest exponentially."

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 325,000 deaths each year or 1,000 deaths per day.

When SCA occurs, the heart stops beating in an effective, organized manner. As a result, blood is no longer pumped throughout the body.

The person suddenly passes out and appears lifeless, except for abnormal gasping which may last several minutes.

Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim's chance of survival. Failure to act and doing nothing in a cardiac emergency can lead to unnecessary deaths. 

"The seconds and minutes following a sudden cardiac arrest are critical to saving a person's life," said Bay Village Fire Chief Christopher Lyons.

"The PulsePoint app will allow citizens to partner with their local fire departments in providing immediate assistance to those in such need. We very much appreciate that the Cleveland Clinic has partnered with the WestShore fire departments to bring this technology and its potential lifesaving assistance to the communities we serve. We hope that everyone with CPR training will download this app immediately. We also hope that people will consider signing up for a CPR class if they are not yet trained."

The free PulsePoint app is available to the public for Apple iOS and Google Android devices from the Apple App Store and Google Play. After downloading, select "Cleveland EMS" and "WestShore Fire Departments" as the agencies to follow.

There is also a "CPR How-To" section on the app that offers instructions on performing CPR for those not certified.  

"We are very excited to partner with Cleveland Clinic and bring PulsePoint to the citizens of Cleveland," said Richard Price, President of the PulsePoint Foundation. "This allows us to expand our reach in offering the lifesaving capabilities of the app and help improve cardiac arrest survival rates throughout the region."

Copyright 2014 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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