San Jose, CA - February 14, 2012 - A free CPR "citizen responder" mobile phone application will help save lives through a new partnership between the San Jose Fire Department and El Camino Hospital.
The PulsePoint app enables members of the public to provide life-saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest, which causes nearly 1,000 deaths a day in the United States. San Jose is the nation’s largest city to utilize PulsePoint’s location-aware technology. The app is available for both the iPhone and for Android smart phones.
"The first few minutes after a sudden cardiac arrest are critical for saving lives, and this app will help citizens provide immediate assistance," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. "Technology can help us build a safer, stronger and healthier community, and our partnership with El Camino Hospital to bring PulsePoint to San Jose is a wonderful example of this commitment at no cost to us."
App users, who have indicated they are trained in CPR, can be notified if someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency and may require CPR. The app uses sophisticated location-based services to alert citizens in a public place of the need for CPR. The application also directs citizen rescuers to the exact location of the nearest publicly available automated external defibrillator (AED).
The PulsePoint app will be made available to additional communities in Santa Clara County over the next year.
"We’re making it very easy to empower citizens of San Jose who can help with CPR when every second counts," said San Jose Fire Chief William McDonald. "Timing is crucial for saving a life during cardiac arrest, and a notification to someone close by who can perform CPR can make all the difference."
The City of San Jose has installed 190 AEDs in libraries, community centers and other public locations. The City has also installed 40 AEDs at the San Jose International Airport so victims of cardiac arrest can have a greater chance of survival.
"Bringing this leading-edge lifesaving tool to the residents of San Jose is part of our ongoing commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of our community," said Tomi Ryba, president and CEO of El Camino Hospital. "We encourage everyone to become trained in CPR in order to extend the benefits of this mobile application and save lives."
"Once a sudden cardiac arrest begins, chances of that person surviving decrease 10 percent for every minute that passes without resuscitation; after 10 minutes there is little chance for successful resuscitation," said Chad Rammohan, MD, FACC, medical director of the Chest Pain Center at El Camino Hospital. "Citizen responders can help stop the clock by starting CPR immediately and help increase the individual's chances for survival until paramedics arrive. Recent advances in hospital management including cooling or therapeutic hypothermia have made a significant difference in meaningful recovery."
While difficult to quantify how many lives have been saved from bystander intervention since CPR was developed by the American Heart Association in 1960, the stories of people like sudden cardiac arrest survivor Theresa Doede underscore the important role that everyday individuals trained in CPR can play.
"I survived an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest while attending a Christmas party on December 11, 2010," said Ms. Doede. "I have no brain injury due to a willing bystander beginning CPR within moments of my collapse."
The PulsePoint app is available for download free at both the Apple iPhone App Store and in the Android Market.
The PulsePoint app also provides a virtual window into select 911 emergency communication centers giving users of mobile devices real-time access to emergency activity as it is occurring. Users are able to view active incidents, including the current response status of dispatched units, and instantly pinpoint incident location on an interactive map. Users also can choose to be notified of incidents by type when they are dispatched and monitor emergency radio traffic via this modern version of the traditional fire scanner.
The PulsePoint app has received several international awards, including the International Association of Fire Chiefs 2011 Fire Service Award for Excellence, a Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) 2011 VITA Wireless Samaritan Award, a
2011 Computerworld Honors Program Laureate Award for Innovation, an American Heart Association Life Saver Heart Partner Award, and an IADAS Webby Official Honoree award for the Best Use of GPS or Location Technology. Additional information about the PulsePoint app can be found at www.pulsepoint.org.
About Sudden Cardiac Death
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating, resulting in no blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. Approximately 300,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur each year in the United States, with a median reported survival-to-hospital-discharge rate of 8 percent.
Rapidly implementing the "chain of survival" model can help increase the chances of survival from sudden cardiac arrest. The steps in the chain include activation of emergency medical services by calling 9-1-1, starting CPR, using an AED and acquiring appropriate care.
About the San Jose Fire Department
The San Jose Fire Department is committed to excellence in public safety. It embraces innovative approaches to meet the evolving needs of the diverse city of San Jose and works in partnership with the community to achieve a fire and hazard safe environment. The San Jose Fire Department consists of 650 authorized sworn personnel, 44 non-sworn uniformed Fire Communication Dispatchers, and 57 civilian personnel. It protects 206 square miles and approximately 1.2 million residents. Its mission is to serve the community by protecting life, property, and the environment through prevention and response. More information can be found at www.sanjoseca.gov.