A new app launched across B.C. on Wednesday is using “crowd-sourcing” to turn bystanders into potential life-savers when someone goes into cardiac arrest.
The app, called PulsePoint, aims to eliminate the time between when the person goes into cardiac arrest and resuscitation efforts begin, BC Emergency Health Service said in a news release.
It’s essentially “crowdsourcing” CPR, said executive vice president Linda Lupini, and will maximize first responders’ efforts in reducing or preventing death.
A victim of sudden cardiac arrest will suffer brain damage within three minutes without help right away, according to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. The survival rate beyond 30 days for sudden cardiac arrest in B.C. is about 10 per cent.
How the app works
Smartphone users who download PulsePoint will be connected to the BCEHS emergency dispatch system. When a sudden cardiac arrest is reported through 911, dispatchers will send the location to app users who are nearby.
A user trained to give CPR can reach the patient while paramedics are en route. The alert will also show a map, pinpointing the location of nearby portable public defibrillators.
In 2017, BCEHS paramedics responded to 7,101 cardiac arrests. Bystanders performed CPR in about 25 per cent of those cases.