PulsePoint is a free app that sends a notification to your phone if someone in your vicinity is suffering a heart attack, allowing bystanders to potentially save lives. Photo: PulsePoint.

New PulsePoint app alerts bystanders when a heart attack is happening in their vicinity so they can assist

B.C. is the first province to roll out the program, which can help save lives.

  • Feb. 13, 2018 10:00 a.m.

A new smartphone app is set to turn B.C. bystanders into potential life-savers when a sudden cardiac arrest occurs in a public place.

BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) recently launched the free PulsePoint application throughout the province. It provides vital information in the case of cardiac arrest, where minutes count in reducing suffering and preventing death.

Smartphone users with PulsePoint are connected to the BCEHS emergency dispatch system. When a sudden cardiac arrest is reported at a public location through 9-1-1, dispatchers can send the location to people with mobile devices located within short walking distance. A user with training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can then quickly go to the patient and begin CPR while paramedics are en route.

The smartphone alert also shows users a map pinpointing the location of nearby portable public defibrillators, which are another important tool which the general public can use safely before paramedics arrive.

“Rollout of this application province-wide is an excellent example of our health care professionals innovating to improve care for British Columbians,” says health minister Adrian Dix. “Research has shown that receiving CPR quickly after a sudden cardiac arrest doubles chances of survival. Bystanders using PulsePoint and CPR, along with BCEHS staff, can now have an even greater impact on saving lives.”

British Columbia is the first to have a province-wide program for this public notification service. PulsePoint currently operates in an Ontario municipality and in a number of U.S. counties and cities.

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs without notice and leaves patients unconscious. Without immediate help, a victim of sudden cardiac arrest will suffer brain damage within three minutes. In 2017, BCEHS paramedics responded to 7,101 cardiac arrests, with bystanders performing CPR in approximately 25 per cent of these cases.

“If you can’t get to a CPR course immediately, you can still give someone their best chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by doing three simple steps,” says Gillian Wong of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “Call 9-1-1 and shout for an AED; push hard and fast in the centre of the chest; and use an AED as soon as it arrives.”

A U.K. study published in the journal Resuscitation found that the PulsePoint app, as compared to phone texting systems, was highly efficient in the recruitment of first responders, significantly reducing the time to the initiation of CPR, thus increasing survival rates.

The effectiveness of PulsePoint will be studied in B.C. and other parts of Canada and the U.S. to determine whether the app increases public participation in cardiac arrest resuscitation. B.C. is expected to take part in this randomized, controlled research trial starting in 2018.

The PulsePoint app can be downloaded from both the Apple Store for iOS and from Google Play Store for Android OS. Visit the BCEHS PulsePoint web page at http://bit.ly/2nIBTb8.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Technology allows TNRD residents to see the heat

A new library program allows residents to borrow a thermal imaging camera and check for heat loss

Are you a victim of the thermostat wars?

The battle over the thermostat is quite heated in many households.

Community Income Tax volunteers will be at local libraries to help with tax returns

Lower-income singles and families can take advantage of free tax return service

Local News Briefs: Free Family Day weekend movie at the HUB

Plus an ice fishing derby, a Fancy Schmancy Tea Party, the Million Dollar Bursary is back, and more.

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read