For a victim of cardiac arrest, the first few minutes can be the difference between life and death. For every minute that goes by without CPR and medical help, the chance of survival goes down by 10%.

But how can we get that help to the people who need it during those first few critical minutes?

As Smithsonian Magazine explains, one company, with the help of dedicated volunteers around the country, believes it may have found the answer through technology.

Smart Phone App is Turning Ordinary People Into Extraordinary Heroes

PulsePoint has designed a smartphone app, in which people trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can download the app to their mobile device and indicate that they are willing to help in the event of an emergency.

When someone experiences cardiac arrest, the emergency responders who get the 9-1-1 call can trigger a PulsePoint alert. Those in the vicinity are alerted that there is someone nearby who needs CPR, and directs them where to go in order to help. It also includes the location of a nearby public access defibrillator (AED).

Smart Phone App is Turning Ordinary People Into Extraordinary Heroes

The notifications are intended for those within walking distance of the emergency and are only sent if the victim is in a public place. With more than half of the adults in the US indicating that they know CPR, PulsePoint is finding a way to get lifesaving help to heart attack victims well before the paramedics are able to arrive.

Already, the app is credited with saving lives. When a baby in Spokane, Washington began having difficulty breathing, a PulsePoint notification brought a mechanic from two blocks away to help perform the CPR that saved the child’s life.

There’s also the story of Drew Basse, who was leaving the gym one afternoon when he had a heart attack. Scott Brawner, an off-duty firefighter who saw the PulsePoint alert, stopped his workout and rushed to Basse’s aid, where he performed CPR until paramedics arrived. Thanks to PulsePoint, Brawner was able to get to Basse in less than two minutes. His quick reaction was credited with saving Basse’s life.

Smart Phone App is Turning Ordinary People Into Extraordinary HeroesWith stories such as these, more and more people are working to bring PulsePoint to their own communities and are raising awareness of how the app can help ordinary people become heroes. Girl Scout Troop 32990 raised money for CPR and AED education in San Mateo County, California. Meanwhile, Nancy Cappelle, an EMT and volunteer for the American Heart Association, is trying to bring awareness of PulsePoint to the East Coast of the U.S.

For Capelle, the mission has a personal element. Timely CPR saved her own life when she experienced sudden cardiac arrest. Now, she wants to do everything she can to save others. Speaking to Smithsonian Magazine, she said:

“The chances of professional rescuers being able to respond to a scene in less than four minutes are unrealistic. We need to be ready, willing and able to take hands-on action in a cardiac arrest situation. I am one of the less than 10 percent who have survived. I am one of the lucky ones and I want there to be many more people who are given a second chance at life.”

We see so much about the increasingly connected world we live in, and it’s easy to wonder what the larger effect might be. But this is one situation where the huge popularity of mobile devices may end up saving your life or the life of someone you love.

Here is a quick commercial about the app…

This article was written by Malia and originally posted on LiftBump. Be sure to follow her here.

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