A new mobile phone app can help heart attack victims by locating CPR-trained people.
Researchers in Sweden have begun using a mobile notification system, called SMS Lifesavers, to find volunteers trained in CPR from the surrounding area to help cardiac arrest victims. CPR can be used to resuscitate people in such an emergency before first responders can arrive, potentially saving lives. The researchers recently published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.
App used by researchers increased number of people providing CPR by 30 percent.
According to Dr Jacob Hollenberg, cardiologist and associate professor at the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of Gothenburg, no other method has shown as high an increase in the number of passersby providing emergency medical aid. Thanks to the effectiveness of the system, CPR was administered 62 percent of the time before an ambulance showed up, as opposed to 48 before the introduction of the app. This is important because, as determined by a larger companion study to this one, patients showed a 30-day survival rate of over ten percent when someone provided CPR, as opposed to only four percent for those not helped by bystanders. More traditional methods used throughout the world, like public mass training, are important but have been less effective in increasing CPR assistance according to Hollenberg.
App uses same kind of cell phone positioning system as friend finder apps and GPS tracking.
The SMS Lifesavers app employs the same type of positioning systems as existing friend finder apps. Once it was up and running, about 6,000 people outside the healthcare field who knew CPR began participating, with 4,000 more joining them over the length of the study. It would be relatively easy to have other versions of this app anywhere in the Western world, as long as local governments allow it.
An app like this one for the U.S. can be made, but needs government green light.
The United States government needs to provide permission for an emergency mobile app to be made before it can come to fruition. Bystanders only typically give CPR before ambulances arrive around 40% of the time in the US, and increasing that percentage could save lives. Restoring heart rhythms early can drastically reduce the time the victim spends deprived of oxygen, reducing the likelihood of permanent damage or death.