A new app aimed at getting aid to cardiac patients in need has been launched in Chattanooga.
On Monday, the Hamilton County Emergency Communications District, CHI Memorial and Parkridge Health System introduced PulsePoint, a potentially lifesaving app.
For more information, visit www.pulsepoint.org.
The free app, which is active in more than 2,500 cities across the nation, alerts registered users who are trained in hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation when someone in a nearby public place suffers sudden cardiac arrest, according to a news release. Dispatchers at the 911 center will send an alert through the app when they dispatch first responders. The app will also give the location of the nearest available automated external defibrillator.
Cardiac arrest happens when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly, the release states. Death can occur within minutes after the heart stops. It is possible for cardiac arrest to be reversed when CPR is performed and a defibrillator is used to shock the heart, and a normal heart rhythm is restored within a few minutes.
"More than 300,000 people across the United States experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting each year," said Dr. Vimal Ramjee, a cardiologist at the Chattanooga Heart Institute at CHI Memorial. "A victim's chance of survival can double, or even triple, when hands-only CPR is performed until first responders arrive."
The American Heart Association estimates only 46 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims received bystander CPR in 2016, the latest data available. Even fewer receive a potentially lifesaving therapeutic shock from an automated external defibrillator.
"Every second counts when we're dealing with cardiac arrest. Each minute without CPR decreases the chance of survival," said Barry Bell, director of cardiovascular services at Parkridge Health System. "We encourage everyone who is CPR certified to be a part of this program."
"We are proud to partner with CHI Memorial and Parkridge Health System to bring this cutting-edge technology to the citizens of Hamilton County," said John Stuermer, executive director of the Hamilton County Emergency Communications District. "This app allows us to alert people who can start CPR before an ambulance arrives, helping us save more lives."
The app is available through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Once the app is installed, select "Hamilton County Emergency Communications District."