Thursday, December 8, 2016

You can do it!

This started as a series of tweets last night, but I want to preserve these thoughts by republishing them on my blog. Lincoln has reached 10,000 followers on PulsePoint, and the app is exploding across the U.S. and Canada. Too many people, however, think they need some kind of certification to perform CPR. Nothing wrong with good training and certification, but on the other hand, the lack thereof certainly doesn't prevent you from potentially saving a life. Here's the tweets:

Maybe you haven't dowloaded PulsePoint because you're not CPR certified. Training is always good, but 911 dispatchers around the world... callers through bystander CPR over the phone every day. If you do nothing, because there isn't a card in your wallet,... 
...the odds are not good. Get the victim flat on his back, put your hands in the center of his chest, push hard and fast, and don't stop. 
Get some good training later, but in the meantime, don't just stand there and watch someone die. Any CPR is better than none. You can do it!

I should have added "Call 911",  get the victim on the floor flat on his back", and maybe even "send someone to look for an AED", but I bumped up against the 140 character limit. By the way, in the midst of my mini tweet-storm last night, I received this, which really says it all:


Anonymous said...

I am curious about the effective use of CPR through PulsePoint App where the public has responded to an incident solely because of the app and been giving CPR or aid to a patient. The outcome of that assistance would be a nice anecdote as well. Do you have information about the percentage where the fire department has contained fires to the room of origin? Thanks "Chief" (sorry, still have a tough time considering you otherwise)

Tom Casady said...


I don't have data on fires contained to room of origin. Not sure there is any source for this--at least that I've seen or heard of. I'll ask around.

We have one PulsePoint "save," here in Lincoln, in which a rescuer notified by PulsePoint responded, and along with coworkers provided CPR to a patient for several minutes. That patient survived and recovered with no deficit. We have had one other PulsePoint alert to which a rescuer responded and provided CPR--although the patient did not survive. There have been several citizens who have responded to PulsePoint alerts and arrived at the scene, but where CPR was either not needed or first responders were already providing care.

There are probably a few more of these then the ones we know about. I doubt most bystanders who are providing some kind of help would interrupt the paramedics to explain how they became aware of the incident in the first place. I've talked to three people who responded to incidents, and our Fire Chief Mike Despain also responded to one personally. None of those four responses was brought to the attention of the paramedics treating the patient, so they would have been unaware that one of the good samaritans had been summoned by an app.

You'll find a growing number of incidents around the country, with a web search on "PulsePoint saves". These will be infrequent, but there will nonetheless be a steady trickle. As rewarding as those individual saves may be, the value of PulsePoint in raising overall community awareness of the importance of bystander CPR is even greater, in my opinion, since only a small percentage of cardiac arrests occur in public places.