AURORA | The city’s primary ambulance provider has partnered with a nonprofit focused on getting local residents to specific medical calls faster than paramedics in the area via a smartphone app.
Falck Rocky Mountain, Aurora’s rescue service provider since 2015, works with the nonprofit PulsePoint to identify residents who can perform CPR or use a defibrillator on an unresponsive person in their immediate vicinity.
The idea is to enable people to react faster to situations where seconds can mean the difference between life and death. The program is connected to the city’s emergency mainframe, which then reports cardiac arrest cases to the app and pings users in the area to notify them to go to the patient when they are able.
“Early / bypassing CPR has been shown to exponentially save lives in sudden cardiac arrest,” Aurora deputy city administrator Jason Batchelor wrote in city documents presented to a council policy committee Thursday.
The app can also show users where the nearest defibrillator is.
A typical medical response via Falck ambulances and Aurora Fire Rescue trucks is also sent. However, the goal is to achieve patient care faster than the few minutes it takes first aiders to negotiate traffic and other hurdles. According to David Patterson, CEO of Falck Rocky Mountain, more than 90% of Falck calls arrive within eight minutes in emergency situations rather than within 11 minutes in emergency situations.
Anyone interested in helping can sign up to receive notifications of critical incidents in public places – not just those with certified CPR credentials.
Patterson said the American Heart Association is now encouraging bystanders to do hand-only CPR, which is just chest compressions and skipping mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
“It’s about putting one hand over the other and delivering chest compressions to the center of the sternum at a rate that’s in keeping with ‘Staying Alive’ … and putting an adult an inch and a half to two inches down,” he said . “I would continue to promote an audience CPR class education, but don’t let this expired CPR card stop you from trying to help.”
Even if it’s not done perfectly, there is little harm in giving a person without a pulse and without heartbeat CPR, Patterson said. Good Samaritan laws also protect providers from future legal action.
“What I’m trying to tell people who aren’t trying to do CPR – chest compressions – because they’re afraid of doing something wrong … the patient is dead and you are not going to make it worse,” Patterson said. “Well-intentioned and technically imperfect CPR … it is certainly better than nothing.”
Just watching a YouTube video can give users the core skills they need to save a life, according to the PulsePoint website.
“CPR is now very easy to perform and can be learned quickly in informal settings such as street fairs, group training, DVD-based take-away courses or even by watching short online videos,” says the group’s “FAQ”. Page. “These types of training environments do not offer certificates for other forms of qualification documentation. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) do not require training. Therefore, there is no reason or no way to verify that someone who volunteers to help others with CPR or an AED has been officially trained. “
The app also validates “verified responders” and “verified responder professionals” so that people with legitimate medical training can respond to private households.
Approximately 70% of cardiac arrest events occur in private homes, according to estimates by nonprofits.
The app has a total of around 2.3 million users and adds around 2,000 every day. In Aurora, nearly 5,000 people have signed up to use the program since Falck launched it in September.
A number of other emergency groups in the state use the app, including South Metro Fire, Arvada Fire, and Castle Rock Fire.
Currently, Falck is assuming all of the initial costs to keep the program running in town, Patterson said.
The city decided to extend Falck’s original five-year contract for another two years in September. Originally based in Denmark, the rescue team responds to around 42,000 emergency calls a year and, according to Patterson, transports around 30,000 patients to hospitals in the area.
The council body took no formal action on the information presented on Thursday.