emergency smartphone app

Emergency smartphone app connects heart attack victims with trained first-aiders

An emergency smartphone app designed to alert off-duty paramedics about people suffering heart attacks in Victoria has been launched in Victoria for reducing preventable deaths.   

The GoodSAM application, launched on Tuesday, alerts paramedics, doctors, as well as other trained professionals who are close by when a medical emergency strikes.

Authorities have claimed that this emergency app isn’t a replacement for emergency services. Rather, it’s aimed at getting help to the scene in those critical moments before an ambulance arrives.   

“In an emergency, minutes matter,” said Mike Ray, Ambulance Victoria’s GoodSAM project manager.

“Every minute that CPR and defibrillation are delayed, the chances of survival decrease by up to 10 per cent. And if someone has been defibrillated before emergency services get there, they have a 62 per cent increased chance of survival.”

Apart from connecting cardiac arrest patients with reliable & trained responders, this app also connects people with a nearby defibrillator, a machine that starts the heart beating normally after a heart attack, by giving it an electric shock…

Ambulance Victoria is encouraging people who own or oversee a defibrillator to make sure it’s registered with them.

“We have 4000 defibrillators registered across the state, but we think that’s about one in five of the ones that are out there,” said Mr Ray.

“There’s potentially up to 15,000 others that we just don’t know about, and they are all over the place.”

Off-duty professionals signed up to the app will be able to accept the alert as well as provide first aid before emergency crews arrive.

The app is going to focus on time-sensitive medical emergencies, especially heart attacks, & Ambulance Victoria believes it will create an “army” of trained, life-saving good Samaritans.

“It’s about ensuring we can get a trained bystander to someone in cardiac arrest as quickly as possible because minutes count,” said Tony Walker, Ambulance Victoria’s chief executive.

“An army of lifesavers, if you like, who are out there able to respond and support our paramedics.”

According to Mr Walker, cardiac arrest survival rates would grow “exponentially”.

The app uses location data for alerting up to 3 trained bystanders within a short distance of the patient – 400 metres in Melbourne & 5 kilometres in the country of Victoria.

The launch follows a successful 4 months pilot in which 2 patients were successfully saved during cardiac arrest.

Keith Young, 52, considers himself lucky after one of his neighbours, paramedic Darren Murphy, rushed to help him when he suffered a cardiac arrest last February.

Mr Murphy accepted the alert on his phone & then swiftly rode his pushbike to Mr Young’s house for performing CPR before the ambulance arrived.

“My family have said they will be forever grateful for the authority, confidence and calm that Darren portrayed in an unimaginably terrifying situation,” Mr Young said.

Around 1000 paramedics have already signed up and over 100,000 first responders could eventually be involved.

The responders would be trained on how to introduce themselves & the people of Victoria should not be shocked if a stranger arrives for helping to look like they have just jumped out of bed.

“We’ve had two of our paramedics actually respond in their pyjamas,” said Mr Walker.

Premier Daniel Andrews said that this emergency app matches modern technology with skills as well as good Samaritan spirit.

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