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Saint Vincent and Erie County 911 Deploy Lifesaving Technology via PulsePoint

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Today, AHN Saint Vincent Hospital and Erie County 911 announced the deployment of PulsePoint Respond in Erie County to further the city’s commitment to creating a healthy and civically engaged community.  

Officials put out a plea to members of the community who know CPR to sign up for the PulsePoint Respond app so they can provide assistance to fellow citizens in the event of a cardiac arrest that occurs near them.

The event was held at AHN Saint Vincent Hospital.

The hospital announced the PulsePoint program last year, noting that the program would be deployed after a needed update to Erie’s 911 system.

PulsePoint is a free-to-download mobile app, which:

- alerts cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) trained citizens if a nearby person needs CPR so they may administer aid

- helps build a comprehensive Automated External Defibrillator (AED) registry

- informs the community of emergency activity in real time

PulsePoint Respond empowers everyday citizens to provide life‐saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). PulsePoint Respond app subscribers who have indicated they are trained in CPR and willing to assist in case of an emergency can be notified if someone nearby is having a SCA and may require CPR.

If the emergency is in a public place, the location-aware application will alert users in the vicinity of the need for CPR simultaneous with the dispatch of advanced medical care. The application also directs these potential rescuers to the exact location of the closest AED.

AHN Saint Vincent Hospital, led by emergency physician Jestin Carlson, MD, helped secure a $50,000 grant for the PulsePoint technology from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in 2018. The grant included $10,000 for implementation of the application in the northern tier region and $40,000 to maintain a PulsePoint license for five years in Erie County.

Seven additional counties also have launched Pulse Point Rescue, thanks to a $5,000 grant from EMS West and other dollars raised. Those counties include Elk, Cameron, McKean, , Clarion, Forest, Warren, and Crawford.

To sign up for PulsePoint Respond, take the following steps:

1. Go to your smartphone app icon, to the App Store or Google Play

2. Type “PulsePoint Respond” into the search box

3. Accept the app

4. Agree to accept notifications and critical alerts

5. Allow the App to determine your location

6. Click “Follow” if you would like to follow emergent events in your community

In addition to PulsePoint Respond, a companion app, PulsePoint AED, lets organizations report and update AED locations so that emergency responders, including nearby citizens, can find an AED close to them when a cardiac emergency occurs. The AED location data can be made available to dispatchers and anyone using the PulsePoint Respond app.

“With PulsePoint, we hope to increase bystander involvement in time-sensitive medical calls by increasing the use of CPR and AEDs, while also keeping the community informed, in real time, of all emergency activities,” said Saint Vincent President, Dr. Chris Clark.  “It gives our residents and visitors the ability to know when a cardiac arrest is occurring close by, locate AEDs in the area, and perform potentially lifesaving CPR while our personnel respond to the scene. It also shows them general information for all 9-1-1 calls to keep them better informed of what’s going on in our community.”

“In addition to nearby ‘CPR-needed’ notifications, PulsePoint subscribers can follow their local fire department and choose to be notified of significant events that may impact their family,” said Dr. Carlson.  “ These informational notifications provide an early and automatic heads-up to local threats such as wildland fires, flooding and utility emergencies. Improving situational awareness with PulsePoint can help build safer, stronger, and more resilient communities.”

The latest AHA guidelines, published in Circulation, state that such community programs could increase bystander CPR to the roughly 350,000 cardiac arrests that happen outside the hospital each year.