Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be a lifesaver, literally. Even though it does not have a 100 percent survival rate in case a person’s heart suddenly stops beating, learning CPR can prove a helpful skill to have when a cardiac arrest happens on the street.
In order to fix the ever-growing problem of people in need of CPR, a team of researchers has come up with a solution that keeps up with the technological times we live in: a mobile app that warns CPR-trained people if there are people nearby who need their help.
According to the study they conducted to see how well the app would perform, researchers discovered the rates of CPRs increased with 14 percent.
Roughly 9,800 individuals in Stockholm – who had already received CPR training – agreed to have their mobile phone numbers put on assisting lists, and they were contacted if people near them were suffering from a cardiac arrest.
Calling the national Swedish emergency number and reporting a cardiac arrest would trigger an automatic mobile alert system that would connect a nearby volunteer with the people needing help.
More than 300 potential cardiac arrest events were handled by volunteers during the study. CPR-trained volunteers located within 500 meters of the patient were alerted by the mobile system via both text messages and automatic voice calls.
The volunteers were also given the location of the person in need, with Web links that gave them directions to the patient’s location – whether they were in a pub or down the street from them.
The system’s effectiveness was assessed by comparing the CPR responses of the volunteers with 361 other medical events, when an emergency call reported a potential cardiac arrest but the system was not used to alert a nearby volunteer.
In these cases, the national emergency system sent paramedics at location, and bystanders who knew how to perform a CPR could still help the patient. During the study, calls that came in were randomized; some were randomly assigned to volunteers, and some weren’t.
Neither the dispatchers nor the researchers who develop the app knew when the system was activated. They all saw the results in the final analysis.
Even though CPR rates increased when volunteers were called to action, the study showed there were no results concerning the patients’ survival rates. A more extensive study involving more people is needed for the system to be accurately assessed from the perspective of survival rates as well.
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