News

PulsePoint App Helps Bystanders Save Infant’s Life

Issue 11 and Volume 39.

  Citizens Help Save Baby After Getting App Alert
A 3-month-old infant is alive and well thanks to the selfless actions of two Spokane, Wash., citizens.

Empire Dance Shop clerk Lesley Rockford was tending the store when she heard someone scream that a baby nearby was turning blue. After calling 9-1-1,
the former lifeguard put then 1-month-old baby Nolan on the ground and began rescue breathing.

Luckily, the Spokane Fire Department had launched the PulsePoint app in February. The mobile app, which is free to download, alerts subscribed CPR-trained Spokane citizens that someone nearby is in cardiac arrest. Rockford’s 9-1-1 call triggered a PulsePoint alert while first responders were dispatched.

Mechanic and volunteer EMT Jeff Olson was one such citizen to receive the alert. “It sounded like an Amber Alert,” he told Spokane’s KXLY.com. “I looked at it and it said, ‘CPR needed,’ and it gave the address.”

The dance shop was only two blocks from Olson’s workplace. He hurried over and took over for Rockford, providing infant CPR until paramedics arrived.

We give a thumbs up to the Spokane Fire Department for launching the lifesaving PulsePoint in their region, and to Rockford and Olson for their parts in saving the baby’s life.

  CPR Training Touchdown
Nearly 1,000 adults, teens and children gathered at Stony Brook University’s (N.Y.) LaValle Stadium on Sept. 7, the first Sunday of the 2014 NFL season—but their attendance had nothing to do with football. They were there to learn hands-only CPR at a mass-training event coordinated by Edward Stapleton, associate professor of emergency medicine at Stony Brook.

More than 250 manikins provided by the Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services lined the field starting from the 30-yard line. During each 20-minute training session, pairs of participants were assigned to manikins and their attention was directed to a training video on the stadium screen. The Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” ran throughout the compression segment of the training to establish a tempo for participants.

Stapleton was encouraged by the turnout even though the event fell short of its 5,000-participant attendance goal. The overall mission was to teach Suffolk County citizens a lifesaving skill that could help improve the county’s sudden cardiac arrest survival rate, which is currently 5.9%.

“We plan to do this in the future at Stony Brook and other large venues,” Stapleton said. “It was hard work, but a labor of love.”

We give a thumbs up to Stapleton and his event team for the innovative idea of training thousands of people in hands-only CPR in one day.

  High-Stakes Ebola Transport
When it came to deciding which EMS agency would transport Ebola-infected American aid workers Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol from their medical jet to Emory University Hospital, there was only one option.

The Grady EMS Special Operations Team, a joint effort between Grady EMS (Ga.) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has trained two to three times a year for the past 12 years to care for patients under unusual and hazardous circumstances. Practices routinely employed include covering the entire patient compartment of a rig with impermeable light-blue plastic sheets and requiring paramedics to wear full-body suits as well as powered air-purifying respirators.

According to Grady EMS Interim Director Wade Miles, one main difference between previous transports and that of the Ebola-infected patients was the media attention. So, a convoy surrounded each ambulance en route to keep media vehicles at bay. In case of a collision, other Grady EMS ambulances with the same setup were on standby.

Thumbs up to the Grady EMS Special Operations Team for their thorough planning and training leading to their successful handling of sensitive transports. jems