City Partners With PulsePoint to Improve Cardiac Arrest Response in RVA

Richmond VA — Mayor Dwight C. Jones and City of Richmond Public Safety agencies have joined with the PulsePoint Foundation to bring life-saving technology to the city through PulsePoint, a mobile app designed to increase public awareness of cardiac events beyond a traditional “witnessed” area and engage them in potentially life-saving CPR.

With the launch of a new smartphone application, saving lives and preventing catastrophic injuries is now just a click away. The PulsePoint Respond smartphone application, or app, is currently active throughout the City of Richmond. This free app, available on Android and Apple platforms, notifies residents and off-duty professionals who are trained in CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and are willing to assist in the event of an emergency.

With location-aware software linked to the 911 system, PulsePoint Respond notifies registered users when someone may be in need of CPR in a nearby public place. If the app user responds to the alert, they are given further instructions to include if an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is also nearby. As a result, PulsePoint users can potentially find a victim of cardiac arrest, begin CPR, and implement an AED during the time it takes for First Responders to arrive.

A second free app, PulsePoint AED, enables the public to report and update AED locations so that emergency responders, including nearby individuals trained in CPR, can find an AED close to them when a cardiac emergency occurs. PulsePoint AED app users can describe the location, snap a picture, and the information is stored for Richmond Fire Department officials to verify. After that, the AED location data is made available to anyone using PulsePoint Respond.

“Bringing this mobile, life-saving technology to our community is a tremendous step forward. The PulsePoint app will be of great assistance to our first responders as it will position Good Samaritans to engage in life saving CPR right away, especially when seconds count, said Mayor Jones. “At City Hall, we’ve installed AEDs, which will help us take full advantage of these applications. I encourage everyone to learn about this life saving device as well as the PulsePoint apps.”

With more than 1,000 people in the U.S. dying each day from cardiac arrest, the life-saving potential of bystander intervention cannot be overstated. Four out of five cardiac arrests happen outside of a hospital setting. Sadly, the likelihood of surviving a cardiac arrest falls by 10% for every minute that a person does not receive CPR assistance. In fact, national survival rates are below 8% due, in part, to the lack of effective bystander CPR assistance. In addition, without timely CPR and AED assistance many who survive must endure a lifetime of residual neurological injuries. However, study after study proves effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double, and even triple, a victim’s chance of survival and reduce if not eliminate permanent and debilitating injuries.

The PulsePoint app has played a key role in saving several lives. The first documented PulsePoint save involved a 57-year old truck driver near Portland, Oregon, who suffered sudden cardiac arrest outside his gym and received CPR from a PulsePoint responder. In Spokane, Washington a five-week old infant received CPR from a nearby off-duty EMS volunteer working at his job as a mechanic. In Sunnyvale, California, a 63-year old father of two collapsed on a soccer field and received CPR from a college student living nearby who received a PulsePoint alert on his mobile phone.

“PulsePoint-connected communities don’t need to rely on the luck of having a CPR-trained citizen witness a cardiac arrest,” said Richard Price, President of the PulsePoint Foundation. “By directly notifying those who are qualified and nearby, PulsePoint helps put the right people in the right place at the right time. PulsePoint builds on the good work that a community has done with CPR training and AED placement and improves the efficiency and use of these resources. Two-thirds of our 24-hour healthcare professionals — firefighters, paramedics, police officers, nurses, doctors — are off-duty at any one time. With PulsePoint, responders like these are available to assist if they are made aware of an urgent need nearby.”

“Normally, less than a third of these victims receive CPR from a bystander,” said Dr Joseph P Ornato, Medical Director of both Richmond Ambulance Authority and Richmond Fire Dept. “Widespread participation in the PulsePoint app could improve survival rates for these patients.” Ornato himself is also a survivor of sudden cardiac arrest.

“The 100 Club of Metropolitan Richmond, an extension of the Retail Merchants Association, is pleased to have made PulsePoint available to the citizens of Richmond through a grant from The 100 Club,” said James Hatcher, President of The 100 Club.

About the PulsePoint Foundation

PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through the use of location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens, empowering them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Deployment of the PulsePoint app can significantly strengthen the “chain of survival” by improving bystander response to cardiac arrest victims and increasing the chance that lifesaving steps will be taken prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS). PulsePoint is built and maintained by volunteer engineers at Workday and distributed by our marketing and implementation partner Physio-Control, Inc. CTIA Wireless Foundation is a key sponsor and advocate of PulsePoint, providing industry and financial support. Learn more at or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter. The free app is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. However, less than half of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR and even fewer receive a potentially lifesaving therapeutic shock from a public access AED. Improving bystander CPR rates and access to AEDs is critical to the chain of survival, which requires: (1) early recognition of the emergency and phoning 911 for EMS, (2) early bystander CPR, (3) early delivery of a shock via a defibrillator if indicated and (4) early advanced life support and post-resuscitation care delivered by healthcare providers. Different than a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart stops working properly. For every minute that passes without a cardiac arrest victim receiving resuscitation, the chances of that person surviving decrease 10 percent. After 10 minutes the chances of survival are minimal.

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