Pilot project tests drones and mobile apps to help cardiac arrest victims

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Peel Health stats reveal that there are three to four cardiac arrests in the region every day. During cardiac arrest, for each minute that passes between the time a person collapses and defibrillation in applied survival rates decrease seven to 10 per cent.

Given the urgency and the time frame that can mean life and death for a patient, the Region of Peel is taking part in a pilot project in the Town of Caledon that involves voluntary community CPR responders connected to a mobile application called FirstAED, administering AEDs delivered by drones.

The pilot project builds on the region’s public access defibrillation (PAD) program that started in 2014. To date, there are 194 AEDs owned by the region in the community and more than 250 volunteer responders trained to use the AEDs.

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For the pilot project, about 150 volunteers will be recruited, screened and trained on using an AED and connected to the FirstAED mobile application, that will be used by the central ambulance communications centre to link test calls to the nearest volunteer.

The FirstAED mobile application will alert volunteer community CPR responders to someone who needs CPR and the application will provide instructions and directions to the person who is experiencing the emergency.

The Community First Responders and CPR trained bystanders get a loud alarm on the smartphone that cannot easily be missed. When accepted, the Community First Responders and CPR trained bystanders receive the following information:
• Instructions on the role they have been assigned
• An overview of the position of the other Community First Responders and CPR trained bystanders and the nearest AED location
• Road directions to the emergency location
• The ability to call the other Community First Responders and CPR trained bystanders or the EMS via a contact menu

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When the call-out is completed, the Community First Responders and CPR trained bystanders fill in a case report on the smartphone and if they wish to discuss the case with a supervisor, they can request for debriefing. A supervisor will be advised about this via SMS/e-mail, so that he/she can call the Community First Responders and CPR trained bystanders for debriefing.

When an AED has been used, the FirstAED system automatically cancels the AED so it does not appear on the map if another alarm was activated in that area during that time. This way the system ensures that the Community First Responders and CPR trained bystanders do not go to an empty AED-cabinet. -CINEWS

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