Life-saving app available in Johnson County for those who are CPR trained

Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 5:57 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - An app called Pulsepoint is connected to 9-1-1 and alerts users and dispatch at the same time. It gives citizens a chance get on scene quicker than emergency services in cases where CPR and an AED are crucial to a victim’s chance of survival. It’s now available in Johnson County.

Kathy Jensen knows firsthand how important CPR training is to saving a life. She emphasizes how much power is in each minute after sudden cardiac arrest.

“You don’t have any kind of warning, because it’s not a heart attack. It’s a whole different ball game with sudden cardiac arrest,” said Jensen.

23 years ago she suffered from it herself.

Thankfully, her son had just finished CPR training at City High in Iowa City the week before.

“It was pretty important that he was involved in my chance of survival, because he realized that my head wasn’t tilted back and my airway was blocked,” said Jensen.

The likelihood of survival decreases by 10 percent every minute after someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest - when the heart stops.

That’s why Johnson County’s new app can impact the power in each of those minutes.

“It’s a 911 connect application and it will immediately notify people who download it as to emergencies in their community,” said Johnson County Ambulance Service Director, Fiona Johnson.

If an app-user is CPR certified, or simply knows the basics of conducting CPR, they can respond if someone nearby goes into cardiac arrest.

“We work hard at the ambulance service to get there as fast as we can and do our ALS and BLS skills, but if we don’t have bystanders performing CPR or accessing an AED before we get there, it doesn’t matter how fast we are,” said Johnson.

In cases like Kathy’s, some might not have a loved one near by that’s able to perform CPR. This app relies on community support.

“Bystander action must take place. They’re first on the scene, those people who see someone drop, they can help immediately,” said Jensen.

An extension of the app can also help you locate the nearest AED to the situation - another way quick thinking could potentially save a life in a very time-sensitive situation.

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