NORFOLK — An app with the chance to help save lives is now available in Norfolk.
The Pulse Point apps were officially launched at a news conference at Faith Regional Health Services on Wednesday afternoon. The apps alerts CPR-trained bystanders when a sudden cardiac arrest occurs in a nearby public place. Then, they can jump into action and possibly save a life.
Director of EMS at Faith Regional Dr. Lisa Yosten says the app allows the public to engage in its own health care.
“They can start CPR immediately, even before EMS gets there,” Dr. Yosten said. “It’s going to help provide blood flow to those organs and it’s going to help outcomes in cardiac arrest victims.”
Why is it important to help before EMS arrives? Well, the sooner CPR is administered, the better. Dr. Yosten says compressions need to start within eight minutes of a cardiac arrest in order to have a good result.
“If there’s no blood flow going to those vital organs you only have minutes before cells start to die and you’re going to have long-term organ damage or death,” Dr. Yosten said.
The app was paid for by a combination of Faith Regional and city funds. Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning says it’s a great example of collaboration between the public and private sectors.
“Our community hospital working with our public safety team, city staff, to utilize technology that literally could save lives,” Moenning said. “So, I’m very proud of this effort.”
The first step of the launch is public education. Faith Regional has led CPR training efforts across the region in the last year to help more citizens get trained in the new compression-only technique. Now the groups are trying to spread the word about the apps.
Moenning says if all goes as planned, much of the populous will be armed and ready to save a life.
“The technology lends itself to everyone in our community being in a position to be a hero,” Moenning said.
Norfolk is the second city in the state, behind Lincoln, to connect with Pulse Point.