App that provides CPR alerts helps save a man’s life in Seattle

PulsePoint is an app that lets CPR-trained people nearby know when someone needs CPR and where the nearest defibrillator is located.

Two weeks ago, Stephen DeMont was getting off of his bike at a bus stop in front of the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle when he suddenly slumped over.

Inside the medical center, a few floors up, Madeline Dahl, a cardiac nurse, received an alert on her phone that a patient needed CPR. She bounded downstairs and outside to assist a bystander attending to DeMont. The bystander, a medical student, had alerted another passerby to call 911, according to the Washington Post.

That 911 call created an alert that was sent to the smartphones of nearby citizens who had installed PulsePoint, an app designed to let CPR-trained people nearby know when someone needs CPR and where the nearest portable defibrillator is located.

DeMont had had a cardiac arrest; he survived and, as of last week, was set to have a defibrillator implanted. Seattle officials hope his story will inspire others to download the free app.

The CPR app is currently in use in 2,000 U.S. cities in 28 states; 900,000 people have downloaded it, and 34,000 have been sent alerts so far. It was developed by a former fire chief, Richard Price, who said the idea came when he was in a restaurant and someone collapsed on the other side of it. Price wasn’t aware of what happened until an ambulance came for the person.

“The patient was unconscious, unresponsive. I was 20 feet away on the other side of the wall,” Price told the Washington Post. “The whole time I was listening to that siren, I could have been making a difference.”

For more information about PulsePoint, read the full story in the Washington Post or visit the PulsePoint website.

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