LA employs app to find CPR-trained citizens near location of 911 call

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Los Angeles County has connected its 911 dispatch system to a new app called PulsePoint that alerts CPR-trained citizen users when someone in their immediate vicinity is going into cardiac arrest.

The app allows registered users to receive notification of a cardiac event at the same time as first responders and provides detailed introductions to the good Samaritans, including the locations of nearby automatic external defibrillators.

"This is a perfect example of the 'connected life' that provides enormous benefits for all thanks to this very simple concept, which is to alert CPR-trained individuals to a nearby cardiac arrest situation so they may assist until the professional responders arrive on the scene," said Meredith Attwell Baker, president of The Wireless Foundation, a nonprofit that helped the county implement the app.

So far, more than 13,000 people in Los Angeles County have downloaded the app. Promotional campaigns are currently underway in the area to raise awareness of the program.

Franklin Pratt, MD, medical director of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, told the Los Angeles Times he expects users who receive an alert will respond. "It's an urban myth that people don't want to help," he said.

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