New Phone App Helps Locate Defibrillators
Finding a defibrillator quickly can mean the difference between life and death. Now, thanks to smart technology, saving a life could be as easy as checking on your phone. A new free phone app called AED (Automated External Defibrillator) Locations uses GPS to track your location and find the nearest automated external defibrillator.
The app helped save the life of a woman in Nelson recently when she went into cardiac arrest during a social tennis game. Officers from the nearby police station started CPR and used the app on their smartphones to locate the nearest defibrillator, which was at a local supermarket. Thankfully they were able to successfully re-start the woman's heart.
Picton man Nine Scott is a professional first aid trainer, tutoring police officers, firefighters, businesses, sports groups and families in first aid. Scott said he shows the app to everyone he trains. "Success depends on time. Patients lose 10 per cent survival chance with every minute that passes." CPR alone was rarely enough, but using a defibrillator as well was often what saved lives, Scott said.
He also encouraged people to download the defibrillator app to their smartphone. Using a defibrillator was easy. "Apply the machine as instructed and don't second guess it. Those machines are made to be used by novices."
In another example, Blenheim volunteer firefighters were the first emergency service on the scene when an 18-year-old Farmers employee went into cardiac arrest. They didn't have a defibrillator so they used the AED phone app to locate one at nearby Clubs of Marlborough. Blenheim chief fire officer Rob Dalton said the volunteer firefighters who turned up at Farmers did exactly what they had been trained to.