New smartphone app partnership will help save more lives across the East Midlands

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East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is the first UK ambulance service outside of London to partner with GoodSAM (Smartphone Activated Medics); a web based alerting system and application that uses innovative technology to link a qualified lifesaver with a patient in cardiac arrest.  

When someone is experiencing a cardiac arrest seconds count. The survival clock is ticking and for every minute CPR isn’t performed the chance of survival falls by 10%. When a collapse is witnessed shouting for help often attracts someone nearby who knows CPR. By partnering with GoodSAM EMAS will now use technology to revolutionise that shout for help.

The mobile phone application allows users to register and show that they are qualified in giving CPR. Volunteer responders; including paramedics, doctors and community first responders, once approved, will be alerted to nearby life threatening emergencies.

The system is embedded within the EMAS control room meaning if someone dials 999 for a life-threatening emergency that is assessed as  a suspected cardiac arrest, not only will an ambulance be dispatched in the normal way, but the system will automatically alert the five nearest responders within an 800m radius.

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When a volunteer is alerted, they will be able to accept the alert via the GoodSAM app and make their way, by foot, to the location of the incident often arriving within minutes to start CPR and give the patient the best possible chance of survival. If a volunteer responder is not in a position to accept the alert, it can be declined and diverted to the next nearest responder.

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Dr John Stephenson, Associate Medical Director at EMAS, said: “We respond to around 50 calls every day that are categorised as being immediately life threatening such as cardiac arrests.

“We have thousands of qualified people across the region; paramedics, police colleagues, nursing staff, etc; who would be willing to help someone but if they haven’t heard that shout for help they don’t know an emergency is happening nearby. GoodSAM allows us to make that shout for help louder.”

Professor Mark Wilson, Consultant Neurosurgeon and GoodSAM’s Medical Director, said: “If a patient has a cardiac arrest it is the first few minutes after the incident that determine the outcome – life, death, or long-term brain injury.

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We are delighted that the East Midlands Ambulance Service has partnered with us and would urge other organisations and medically trained individuals around the world to do so as well.”

Ali Ghorbangholi, Technical Director of GoodSAM, continued: “There are first aid trained people all around us but usually the first they know of a neighbour having a cardiac arrest is an ambulance appearing in their street. If they had known and started CPR a few minutes prior to the ambulance arriving, chances of survival can be considerably increased. GoodSAM now makes this possible; connecting those with the skills to the public in their minute of need.”

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Dr Stephenson added: “The app is working really well in London and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits in the East Midlands. The system has only been live for a week and already we have alerted responders to 288 emergencies 75 finding a responder within 800m.”

EMAS staff, volunteers, Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service  partner fire services, partner police services and EMAS approved healthcare professionals are being encouraged to download the app and be a good samaritan.

During the initial phase alerts will be sent to EMAS approved staff, volunteers, partner services and healthcare professionals with a view to roll out to a wider pool of responders later in the year.

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