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February 15, 2016updated 04 Sep 2016 10:13pm

New mobile app helps London Ambulance Service save lives

News: App will empower trained bystanders to help those with emergency medical needs.

By CBR Staff Writer

A new app is being used by the London Ambulance Service, dubbed GoodSAM, which sends alerts even to off duty emergency responders in the event of a serious accident.

With this app, bystanders can also lend a helping hand by alerting emergency services with the touch of a button on a smartphone, simultaneously sending a message to nearby paramedics or ambulance crew who can arrive as first responders.

The aim of developing this app is that under emergency life-threatening conditions like a cardiac arrest, every minute spent waiting for the emergency crew decreases the chances of survival for the patient.

In such conditions, the faster the help arrives, the better.

GoodSAM was co-founded by Dr. Mark Wilson, neurosurgeon at London’s Air Ambulance and St. Mary’s Hospital.

He says: "It makes a big difference if you can get there early, so we have to use technology to find a way of providing that."
"We think this is a way of doing it."

The GoodSAM app has been in use for about five months now by the London Ambulance Service. It is being used about 20-30 times a day. According to reports, around 7500 responders have registered for this app in the UK.

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Dr. Wilson says: "You’re probably never more than a couple of hundred metres away from someone who’s trained in basic life support.

"It’s such as shame that those people who are maybe in the coffee shop next door don’t know about the cardiac arrest happening in the bookshop."

In order to register as a responder, one needs to have been trained in emergency medical services. So, ideally, doctors, nurses, policemen and of course paramedics are ideal for this.

The app developers say that this app is not a replacement for paramedics or ambulance services and said that it must be given due importance.

The app developers are also trying to add an extra feature to the app and are looking for crowdsourcing.

The new feature will help responders locate the nearest defibrillator, a machine which records heart rhythm and adjusts the voltage for electric shocks to jumpstart the heart in cases of cardiac arrest.

The responders will need to submit the location and pictures, while public defibrillators can be located using the phone’s map services.

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