M-A sophomore Serafina Casey received an award for her efforts in activating the PulsePoint App in the Menlo Park area on April 20.
PulsePoint aims to alert anyone certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or defibrillation in the case of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). The goal of the app is to increase the chances of survival among people who experience such medical trauma by notifying CPR-trained adults so they can administer CPR to Cardiac Arrest victims before first responders arrive.
According to the PulsePoint website, 57% of U.S. adults say they have had CPR training, but only 11% say they’ve used it in an emergency situation. However, SCA is one of the leading causes of death among adults in North America, claiming about 225,000 lives a year. The program hopes to increase the latter percentage by dispatching its participants to emergency situations.
The app works by alerting CPR-trained bystanders, telling them not only when and where an SCA event occurs, but also where to find the nearest Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The app is integrated in a city’s 911 system, so that when a 911 call is made, emergency services can be dispatched immediately. Additionally, the app notifies CPR-trained volunteers , so they can go to the site and give CPR before first responders arrive. Through this system, citizens can help before a life is in danger by identifying public use AEDs. Users place AED locations on a map, and submit photos of the AED in the context of its environment.
In order to integrate the PulsePoint system into Menlo Park, Casey “raised the money that was needed to install it and talked to the county board of supervisors to get their approval. When that was done, it was just coordinating everyone: the people responding to it and the people working on it.”
When Casey discovered the program, her experience with CPR both at school and through girl scouting pushed her to enable the app in Menlo Park. Regarding becoming CPR-certified in the future, Casey said, “That’s definitely on the to-do list.”
At the April 20 school board meeting, the board recognized Casey for her accomplishments in making the city safer. Casey explained, “The main reason I have been doing this is that I think it will help to save lives and I think it’s a valuable thing for our community to have.”
Casey encourages everyone to take CPR courses and hopes that her work with PulsePoint will continue to help Menlo Park become a safer and more integrated community.