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Published on July 14, 2017

Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance unveils life-saving phone app in Houston County

Are you trained in CPR and willing to do what you can to save a life? Now there's an app for that!

Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance is now making the PulsePoint app available to willing individuals in Houston County. Aimed at average citizens and off-duty professionals trained in CPR, the app alerts registered users when a sudden cardiac arrest occurs in a public place in their immediate vicinity.

Gundersen Tri-State first launched PulsePoint in this area in November 2014 when they began service in the La Crosse area. "Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance is very excited to bring this technology to Houston County. We know that early CPR and defibrillation are absolutely crucial toward achieving a positive outcome for a sudden cardiac arrest victim. With PulsePoint technology, we are now able to further involve community members in helping to make the area a healthier community. We have had great success using PulsePoint the past couple years in the La Crosse area. This technology saves lives," says Tom Tornstrom, executive director, Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance.

A leading cause of death in the U.S., cardiac arrests outside hospitals are responsible for more than 1,000 deaths a day. Effective CPR administered immediately after a cardiac arrest can potentially double or triple the victim's chance of survival, but only about a third of cardiac arrest victims get that immediate help.

PulsePoint app users are notified at the same time as emergency responders and are given detailed instructions, including the location of nearby automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). Once alerted, users can be on the scene very quickly to begin CPR and/or employ an AED until EMS personnel arrive.

"Early defibrillation and CPR have shown to save lives. By alerting trained volunteers nearby, help may arrive minutes before EMS personnel—minutes that can make a critical difference," Tornstrom adds.

"The Caledonia Ambulance Service personnel and I are in great support of the PulsePoint app," says Mike Tornstrom, Caledonia Ambulance director. "It has always been our goal as a service and training center to educate as many people as possible about life-saving skills of CPR and first AED. Learning CPR and how to use an AED is one thing but when an app. can alert you to a cardiac arrest situation nearby it allows anyone the chance to help make a difference. Caledonia Ambulance has been advocates to the use of public access AEDs and has assisted several businesses and schools choose high quality AEDs and put them in-service. We have recently updated PulsePoint to the locations of these AEDs in the Caledonia area. It is our hope that people will take advantage of the PulsePoint app. and help keep our community safe."

If you're CPR-trained, consider downloading the PulsePoint app to potentially help save a life. The free PulsePoint app is available for iPhone and Android phones and can be downloaded from Apple iTunes Store or the Android Play Store.

Need CPR training?

While the app gives basic pointers in CPR, users are strongly encourage to know at least compression-only CPR (pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of about a hundred times a minute—about the same rhythm as the beat of the Bee Gee's song “Stayin' Alive.”).

Even if you've had CPR training in the past, practice and refresher courses are recommended about every two years. This is particularly important if your training was prior to 2010 when the American Heart Association (AHA) CPR guidelines were updated.

Gundersen Health System offers CPR training to the general public. For more information or available dates, call Gundersen Department of Nursing at (608) 775-3438 or (608) 775-5447.

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