Article published Dec. 7, 2021
Fairfield Medical Center’s Community Heart Watch Committee is the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the PulsePoint Foundation, money that will be used to purchase AEDs (automated external defibrillators) for public safety staff and the community. Fairfield County was recently named the winner of The PulsePoint Foundation’s PulsePoint AED Contest, which challenged communities across the country to register AEDs during October through the PulsePoint AED app. Fairfield County, with the help of the Community Heart Watch committee, registered 253 AEDs.
“It was truly a collaborative effort of EMS, fire departments, business leaders and hospital staff to register so many AEDs in a single month,” said FMC Community Outreach Coordinator Teri Watson, who helped lead the initiative. “Not only is our current AED inventory now more accessible to the community, but through the use of PulsePoint app, we have mapped where additional devices are needed. The grant monies will help to address this need and make our community more heart safe.”
The contest, which took place in October as part of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, was open to any community that uses PulsePoint AED to locate and register AEDs at locations throughout the county, including schools, government buildings, places of worship and sports centers. Once the newly registered AEDs are vetted by public safety personnel, their location is made available to emergency responders during cardiac emergencies through the PulsePoint AED app, which maps the location of these devices. AEDs can be registered at any time through the free PulsePoint AED app or the PulsePoint website at AED.new.
Knowing the location of AEDs is vital, as more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur annually in the U.S., making it a leading cause of death. Cardiac arrest victims who receive a shock from a publicly-available AED administered by a bystander prior to EMS arrival have 2-3 times better odds of survival to hospital discharge and more favorable outcomes. Without bystander AED use, 70 percent of cardiac arrest patients either die or survive with impaired brain function. Despite the lifesaving potential of AEDs, they are of no value if they cannot be located and placed into service during a cardiac emergency.
About the PulsePoint Foundation
PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through the use of location-aware mobile devices, PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens, increase civic engagement and empower the community to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest. Learn more at pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn . The free app, PulsePoint AED, is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.