This is the 500th post we’ve written related to medical preparedness. It’s interesting that some of the things we discuss in this article, like smartphone apps, were in their infancy when we first began our mission to put a medically self-reliant person in every family. Please accept our thanks for your support and input over the years.
What do you do when you see someone go into cardiac arrest right next to you? Forget everything you learned in CPR class? Well, you could refer to our article “When a person (not a society) collapses”:
In modern times, if you have a smartphone, you would (I hope) call 911 but now there are apps that could help.
First, some basics about 911 calls. When the 911 dispatcher answers, they’ll want a lot of details in a short amount of time. You should:
Take a deep breath and remain as calm as possible.
Briefly and clearly, state the medical issue, such as:
- A person fell and hit their head. They’re unconscious and not breathing.
- There’s been a car accident and the driver is bleeding heavily from their leg.
- An elderly person has collapsed after complaining of chest pain. I can’t feel a pulse.
- There’s been a fight and a person has been stabbed.
You can expect to be asked some of the following questions, all beginning with the letter “W”:
WHERE are you? – be as exact as possible.
WHAT is happening right now? Is the situation dangerous?
WERE there any other injuries? –It may be a heart attack, but injuries occur when people drop.
WHAT number of people need medical help? – this helps determine the number of personnel needed.
WHO are you?
WHAT is your call back number? – Using the latest technology, they might have this info already.
One last “W”:
WAIT on the phone until the dispatcher has asked all their questions and received the necessary information.
While you’re waiting for emergency help to arrive, you may be required to perform CPR, but many people aren’t sure about the amount of pressure necessary to give good chest compressions. A new smartphone app developed by the scientists at the University of North Texas. Their research found that most first responders don’t give adequate compressions: They were either too slow or too shallow.
One app is geared to have the phone strapped to the back of the CPR giver’s hand. It tells you when your compressions are too slow or too weak. If it works, this app can save a lot of lives.
Another app allows you to find the person’s pulse just by pressing the victim’s finger against the camera function of the phone. It then allows you to send the information directly to the 911 operator.
The third app allows 911 to remotely control the camera on a smartphone as well as zoom in, out, and focus. Sometimes, a professional’s eyes on the situation can identify additional issues.
At present, these apps are in the process of evaluation by the FDA to determine their accuracy and effectiveness.
I usually write about medical preparedness for grid-down scenarios, so the only question I have is: Do they have solar powered smartphones?
Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones