The Medical Advisory Group (MAG) want to let surf lifeguards know about a great new app available to first aiders: The GoodSAM/Responder App. It's something every Level 1 First Aid qualified lifeguard should consider signing up for. It's an international app that's recently been introduced to NZ.
Here's the scenario:
You have your Level 1 First Aid certificate or more through your training as a lifeguard. Last week, you downloaded the app onto your smartphone and registered yourself. Today you're alerted to someone having a cardiac arrest just a block away from your place of work. The app gives you the choice to respond or not. You consider your own safety and circumstances first, and decide you can safely respond.
You follow the app's directions to the patient. The app also shows you that the nearest AED is in the lobby of the building. You arrive, sending someone for the AED while you begin chest compressions (30 compressions to 2 breaths, at a rate of 100-120 compressions a minute). The AED arrives. You turn it on, follow the simple instructions, and shock the person out of a VF arrest, before the ambulance has even arrived.
Some foreign countries have survival rates of 30-50 percent for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Some airports and casinos have rates that are even higher. But in New Zealand, our survival rate is around 15%. We have too little bystander CPR, and too little AED use.
Rapid defibrillation with an AED is our best chance at raising survival rates. The survival rate drops by 10% for every minute we lose prior to defibrillation.
AEDs can be lifesavers in cardiac arrest, if you can shock the person quickly enough. GoodSAM is one way we can get trained first-aiders there, with an AED, rapidly. The app, and the people who respond, have been responsible for saving lives in every country it's been introduced to. It's here now.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please download the app, enrol, and maybe help save someone's life.
For more information, visit the GoodSAM page on the St John Website here.
-- From the members of the MAG (Medical Advisory Group)