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Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

PulsePoint Technology Launched in Springfield; Expected to Save Lives

Michele Skalicky

Leaders from several Springfield organizations, including the Springfield Fire Department, CoxHealth and Mercy, gathered at the Springfield Regional Police & Fire Training Center Wednesday to officially launch PulsePoint in the region.

The app notifies those trained in CPR, and who have downloaded it on their mobile phones, of a medical emergency within 1500 feet of their location as well as the exact location of the emergency and the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED).

Dr. Stephen Kuehn, interventional cardiologist with CoxHealth, knows the importance of quick intervention in a cardiac emegency.  According to Kuehn, a patient’s chances of survival drops significantly if help isn’t immediately available.

"If CPR is not given within about five minutes or defibrillation is not given within about five minutes, the chances of survival are dismal, regardless of the age," he said.

Many cardiac deaths occur in seemingly healthy people with no known heart disease, according to Keuhn, who collapse at kids’ sporting events, the mall or the store.  He’s hopeful the new technology will have a big impact.

"We're going to be able to get people to the patients that need it the most, hopefully quicker, and save more lives," he said.

In April 2014, Gretchen Kliburn had just passed the nine-mile mark in the half Marathon, the Go Girl Run in Springfield when she collapsed.  The otherwise healthy Springfield resident with no known health issues, was in cardiac arrest.  Bystanders administered CPR and after a hospital stay, including induced coma to allow her brain to heal, she was able to resume her normal life.  It's people like Kliburn that PulsePoint is designed to help.

Kiburn said it was the immediate response from bystanders that saved her life.

"So, I want to implore you and everyone you know to learn CPR, download this app and certainly respond when you're notified of someone in need," Kliburn said.

The Springfield Fire Department will offer four free compression-only CPR and AED training opportunities in October.  Fire chief, Dave Pennington, hopes many people will attend, download the app and be ready to save lives.  "It's not what you traditionally consider where you give breaths. This is using your hands only to do compressions," he said.

Free CPR Classes:

October 6 9 to 10 a.m. at Fire Station #12, 2455 S. Blackman  Rd.

October 15 2 to 3 p.m. at Fire Station #1, 720 E. Grand

October 18 6 to 7 p.m. at Fire Station #8, 1405 S. Scenic

October 27 11 a.m. to noon at Fire Station #5 on W. Kearney

Registration is required and can be done online or by calling (417) 874-2300.

The PulsePoint technology is available to anyone in the 17 counties served by Mercy Springfield and CoxHealth.