‘It’s like an electronic call for help’ – new app could save the lives of those suffering a cardiac arrest

Only 12 per cent of New Zealanders survive a cardiac arrest, but a new phone app could change that figure.

GoodSAM is an app which alerts members of the public to those nearby who are in cardiac arrest.

“It’s like an electronic call for help that can alert community bystanders who can provide early intervention of CPR and defibrillation in those critical minutes before an ambulance arrives,” Bridget Dicker from St John told 1 NEWS.

The first five minutes of a cardiac arrest is the most crucial with the chance of surviving more than doubling if the patient receives CPR.

The app works by showing the registered user the location of the patient and the closest AED or defibrillator, which is crucial for CPR.

British neurosurgeon Dr Mark Wilson came up with the idea to create GoodSAM and launched the app in the UK five years ago.

“It really came from a critical need more than anything else.

“I see a lot of people who through one way or another through trauma or cardiac arrest, they lose neurons i.e. the brain has a bit of an injury from hypoxia, lack of oxygen,” Mr Wilson told 1 NEWS.

“You’re never going to have enough ambulances to get someone there within 30 seconds or within a minute every time. So we can use technology to provide that kind of care.”

Nearly 2,000 people have signed up to use the app in New Zealand since its launch here in December.

New Zealand is also the first country to let anyone with CPR training and can use an AED or defibrillator to sign up.

St John and Wellington Free Ambulance are encouraging anyone who feels confident in performing CPR to sign up to the app.

The GoodSAM app is designed to alert people nearby to those having a cardiac arrest. Source: 1 NEWS

Most read story: 'I literally kicked the door in of the P dealer': Dad tells court how 'I've got my son back'

Note: This story was first published on Tuesday May 8

New Zealand coat of arms Source: 1 NEWS

A father of a P user has revealed how he kicked down the door of a drug dealer to rescue his son.

Cain Phillip Nelson-Clark appeared in the Nelson District Court yesterday, according to the Nelson Mail, and his father was granted permission to address the court.

He said he dealt with several agencies in order to get help for his son after first hearing of his erratic behaviour in January.

Nelson-Clark's father said he took matters into his hands out of "fear and frustration after "running in around in circles" trying to get assistance for his son.

"In the end I literally kicked the door in of the P dealer and found him in there and dragged him out of the property," the dad, who wasn't named, told Judge David Ruth.

Nelson-Clark was taken away from his contacts by his father in his motorhome, in order to get him off the drug.

"He went through that real hard period, it was a horrible thing to watch. He's now four months clean and as the counsellor said, I've got my son back."

Lawyer Kelly Hennessy said Nelson-Clark was lucky to have a father that could intervene.

Earlier in the year, a police summary of facts said Nelson-Clark was at his mother’s home in Levin on February 7 when he asked her for money for cigarettes.

When she refused, he threatened to burn the house.

Nelson-Clark’s mother left her home with her 14-year-old son and Nelson-Clark damaged the garage and locked himself in. He was later arrested by police.

Nelson-Clark admitted charges of stealing petrol, threatening behaviour and intentional damage.

On February 21, Nelson-Clark did not pay for $100 of fuel at a Levin petrol station.

He was ordered to pay $100 reparation for the petrol theft and sentenced to six months supervision on the intentional damage charge and three months community detention on the intimidation charge.

Judge Ruth also ordered him to complete an addiction counselling programme.


Dr Lance O'Sullivan kept shark in freezer for three months so scientists could study it

Former New Zealander of the Year Dr Lance O’Sullivan kept a great white shark in his freezer for three months to give some Kiwi scientists a rare chance to learn about the species.

Dr O’Sullivan discovered the shark, which was 1.85m long and weighed 59.2 kilograms, washed up on Northland’s Great Exhibition Bay, Stuff reports.

Dr Lance O'Sullivan.
Dr Lance O'Sullivan. Source: 1 NEWS

The author and public health advocate took the shark, thought to be about one-year-old, home and put it in his meat freezer.

With the permission of Ngati Kuri, a necropsy, the equivalent of an autopsy, on the shark was performed at Auckland’s Massey University campus with an audience ranging from primary school kids through to PhD level students.

Massey scientist Dr Adam Smith, who was present at the necropsy, said it was a rare opportunity to learn more about sharks.  

“It’s not often we get the opportunity to dissect a great white shark, especially one so young. It’s been really great to bring together all sorts of people who are interested in the marine environment and protecting our marine species.

“We have good facilities for dissecting and doing necropsies of marine animals of all sorts. We necropsy dolphins, small whales, turtles and sharks. After the initial measurements, they cut the shark open, weighed the liver, looked at the shark’s stomach contents, taking samples for DNA analysis for heavy metal analysis. There’s a lot of information packed in that one animal.”

It is not known what killed the female great white but a hook was found in its mouth.

Ngāti Kuri will take the shark back to Northland.