‘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