Working with the American Heart Association to Transform Medical Emergencies

June 18, 2019
AHA Announce

Every second matters in a medical emergency. The faster emergency medical professionals can provide appropriate medical care, the better the chances of survival and recovery for the patient. Today, 9-1-1 telecommunicators rely on the caller’s ability to relay information verbally in order to  establish what’s occurring during a medical situation, limiting first responders’ ability to provide timely care.

RapidSOS will work with the American Heart Association (AHA) to connect 9-1-1 telecommunicators and first responders in the field with life-saving medical information. This collaboration with AHA will put the scale of one of the largest medical nonprofits in the country behind a modern emergency data platform available for free to every 9-1-1 agency nationwide.

Actionable Medical Information in the Hands of Emergency Services

Information on a patient’s medical history and demographics gives emergency responders situational awareness around an incident, enabling a more efficient and better prepared emergency response. Access to this information on emergency communication center (ECC) screens from the start of an incident is a transformation from the current system, where telecommunicators are reliant on gathering  information they can over the phone from distressed callers.

The project with the American Heart Association will allow individuals to share demographic and medical information with 9-1-1 authorities during emergencies. 9-1-1 authorities will receive information that participants in the program elect to share through a secure national emergency database – from name and age to allergies and existing medical conditions.

“RapidSOS and the American Heart Association are giving emergency professionals access to critical information to effectively respond to medical emergencies. This work will produce more efficient, better prepared medical response, saving lives.”

Dr. Francesca Dominici, Co-Director of the Data Science Initiative at Harvard University

The availability of medical information early in the emergency response process will allow 9-1-1 telecommunicators and emergency medical professionals to initiate treatment faster and with more preparation. Improvements in medical response times have significant impacts on patient outcomes. During cardiac arrest, for example, every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation decreases the chances of survival by 7-10%.

Here are a few examples where demographic and medical information can help first responders provide the best possible care for patients:

  • A history of heart conditions can alert a telecommunicator to locate the closest AED
  • Allergy information can warn medical professionals to an incident of anaphylactic shock or allergies to medications

Even knowing a caller’s name, age, and emergency contact information can expedite a request for service and provide peace of mind during difficult moments.

“Heart disease and stroke are the 1st and 5th leading causes of death in the United States. If emergency medical responders had access to a patient’s medical information when arriving on-scene, this could dramatically change the way in which care is delivered and tailored to the person’s medical needs. Delays in recognition and treatment of time-sensitive conditions like heart attacks, strokes and cardiac arrest can be the difference between life and death. RapidSOS may help us close the gap between emergency medical response and patients, resulting in better and more efficient emergency care.”

– Michael Kurz, MD, chair of the American Heart Association’s Systems of Care Subcommittee and associate professor at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine

How It Works: The National Emergency Database

RapidSOS will work with the American Heart Association to deliver a national registry of emergency profiles. Individuals can create a profile with information they would like to share with 9-1-1 during an emergency. Data from the registry will be available to telecommunicators at local 9-1-1 agencies during 9-1-1 calls.

Individuals can pre-register for the National Emergency Database here.

There are two ways for public safety agencies to receive emergency data from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse.

  • RapidSOS Portal is a free, web-based tool for agencies to manage incidents with supplemental emergency data. Any agency nationwide can create an account to provide their telecommunicators access to all data sources available through the RapidSOS Clearinghouse.

Are you interested in learning more about how data from sources including member databases and connected devices can transform emergency response? Register for our webinar, “Beyond Location: Trends in Emergency Data,” to hear more perspectives from public safety leaders on how agencies are using additional data today.

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