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Smartphone app to help save lives in NSW: Hazzard

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The Hon. Brad Hazzard, Minister for Health (NSW), 15 October 2022

People in cardiac arrest will have a greater chance of survival thanks to a $2.5 million partnership between NSW Ambulance and the pioneering smartphone app GoodSAM.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the technology alerts trained responders to someone nearby in cardiac arrest, so CPR can be started before paramedics arrive.

“Most out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the home, so if a trained passer-by can provide first aid before an ambulance arrives, it could be lifesaving,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Many of the trained Good Samaritans using GoodSAM around the world, and also here in Australia, range from people with basic CPR skills through to doctors.

“If those responders are sitting in a café and someone goes into cardiac arrest nearby, this app will help them navigate their way to the scene, ahead of paramedics arriving.”

The four-year partnership between NSW Ambulance and GoodSAM will see the app integrated with ambulance dispatch and a registry set up to map nearby defibrillators.

The defibrillators could be in the back of a trained responder’s car or fixed to a wall in a building, so the public registry will allow the community to log a device’s location that could then be accessed by a responder, delivering lifesaving defibrillation earlier.

Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone from young children to seniors. NSW Ambulance attended over 10,000 cardiac arrests in the 2021-22 financial year.

NSW Ambulance Executive Director of Clinical Systems and Senior Assistant Commissioner Clare Beech said many of those cases didn’t get defibrillation or CPR from people close by prior to paramedics arriving.

“When someone is in cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR or defibrillation decreases their chance of survival by 10 per cent,” Asst. Commissioner Beech said.

“NSW Ambulance always sends the closest available paramedic in an emergency but this app will allow for rapid intervention by the community, which could save your life.”

Registration for responders will begin in a phased approach over the coming months.

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