The Heart that keeps myResponder Beating
Talk about heartstopping moments.
And being at the right place, at the right time, with the right app.
It’s not every day that an IDA staff helps out during a lifesaving emergency situation with the aid of the myResponder app, and then posts his thoughts in a Facebook post that was widely shared.
Adrian Tan from IDA’s International team, a certified First-aider trained to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) since 2006, was managing an international event at Suntec Convention Centre in January.
The beep of a sudden request popped up through the myResponder app on his mobile phone.
A “potential cardiac arrest”, meaning someone had suffered a suspected heart attack nearby — and immediate help was needed.
Adrian said: “I was checking some information on my phone when the app suddenly prompted that someone had collapsed at Suntec Tower One, which was merely two blocks away from my current location.”
Adrian had been voluntarily sharing his location with the app since November 2015.
And he was ready to help.
“Knowing that this was a potential cardiac arrest case, I clicked ‘Accept’, dropped everything on hand and literally ran over!”
The urgency was understandable: Adrian shared that in a typical cardiac arrest scenario, permanent brain damage starts to occur within four to six minutes.
Hence, any delay in administering CPR to resuscitate the victim and deliver oxygenated blood to the vital organs and brain, or using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to revive the heartbeat, might be deadly.
Incredibly, despite being on foot, Adrian was the first responder on the scene within five minutes. As it was the busy lunch hour, the heavy traffic around the area resulted in a slight delay for the ambulance.
“I reached within the crucial ‘Golden window period’ thanks to the map on the app. It was easy to find the victim’s office, and also pinpoint the location of the nearest AED.”
Fortunately, the victim had regained consciousness, and while still weak, was in a stable condition and did not require resuscitation.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Mobile Team on motorbike arrived shortly after, followed soon by the ambulance. Following standard procedures, Adrian briefed the SCDF medics on what had been done prior to their arrival, and handed the victim over to them.
The Lifesaving App
myResponder is the fruit of a successful collaboration between the SCDF and IDA.
(It is available from the Apple App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android phones).
According to the SCDF, more than 1900 people suffer from Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest every year in Singapore, with a survival rate of just 3%.
myResponder thus taps on a connected and active citizenry — including public-spirited first-aiders like Adrian — to respond as quickly as possible to improve the chances of survival.
SCDF’s 995 Operations Centre can alert anyone using the app about reported cardiac arrest cases within a 400 metre radius of their location.
If they are trained in first aid, they might be able to reach in time and help the victim before the arrival of the ambulance. The app will also highlight nearby AEDs that can be used if they need to revive the victim.
Adrian is greatly encouraged by his experience as it proved that myResponder works in real life — It allows a trained first aider like him to react and reach the incident site within the critical first few minutes.
After the incident, he shared a personal appeal in a Facebook post, asking for registered first-aiders to download and use myResponder.
The post must have struck a chord, garnering over 260 shares.
We quote from Adrian’s heartfelt post: “Just imagine that if the person who needed help is your grandparent, parent, spouse, son or daughter or someone immensely close to you. Who knows…you might have played an indirect but very important role in saving their lives one day.”