A retired doctor in the West Chilcotin is encouraging everyone to download an app that shows where the closest automated external defibrillator (AED) is located in the case of an emergency.
Michal Smialowski, a member of the West Chilcotin Health Care Society (WCHCS), said there are 10 AEDs in the West Chilcotin that people can find the location of through existing signage or by using the free PulsePoint app for phones and tablets.
“There are two different PulsePoint apps, the respond app and the registry app. You will want to download the registry app,” he said.
Through the app a map will display the location of the AEDs with instructions on how to get to the location.
In the West Chilcotin, for example, directions might include to ssomeone’s driveway where there is an AED outside a shop on the property, to a motel or inside a school.
“We have a nurse and doctor at the clinic in Tatla Lake, but depending on where a person goes into cardiac arrest it could be a 25-minute drive or more to the clinic,” Smialowski said.
Smialowski organizes the upkeep of the AEDs in the West Chilcotin, which were initially purchased by the Heart and Stroke Foundation six years ago.
The WCHCS funds the electrode pads, which have to be replaced every two years to the tune of $75 for adult ones and $150 for pediatric sized. The batteries also have to be replaced every four years.
He confirmed the AEDs have been used twice since being installed in the area.
Previously BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) was in charge of informing 9-1-1 callers where all the AEDs were located, he said.
BCEHS got out of it and the program was taken over by PulsePoint, a non-profit organization in the U.S. with a database that extends all over the world.
“They developed the software for phones and tablets for both apple products and android,” Smialowski said, noting anyone wanting to register their own AED can do so by typing in AED.new into their web browsers.
Through the respond app on PulsePoint, information about BCEHS emergencies being responded to province-wide is also available, he added.