Lifesaver app teaches CPR by throwing you into the action
Crisis simulator combines interactivity with live-action film to show you how to respond to heart attacks and choking
In Canada, every 12 minutes someone suffers Cardiac Arrest with over 40,000 each year and over 380,000 people in the US with over 85% of these happening outside hospital in homes or public places. If first aid is delayed until emergency services arrives, there is less than a 5% chance of survival. (source Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation)
Yet, if someone starts CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) before an ambulance arrives, they can double a person’s chances of survival. In addition, if an automated external defibrillator (AED) is used, this can increase the chance of survival up to 80%.
Teaching people CPR and how to use an AED has the potential to save numerous lives. Nothing beats classroom training but that can be reinforced with the Lifesaver app that students can use at home to refresh and reinforce what they’ve been taught in the classroom.
Lifesaver focuses on those CPR skills most likely to save a life:
- Recognizing cardiac arrest
- Calling for help
- Starting chest compressions
- Giving rescue breaths if able to do so
- Using an AED (automated external defibrillator) if one is available
How it works
Lifesaver is a crisis simulator that combines interactivity and live-action film to teach CPR in a new way on a computer, smartphone or tablet. For example, when “Jake” collapses from a heart attack, you are questioned about what to do at each step – with a clock running to represent the need to respond quickly to prevent brain damage or death. When it comes time to administer CPR, you’re prompted to swipe your tablet or phone up and down in the air in the speed of the chest compressions. You can see and hear the patient’s chest moving and the effort needed to do the compressions as the app tells you if you’re going too fast or too slow.
What Lifesaver includes
The app includes three realistic and interactive scenarios, two covering cardiac arrest and a third choking. Each scenario takes about 10 minutes. In addition there are some easy-to-follow flow charts of the current guidelines and common questions. Users can also post their scores from the scenarios on Twitter, Facebook and other social media.
‘Stories and Questions’ has real-life accounts from individuals who have done CPR or survived a cardiac arrest. For example, Viv Cummins’ husband had a cardiac arrest, and she was unable to save his life. Despite this, Viv talks about finding solace in the fact that because she knew CPR; she felt she did everything she could do to give her husband the best possible chance of survival. Emma Parks and her husband talk about how she was able to save his life by doing CPR. This section also gives users the opportunity to have a virtual discussion in which Dr. Andrew Lockey and I ask you questions and respond to your “yes” and “no” answers with an explanation.
You may notice some differences
It’s important to understand that LifeSaver is from the UK which means there are some slight difference between their CPR standards of training and ours here in Canada. Here is a summary of some of the differences you will see, please dont let these differences discourage you from using the app as the techniques and sequences shown are still quite effective and the differences are not significant:
When opening the airway we use a head tilt chin LIFT where use an alternative method that involves a head tilt but then pulling the mouth open rather than lifting the jaw. This is only a slight hand position difference but the chin LIFT is slightly more effective in clearing the tongue and soft pallet from the back of the airway.
The biggest difference is that in the first video they elect to use mouth to mouth ventilation on a stranger. Red Cross training we are taught to rely on a pocket breathing barrier to avoid transmission of disease. In cases where a breathing barrier is not available Canadian Red Cross teaches compression only CPR until the breathing barrier becomes available. This technique is mentioned but not until the last video.
When you take your CPR training here in Canada we teach a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute. In the UK they teach a rate of 120 compressions per minute (2 per second) so the rate may seem slightly different from what you did in class. We teach a rate of at LEAST 100 cpm so the rate of 120 cpm does meet with Canadian Heart standards.
In the videos they refer to calling 999. In the UK they use 999 instead of 911. Here in Canada and the USA you will use 911 to call for assistance.
On successful completion of the videos you will be awarded a certificate that you can download. This is cool but please remember that this is not a valid certificate for proof of CPR training. This does not replace actual face to face CPR training with an instructor who can evaluate, fine tune and correct your techniques.
Download the FREE app
- Play on your computer.
- Download the iPad app
- Download the iPhone app
- Download for Android tablets
- Download for Android phones
The app and website are free to use.