(photo credit: REUTERS)
A week after United Hatzalah released a smartphone app that demonstrates how to perform CPR and sends its ambucycles to the scene, Magen David Adom has announced its own similar app.
Over the years, MDA has shown competition, and even outright hostility, for its younger competitor, UH. Two years ago, MDA and UH signed a cooperation agreement. Now MDA has announced its plans to enable a million Israelis trained in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to reach victims of unconsciousness and cardiac arrest to give lifesaving help on the spot.
United Hatzalah founder and president Eli Beer told The Jerusalem Post
he’s very happy MDA has decided to follow in UH’s footsteps with its long-established policy of using volunteer responders in the community.
“I hope the MDA app will work, because it can save lives,” he said. “Our organization is based on volunteers on ambucycles or their own vehicles responding within 90 seconds. As volunteers, we do everything for free. Every month, at no charge, we train 1,000 people around the country in CPR. Magen David Adom is obliged by law to charge for its services, and those it helps are billed. That is the reason why we cannot unite on our services.”
The MDA announcement did not even mention United Hatzalah or its app.
MDA said its “revolutionary and innovative” idea will include all those qualified to serve as “lifesaving faithful” and rush to help before MDA ambulances arrives.
“I have no doubt that thanks to this initiative, one can save more lives every year,” said MDA director-general Eli Bin.
MDA said “within a few months, a network of lifesaving faithfuls” will be recognized and able to take action in parallel to telephone instructions by MDA medics and personnel at its 101 phone center.
“Many studies have shown that in numerous cases of lifesaving, the initial reaction time and immediate treatment of the patient can significantly raise the chances of saving the individual,” the announcement added. “In recent years, we have introduced technological improvements that significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to reach injured and sick. Our telephone staff now answers calls within five seconds.”
But to reduce responder time even more, it was decided to draft all citizens over 18 who are interested and have basic CPR training to give assistance, MDA said. “The app will identify all volunteers in the area who can reach the victim within a few minutes and also send a professional MDA team to the scene.”
Magen David Adom’s criteria for “lifesaving faithful” are that they must be over 18, have a certificate showing they have been trained and undergone refresher courses, presented their identity card, declare they have not been convicted of sex offenses and do not have any reason to be prevented for medical reasons from treating an individual and have a smartphone. For registration, call *6210 Sundays through Thursdays from 7 a.m.
to 11 p.m., or Fridays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., or visit www.
MDA estimates that a million people in the country – doctors, nurses, paramedics, medics, military personnel, lifeguards, teachers, kindergarten teachers and people who have taken lifesaving courses – can give assistance.
Every year, MDA encounters some 9,000 cases of cardiac arrest outside the home.