Smartphone app saves a life

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Nelson Police are praising a smart phone app that helped to save a life in Stoke last Wednesday evening.

Officers were alerted to the scene at the Stoke tennis courts after a woman in her 60’s collapsed while playing a social tennis match and went into cardiac arrest.

Nelson Bays Area Commander Inspector Matt Arnold-Kelly said when officers responded to the call for help they quickly realised that the woman was in need of urgent medical attention and started CPR. “They used an app on their smart phones to locate the nearest defibrillator, which was at a local supermarket,” he says.

“Thankfully, they were able to get the defibrillator and successfully re-started the woman’s heart.”

Senior Sergeant Blair Hall says it was only a matter of minutes from the moment the police were notified until they had a defibrillator on the scene, and the incident highlighted the value of defibrillators being kept in public places.

“It’s a really good application, and the more community organisations and businesses that have them, the better,” he says. “It certainly worked very effectively and quickly.”

Sergeant Hall says that the woman is still seriously ill in hospital, but without the app and quick-thinking by the officers at the scene the situation could have been a lot worse.

The app, which is called ‘AED (automated external defibrillator) Locations’ can be downloaded to smart phones, or if you don’t have a smart phone, there is also a website which will tell you where defibrillators are located anywhere in the country.

The website’s map shows there are 90 defibrillators in the Nelson/Richmond area, and 18 in the Motueka/Golden Bay area. There are defibrillators located at Founders Park, NMIT, Riverside Pool, Nelson City Council, New World Nelson and Stoke, and Countdown Stoke, just to name a few.

Police are encouraging people to download the app, or visit the website, www.aedlocations.co.nz.