By Anastasia Millicker
Every day 1,000 people go into sudden cardiac arrest, according to the American Heart Association. Of those 1,000 people, 5 percent survive because cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is not immediately started.
Jim Schatzle, president of Team Life, Inc., a health and safety training company that also sells automated external defibrillators, wants to improve those statistics. He’s hoping to do it with the Team Life CPR application which, he says, empowers bystanders to step in and perform CPR in emergency situations with the information it provides.
Schatzle has been a paramedic since he was 16 years old and continues to volunteer on the Colts Neck squad but his medical training does not stop there. Schatzle and Team Life, Inc. have trained more than 10,000 people in CPR by offering courses in their office and other locations.
Most people, if they do not perform CPR regularly, may not know what to do in an emergency situation. The app, however, includes a video that gives a step-by-step demonstration of what to do, he said.
“By empowering people with the Team Life CPR App, anyone can be a hero,” Schatzle said.
Although the app, which launched in January, is not a supplement for CPR classes, the app gives instructions of what to do in a sudden cardiac arrest emergency.
About 70 percent of cardiac arrests occur while a person is at home, Schatzle said. At a restaurant, movie theater or store, there is a chance that someone nearby knows CPR or first aid, but at home, many are left waiting for a paramedic.
The time spent waiting is precious for the heart and brain, Schatzle said. The average response time for an ambulance is 8 to 12 minutes. Brain cells start to die after 4 minutes without oxygen while the brain completely dies after 10 minutes without oxygen.
“No matter how good a paramedic is, if nothing is done before the ambulance arrives, it may be too late,” he said.
Schatzle said he developed the app for BlackBerry, Droid and iPhone out of frustration from telling people it was “too late.”
With a touch of the screen, the app activates, giving video instructions timed to follow in real time including 3 minutes of counting for chest compressions during which the rescuer presses one-third depth in the center of the victim’s chest and provides mouth-to-mouth breaths.
While other similar medical apps and guides act as references, they are text heavy, Schatzle said. The video app, however, offers a step-by-step instructional video with small blurbs of written procedures that appear in corners of the screen as the video plays.
The video shows CPR applied to an adult but the practice for applying the procedure to children and infants is similar, Schatzle said. “The difference is when working with a toddler, you use one hand to press down in the center of the chest, while with an infant you use two fingers to press down,” he said.
For a one-time download fee of $1.99, users can access the app, which provides the most updated version of CPR training, Schatzle said.
“The app is made for anyone to use,” he said even those who are cautious about performing CPR on strangers in need.
For those performing CPR who do not have a mouth guard or are uncomfortable with performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, they can continue to perform rapid compressions in the center of the chest, as instructed in the video, but when the breath instructional appears, they can take a 2 second break before continuing chest compressions, Schatzle said.
So far the app has more than 500 downloads, and Schatzle hopes he’ll soon hear stories about how the app has saved lives. An effective bystander CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander, according to the American Heart Association.
In 1994, Schatzle created Team Life, Inc., a health and safety training and automated external defibrillators (AED) sales company, out of his home. Today, Team Life, Inc. has an office in Colts Neck and a staff of 15 that trains thousands of people every year in CPR, AED and other advanced medical training courses. Team Life, Inc. is also the top distributor of Automated External Defibrillators.
For more information on Team Life, Inc. or for links to download the CPR app, visit www.teamlife.com.