8 out of 10 Romanians do not know how to offer first aid in case of emergency. And European statistics are not doing great either, showing that over 700k sudden deaths happen as a cause of cardiac arrests outside the hospitals.
The community is at a huge risk of death in emergency situations by not knowing basic medical information.
In October 2022, when Linnify turned 6, we couldn’t leave the celebration getaway without creating something that gives back to the world in which we’ve had the opportunity to grow. Thus, we decided to mark this Linniversary with something that has the power to educate and, through that, save lives.
To better understand the need HelpMe responds to, here’s what Dr. Oarga has to say about how it:
Paul, you’re well known for First Aid Academy, what made you want to create HelpMe?
'The European Resuscitation Council, the main promoter of first aid in Europe, encourages the development of apps that teach people how to use a defibrillator.
But we, as first responders doctors, working on the mobile intensive care unit ambulance knew that a simple app with a map of defibrillators was just not enough.
People lack basic first aid knowledge. Apps lack first-aid knowledge presented in such a way that is concise, easy to read, and understandable.
That is how HelpMe was born.
At least, the idea of it.'
What is the problem HelpMe solves? And who is this app for?
The app is for everybody. And I mean it.
'Although it is best to take a look inside it before an emergency, you can use it even when responding to one. That is the beauty of it.
HelpMe provides the information you need to succeed until help arrives, and with the support provided by Linnify, the app is really easy to use and intuitive.'
What type of information does HelpMe app offer?
'The most important thing is not to overwhelm people with information, so we included the way to attend to four vital emergencies. If we, the community, as witnesses to these events, do not intervene, people will die. And I am that serious. I see it every day when I am on call. All the information in the app is from European Resuscitation Guidelines and First Aid.'
We double-checked every single word inside the app. It is a big responsibility for us to teach people life-saving maneuvers, even more so through an app.
What is the key functionality of the app?
'At first, we were tempted to say, the defibrillators’ map, but what use is a map of a thing you have no idea how to put to work?
I would say the key functionality is the accurate information provided and the way it is presented.
On top of that, you have the map with all the defibrillators around you. These little things really know how to save a life. But they need you in order to reach their full potential, so to say. If people know how to respond to a cardiac arrest and they know where the defibrillators are, we are on to a winner here: HelpMe.'
How about the defibrillators? How will be they accessed?
'We have two types of defibrillators: with public or limited access.
We encourage people to introduce a defibrillator no matter its status. The public defibrillators will be functional 24/24h, but the ones with limited access will depend on the working hours, if, for example, they will be put inside an office building.'
Why is it important that everybody knows basic first aid measures?
'Do you know what is the most common phrase I hear every day I am in the ambulance, on call? ‘But it never happened to us/him/her.’
Accidents and sudden health issues can happen to everyone. And you’re not even learning first-aid for yourself, in most situations. You do it for your spouse, mother, father, children, or best friend forever.'
Together we strive. HelpMe contributes a little bit to this common purpose.
About Dr. Paul Oarga
Dr. Paul Oarga has always advocated for transparency in the medical field. Aside from being an Intensive Therapy and Anaesthesiology resident, Paul has worked as a paramedic for six years during medical school and now is proud to be also a first responder doctor on the mobile intensive care unit ambulance.
His experience in the field has made him realize hard truths about how medicine is done within the system but more importantly outside of it - in the daily lives of each and every person.
By seeing how little prepared people are in relatively common yet emergency situations, he took the responsibility into his own hands to educate people about the simple procedures that can make the difference between life and death before the arrival of emergency medical teams.
‘Basic medical education makes the difference in our life quality.’
That’s why, in 2020, in full pandemic, the idea of First Aid Academy (Academia de Prim Ajutor) came to life. By using the power of social media to educate people, Paul consistently delivers emergency must-knows via informational posts and videos that showcase directly what needs to be done in situations like cardio-respiratory arrests, choking on food, anaphylactic shocks, and life-threatening bleedings. Another key learning Paul addresses frequently is how
‘doctors are humans just like everyone else, and we should feel comfortable communicating with them’
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