Twitter turns lifesaver

Researchers who studied tweets on cardiac arrest suggest that Twitter represents a unique, promising avenue to respond to queries from the public and disseminate information about this leading killer.

“Twitter is an incredible resource for connecting and mobilising people, and it offers users a way to receive instant feedback and information,” said Raina Merchant who led the study.

“Twitter might even be harnessed to save lives in an emergency, by allowing bystanders who respond to cardiac arrests in public places to seek information about the location of the closest AED (automated external defibrillator),” said Merchant, assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at Penn University.

The varsity’s Perelman School of Medicine evaluated cardiac arrest and resuscitation related tweets during a month-long period in early 2011, according to a statement.

They discovered that users frequently share information about cardiopulmonary resuscitation and AEDs.

The AED is a portable device that treats life-threatening cardiac conditions with electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia (erratic heartbeats), allowing the organ to re-establish an effective rhythm.

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