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Rapid assistance with cardiac arrest now arranged nation-wide

September 2018

Since 1 September the Netherlands have one nation-wide alerting system for resuscitation: HartslagNu. Citizen responders that are registered in the system can now be alerted throughout the Netherlands in case of a 112 notice of cardiac arrest.  Where ever they are. This makes the Netherlands the first country in the world where citizens are alerted on such scale to provide victims of a cardiac arrest with fast assistance.

The new HartslagNu is a combination of two technical systems, HeartsafeLiving and HartslagNu, who each used to serve a part of our country. Previously, the deployment of citizen responders in cases of a cardiac arrest was not possible if the citizen responder was outside the region where he or she was registered.

All dispatch centers connected

Meanwhile all dispatch centers in the Netherlands are connected to the new system. As soon as the suspicion of a cardiac arrest arises during registration of a 112-notification, the system full automatically alerts citizen responders that are nearby the victim.  They are instructed via their mobile phone to resuscitate immediately or to get the nearest available AED that is registered in the system. During the further conversation with the caller the dispatcher can still cancel the alerting process if needed. If enough citizen responders have replied and accepted to the alert, other citizen responders who have not yet replied will automatically receive a cancellation message.

Launch of one new app

The new HartslagNu immediately launches a new app with which it can alert citizen responders throughout the Netherlands. In case of a cardiac arrest in their immediate vicinity citizen responders will receive a push notification with a call to go directly to the victim or to get the nearest available AED that is registered in the system. Everyone can download the app in the App Store and Google Play Store.

6-minute zone closer

Within a 6-minute zone a victim of a cardiac arrest is resuscitated and defibrillated within 6 minutes. Resuscitation and deployment of an AED within the first 6 minutes offers the best chance of survival. In an emergency situation when every minute counts, the HartslagNu citizen responders can be on the spot quickly. Then first aid can be provided while the ambulance is still on the way and the victim has the best chance of survival.

Organisations join forces

HartslagNu arose thanks to cooperation between the Hartstichting (Dutch Heart Association),  Stan (formerly HeartsafeLiving) and former HartslagNu. This collaboration was made possible thanks to a subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. All ambulance services in the Netherlands have committed themselves to HartslagNu.