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Twitter can help save lives

Discussion about cardiac arrests on Twitter, which is a common practice, may represent a new opportunity to provide lifesaving information to the public, a new study has suggested.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2011 12:10 IST

Discussion about cardiac arrests on Twitter, which is a common practice, may represent a new opportunity to provide lifesaving information to the public, a new study has suggested.

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania evaluated cardiac arrest and resuscitation-related Tweets during a month-long period in the spring of 2011 and discovered that users frequently share information about CPR and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and discuss resuscitation topics in the news.

“Twitter is an incredible resource for connecting and mobilizing people, and it offers users a way to receive instant feedback and information. The potential applications of social media for cardiac arrest are vast,” Raina Merchant, assistant professor of Emergency Medicine said.

“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,” the study said.