The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) has issued some advice in the wake of various social media posts which have been encouraging people to activate ‘Alexa’ for advice on giving CPR.
In a post shared on their Facebook page, a spokesperson for NIAS said:
“It has been brought to our attention that a post has been widely shared on social media (almost 3,000 shares) encouraging people who find themselves faced with someone having a cardiac arrest to enlist the help of the voice-activated device by shouting “Alexa, Emergency CPR”.
“THIS WOULD BE THE WRONG FIRST ACTION TO TAKE…
“The post does not include clarification and a disclaimer from Amazon themselves: ‘This skill does not provide medical advice, and is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Call your doctor to receive medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, please dial 911/999’
“If faced with potential cardiac arrest, dial 999 immediately.
“Trained Ambulance staff will provide CPR advice over the telephone if needed.
“PLEASE SHARE THIS TO COUNTER THE POTENTIALLY MISLEADING INFORMATION – SOMEONE’S LIFE COULD DEPEND ON IT.”
Ambulance authorities are concerned that anyone who finds themself in a situation where CPR might be necessary, will ask ‘Alexa’ for advice on giving CPR rather than calling 999.
However, asking Alexa rather than immediately contacting the emergency services could provide an extended delay in getting emergency help and advice in a life-or-death situation.
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