Haiti survivor 'saved by first-aid iPhone app'


Verified SOF
Jan 15, 2008

Not really combat medicine but interesting.

An American filmmaker who was injured and trapped under rubble in the devastating Haiti earthquake credits a first-aid iPhone application with helping him get out alive after 65 hours.

Technology has been harnessed for significant benefit in the wake of the disaster, with donations drives flooding Twitter and Facebook, aid agencies using online tools to co-ordinate relief efforts and Google updating its Maps site to include highly detailed images of post-quake Haiti.

Dan Woolley, who was caught in the collapse of the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince, used the Pocket First Aid and CPR app to treat a compound fracture of his leg and a cut on his forehead, he told the US Today show.

Woolley, 39, was in Haiti on assignment for Compassion International, making a film about poverty in the country. He had just returned to his hotel from a day of filming when the earthquake struck, trapping him beneath six storeys of rubble.

"I just saw the walls rippling and just explosive sounds all around me," Woolley said.

"When things settled a little bit I tried to look around. I couldn't see anything. It was complete darkness, but I feel God gave me some tools to help me survive."

Having lost his glasses, Woolley used his digital SLR camera and flash to illuminate and take photos of his surroundings, revealing a nearby elevator shaft that he used for cover.

The iPhone first-aid app taught him how to fashion a bandage and tourniquet for his leg and to stop the bleeding from the wound to his head, he told NBC Miami.

Woolley set his alarm clock to go off every 20 minutes after the app cautioned him not to fall asleep if he was going into shock.

"I was able to look up treatment of excessive bleeding and compound fracture, so I used my shirt to tie my leg and a sock on the back of my head and later used it for other things like to diagnose shock," he said.

Woolley was rescued after more than 60 hours by a French rescue team but his colleague David Hames is still missing.

Unsure whether he would ever be rescued, Woolley scrawled notes to his wife, Christina, and children Josh, 6, and Nathan, 3, on a blood-stained black notebook.

"I was in a big accident. Don't be upset at God. He always provides for his children, even in hard times," he wrote.

"I'm still praying that God will get me out, but He may not. But He will always take care of you."

Woolley is now at home after being reunited with his family in Colorado Springs.

A user review of the first-aid app, published by "Webguydan" and first spotted by Wired.com, reads: "Consulted this app, while trapped under Hotel Montana in Haiti earthquake, to treat excessive bleeding and shock. Helped me stay alive till I was rescued 64 hours later.” It is not clear if the review was written by Woolley.
While pretty cool, you have to wonder what you've done wrong in life to need an iPhone app to save it.