What did our remote employees do for Iridia in the Community?

Our Iridia in the Community initiative applied to all of our employees, including our Remote Employees throughout the province. Here’s what they did with their $100:

Tracy

Tracy is involved with a group called Helping our Northern Neighbours, which is dedicated to helping people who live in remote areas in Northern Canada, primarily Nunavut. As the costs of food are very high, people have difficulty affording many basic amenities. We received a very kind message on our Facebook wall, thanking Tracy for the donation:

IITCMyrna

 

 

 

 

 

Alongside that Tracy also provided 4 swimming passes to families in need for the North Peace Leisure Pool.

 

Mark

Mark went and did one of our most unique initiatives, by providing a small gift to support staff at his camp in North Liard. He even filmed his own interview and provided some great shots!

Alandra

Alandra chose to provide a donation to the Special Friends Program at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre. The organzations provide food, warm clothing and hygiene kits for the homless in Fort St. John.

Donation AShaffer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the Iridia in the Community contributions so far. We will have more videos for you on Monday! If you haven’t already, check out our first post which explains where the idea came from and our other staff interviews.

Turkey, mashed potatoes, and … Iridia in the Community?

 

As Canadians, most of us are returning to work this week in a tryptophan-induced fog thanks to another wonderful turkey dinner (or two) at the hands of that amazing friend or family member who spared no effort in bringing their kitchen skills to bear. While reflecting on culinary conquests is almost a requisite of Thanksgiving reflection, this particular edition of the holiday has given many Iridians the opportunity to reflect in a different way. More specifically, to think about what community means to them, and how they can give to it when given a simple means to do so.

Enter Iridia in the Community.

Iridia in the Community

What is it?

Iridia in the Community, quite simply, is an initiative that saw each full time employee receive $100 and be tasked with spending it in a way that would provide value to their interpretation of “community”.

Little guidance was offered, and that was by design. While all Iridians share commonalities, we are also each very different. Our individual interpretation as to what “community” is, and what providing value to it looks like, is completely a function of our own perspective.

What was the inspiration behind it?

You never know when you might have a conversation that will have a profound impact.   In February of this year, I was fortunate enough to have had such a conversation.  While attending a professional development workshop I sat beside a gentleman that I had never seen before, and have never seen since. We spoke only for about 10 minutes, but that brief exchange led to Iridia in the Community.

He shared a story about a man in the early 1900s who took out an advertisement local newspaper offering to provide $10 to anyone who wrote him a letter articulating why they felt they needed $10. Initially dubbed Angels in the Streets, this idea has since evolved to see companies giving back through their employee teams.

Amazed at the simplicity and beauty of the program, we simply had to do it.

And now, it’s done.

Why did we do it?

At Iridia we aspire to be led by, and act in accordance with, our company values. Each of our eight values contributes directly to the very fabric of our organization. As one of our values is Social Responsibility, we are always on the lookout for creative ways to support our community. We felt that Iridia in the Community fit the bill, and we made it happen.

Why now?

Thanksgiving is all about, well, giving thanks. As such, we felt was the perfect time for Iridia in the Community.

How will it play out?

To be honest, we don’t know, but we are as excited as you are to find out!

Over the course of this week, we will be sharing highlights of how Iridia dollars were spent through a combination of pictures and videos on our Facebook page. Please check back often to see how your friends and contacts on the Iridia team have made a difference.

We can say, however, that our hope is that this becomes only the first of many versions of Iridia in the Community.

Iridia in the Community Interviews:

The Tour D’Iridia is complete!

It’s a wrap!

Iridia Medical Tour D'IridiaLast week Michael travelled through Vancouver Island by bike for 5 days straight, making 18 official stops. The Tour D’Iridia introduced BC PAD Program Coordinators to Iridia Medical, and included a quick “health check” on the AED devices. Michael met with a series of dedicated people, proud to have the AEDs available in their communities, who welcomed him to their locations with the Island’s special brand of friendliness.

During his time on the road he showcased his journey through social media, providing us with some great shots of the defibrillators on site, and a taste of Island beauty. Everyone at Iridia cheered him on through our Facebook page and encouraged him every step of the way. With each day presenting a unique set of challenges, Michaels cycling expertise ensured that he was at every stop on time, ready to answer questions and discover some of the innovations, such as Code Blue systems, added at some locations. .

Our first Tour D’Iridia was an exciting learning experience and an experiment in finding new ways to reach out to our customers. The Tour highlights our commitment to Client Focus, Innovation and Corporate Responsibility, and our passion for public access to defibrillation. We will continue to develop unique and engaging ways to raise awareness of PAD programs through similar projects in the future.

We hope you enjoyed coming along on the trip with us and experiencing the tour through Michael’s eyes.

We’ve added a gallery of images below with some of Michael’s best shots:

SCA Awareness Month at Iridia Medical

SCA Awareness Month

SCA Awareness Month

Every October is SCA Awareness month. Originally founded as an initiative by the Heart Rhythm Society, it’s become an opportunity to raise awareness on an important subject. Annually, 40,000 Canadians and 350,000 Americans die from Sudden Cardiac Death. Currently, survival rate is still low with 8-11% for out of hospital cases. As survival rate can be increased with the application of an AED, the primary issue is raising public awareness for AED locations and education on how to use them.

As you may recall from last year’s post, Sudden Cardiac Arrest is not a heart attack. A campaign, spearheaded by the Heart Rhythm Society created the imagery of comparing Apples to Oranges. The simple message was that heart attacks and SCA situations must be handled differently as they are not the same disorder.

Over the next year we are working to develop various initiatives to bring the issue of Sudden Cardiac Arrest into the public eye. One of our most recent initiatives is the Tour D’Iridia where our rider Michael Galasso toured Vancouver Island on a bike, visiting 18 different PAD Program locations. The goal of the tour was to verify that the employees responsible understood how to use the device, while raising awareness of the BC PAD program. We’re also developing a unique AED survival story video to further shed light on people who have survived a cardiac arrest as a result of properly trained individuals and quick responses.

As always, we want to ensure the people are aware of the number of Public Access defibrillators available through our AEDs Everywhere map. If you have spotted any AED’s, snap a photo and send it our way and we’ll be more than happy to add it to our map!

As Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness month is important to us, we’ll be donating 10% of our new AED sales to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon.

We’re offering 2 specials SCA Awareness Month:

SCA Awareness Month

Tour D’Iridia: Day 1!

Logo 2As announced last week, today is the official start of Michael Galasso’s Tour D’Iridia! We’re excited to see finally have this project move forward after many months of careful preparation.

To begin, we want to share Michael’s tour schedule with you. If you live near an area he will be stopping at, we hope you can stop by and encourage him along the way.

 

Day 1 – September 29th

Day 2 – September 30th

Day 3 – October 1st

Day 4 – October 2nd

Day 5 – October 3rd

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you can see, Michael has a very packed schedule for 5 days straight. At each stop he will be meeting with people who are responsible for the AED, and ensuring they’re comfortable using the device if they ever need to. During his trip, he will be documenting all of his visits and we’ll be posting these shots on our social media pages.

During our event, we’ll be posting information about Michaels whereabouts, infographics, real time updates and more. Keep your eyes out as we’ll also be hosting a social media quiz. The person who answers the most questions correctly will win a $25 donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation in their name!

 

If you’d like to stay up to date, make sure to join us on our Facebook page where all the action will be happening!

Announcing the Tour D’Iridia!

Updates: Day 1 – Tour Schedule

Logo 2

Bicycles, Automated External Defibrillators, and Vancouver Island: What do they have in common?  Iridia Medical, of course!  We are an organisation that is passionate about AEDs, our customers, innovation, and we thrive on challenges. So why wouldn’t we combine all these elements into a different approach to living our values?

Today we are proud to launch a new corporate initiative – the first ever Tour D’Iridia. It is a 5 day, 400km cycle tour of the Southern Vancouver Island region. The tour focuses on visiting BC PAD Program locations, drawing attention to the program and raising general awareness of AEDs in the communities.

The Tour has its roots in Iridia’s appointment as the AED distributor to the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s BC Public Access to Defibrillator Program (PAD). To date, 237 devices have been placed, 20 of these in southern Vancouver Island. Apart from supplying the Powerheart AED G3 Plus devices, Iridia is also responsible for providing ongoing technical and customer support.  At each location our Tour Ambassador, Michael Galasso will perform a technical check-in on the device, gather feedback about the devices and answer questions.

On Monday 29 September, Michael will cross the Georgia Strait by ferry.  His bike tour will begin in Saanichton, connecting with the 19 Program Coordinators between there and Qualicum Beach.  He will be making his way via Oak Bay, Langford, Sooke, Mill Bay, Duncan, Lake Cowichan, Chemainus, Ladysmith, Lantzville, Parksville, Port Alberni to Nanaimo, finishing the tour on the 3rd of October.

mikeMichael’s travels will be fuelled by social media and your support.  Make a point of following his progress each day by checking Iridia Medical’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.  Learn about the communities he will be travelling through, see his visit photos and other posts from along the route, and find out about AEDs in the area.  Check in often, like, comment and share as much as you want, because there will the chance to win a prize – but only if you are observant and participate!

Michael is no stranger to cycling.  Over the past few years he has raced in road and cyclocross events for Vancouver’s Escape Velocity Racing Team, and in between has cycled the mountains of British Columbia, the iconic Stelvio pass in Italy, the rolling green fields of Ireland, and the cyclist friendly streets of the Netherlands.  He just completed the Gran Fondo’s newest challenge, the Forte, which added an ascent and decent of Vancouver’s Cypress Mountain (900m above sea level) on the route from Vancouver to Whistler.

“I am excited to be part of this tour. Biking is the easiest way to get physical exercise, no matter your age or fitness level. It does not damage the environment, and gives you lots of time to think and reflect. Using a bicycle to travel through Vancouver Island will give me a chance to see all the places in between the major stops, and provide endless opportunities to stop and take in the view.”

With over 5000km cycled this year, Michael is looking forward to taking on the roads of Vancouver Island, meeting the people that makeup these coastal communities and raising awareness about these live saving devices.

Mark the dates – 29 September to 3 October, and if you are in the area, feel free to cheer Michael on as he passes by! To learn more about the BC PAD Porgram, please visit: https://www.bcpadprogram.ca/

 

First Responders, Meet Your Opponent: “Death”

Death Race

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.”  – Isaac Asimov -

First Responder – meet your opponent: “Death”

In the daily race between Life and Death, the first responder is the designated competitor for Life. It’s a two horse race and there can be just one winner. The only problem is – we’re not always sure where the finish line is. Physiological death is now seen as a process, more than an event. It is a process that begins when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working and the brain ceases functioning – a medical condition termed cardiac arrest. During a cardiac arrest, all three criteria of death are present. Conditions once considered indicative of death are now reversible. Where in the process a dividing line is drawn between life and death depends on factors beyond the presence or absence of vital signs. In general, clinical death is neither necessary nor sufficient for a determination of legal death. A patient with working heart and lungs determined to be brain dead can be pronounced legally dead without clinical death occurring. As scientific knowledge and medicine advance, a precise medical definition of death becomes more problematic.

Death is the cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include biological aging, predation, malnutrition, disease, suicide, homicide and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death.

In society, the nature of death and humanity’s awareness of its own mortality has for millennia been a concern of the world’s religious traditions and of philosophical inquiry. This includes belief in resurrection (associated with Abrahamic religions), reincarnation or rebirth (associated with Dharmic religions), or that consciousness permanently ceases to exist, known as eternal oblivion (often associated with atheism).

On the living side of death, commemoration ceremonies may include various mourning, funeral practices and ceremonies of honouring the deceased. The physical remains of a person, commonly known as a corpse or body, are usually interred whole or cremated, though among the world’s cultures there are a variety of other methods of mortuary disposal. In the English language, blessings directed towards a dead person include rest in peace, or its initialism RIP.

The most common cause of human deaths in the world is heart disease, followed by stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases, and in the third place lower respiratory infections.

Senescence

Almost all animals who survive external hazards to their biological functioning eventually die from biological aging, known in life sciences as “senescence”. Unnatural causes of death include suicide and homicide. From all causes, roughly 150,000 people die around the world each day. Of these, two thirds die directly or indirectly due to senescence, but in industrialized countries—such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany—the rate approaches 90%, i.e., nearly nine out of ten of all deaths are related to senescence.

Signs of death or strong indications that a warm-blooded animal is no longer alive are:

  • Cessation of breathing
  • Cardiac arrest (no pulse)
  • Pallor mortis, paleness which happens in the 15–120 minutes after death
  • Livor mortis, a settling of the blood in the lower (dependent) portion of the body
  • Algor mortis, the reduction in body temperature following death. This is generally a steady decline until matching ambient temperature
  • Rigor mortis, the limbs of the corpse become stiff (Latin rigor) and difficult to move or manipulate
  • Decomposition, the reduction into simpler forms of matter, accompanied by a strong, unpleasant odor

The Finish Line – Problems of definition

The concept of death is a key to human understanding of the phenomenon. There are many scientific approaches to the concept. For example, brain death, as practiced in medical science, defines death as a point in time at which brain activity ceases.

One of the challenges in defining death is in distinguishing it from life. As a point in time, death would seem to refer to the moment at which life ends. However, determining when death has occurred requires drawing precise conceptual boundaries between life and death. This is problematic because there is little consensus over how to define life. This general problem applies to the particular challenge of defining death in the context of medicine.

It is possible to define life in terms of consciousness. When consciousness ceases, a living organism can be said to have died. One of the notable flaws in this approach, however, is that there are many organisms which are alive but probably not conscious (for example, single-celled organisms). Another problem is in defining consciousness, which has many different definitions given by modern scientists, psychologists and philosophers. Additionally, many religious traditions, including Abrahamic and Dharmic traditions, hold that death does not (or may not) entail the end of consciousness. In certain cultures, death is more of a process than a single event. It implies a slow shift from one spiritual state to another.

Other definitions for death focus on the character of cessation of something. In this context “death” describes merely the state where something has ceased, for example, life. Thus, the definition of “life” simultaneously defines death.

Today, where a definition of the moment of death is required, doctors and coroners usually turn to “brain death” or “biological death” to define a person as being dead; people are considered dead when the electrical activity in their brain ceases. It is presumed that an end of electrical activity indicates the end of consciousness. However, suspension of consciousness must be permanent, and not transient, as occurs during certain sleep stages, and especially a coma. In the case of sleep, EEGs can easily tell the difference.

However, the category of “brain death” is seen by some scholars to be problematic. For instance, Dr. Franklin Miller, senior faculty member at the Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, notes: “By the late 1990s, however, the equation of brain death with death of the human being was increasingly challenged by scholars, based on evidence regarding the array of biological functioning displayed by patients correctly diagnosed as having this condition who were maintained on mechanical ventilation for substantial periods of time. These patients maintained the ability to sustain circulation and respiration, control temperature, excrete wastes, heal wounds, fight infections and, most dramatically, to gestate fetuses (in the case of pregnant “brain-dead” women).”

Those people maintaining that only the neo-cortex of the brain is necessary for consciousness sometimes argue that only electrical activity should be considered when defining death. Eventually it is possible that the criterion for death will be the permanent and irreversible loss of cognitive function, as evidenced by the death of the cerebral cortex. All hope of recovering human thought and personality is then gone given current and foreseeable medical technology. However, at present, in most places the more conservative definition of death – irreversible cessation of electrical activity in the whole brain, as opposed to just in the neo-cortex – has been adopted

Even by whole-brain criteria, the determination of brain death can be complicated. EEGs can detect spurious electrical impulses, while certain drugs, hypoglycemia, hypoxia, or hypothermia can suppress or even stop brain activity on a temporary basis. Most commonly used method to diagnose with is with brain stem reflexes:

  • Pupils fixed, dilated and unresponsive to direct light in the absence of drug effects or ocular trauma.
  • Corneal reflexes absent bilaterally. The patient should not blink when the corneas are lightly brushed.
  • Cough and gag reflexes absent bilaterally. The patient should not react when the pharynx is stimulated or when the endotracheal tube is suctioned.
  • Doll’s eye response absent. When the head is turned from side to side, the eyes remain fixed in the orbits.
  • Cold water caloric response absent bilaterally. Ice water is gently instilled into each external ear canal using a 30 ml syringe. No nystagmus (fast component towards irrigated ear) is noted. Observe each side for one minute and allow five minutes between sides.

Misdiagnosed

misdiagnoses

There are many anecdotal references to people being declared dead by physicians and then “coming back to life”, sometimes days later in their own coffin, or when embalming procedures are about to begin. From the mid-18th century onwards, there was an upsurge in the public’s fear of being mistakenly buried alive, and much debate about the uncertainty of the signs of death. Various suggestions were made to test for signs of life before burial, ranging from pouring vinegar and pepper into the corpse’s mouth to applying red hot pokers to the feet or into the rectum. Writing in 1895, the physician J.C. Ouseley claimed that as many as 2,700 people were buried prematurely each year in England and Wales, although others estimated the figure to be closer to 800.

 

In cases of electric shock, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for an hour or longer can allow stunned nerves to recover, allowing an apparently dead person to survive. People found unconscious under icy water may survive if their faces are kept continuously cold until they arrive at an emergency room.[19] This “diving response”, in which metabolic activity and oxygen requirements are minimal, is something humans share with cetaceans called the mammalian diving reflex.

 

As medical technologies advance, ideas about when death occurs may have to be re-evaluated in light of the ability to restore a person to vitality after longer periods of apparent death (as happened when CPR and defibrillation showed that cessation of heartbeat is inadequate as a decisive indicator of death). The lack of electrical brain activity may not be enough to consider someone scientifically dead. 

Near the finish line – Near death Experiences (NDE)

During a cardiac arrest, all three criteria of death are present. There then follows a period of time, which may last from a few seconds to an hour or more, in which emergency medical efforts may succeed in restarting the heart and reversing the dying process. What people experience during this period of cardiac arrest provides a unique window of understanding into what we are all likely to experience during the dying process?

What can we learn from near death experiences? A near-death experience (NDE) refers to personal experiences associated with impending death, encompassing multiple possible sensations including detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light. These phenomena are usually reported after an individual has been pronounced clinically dead or has been very close to death. With recent developments in cardiac resuscitation techniques, the number of reported NDEs has increased. Brain death is one of the deciding factors when pronouncing a trauma patient as dead. Determining function and presence of necrosis after trauma to the whole brain or brain-stem may be used to determine brain death, and is used in many states in the US.

In 2008, academic neurosurgeon Eben Alexander had an NDE while attached to an electroencephalogram which demonstrated a total lack of neural activity. After resuscitation, he found he was able to identify the face of a deceased biological sister whom he had previously not known existed (he had been raised in an adoptive family). Prior to his NDE, Alexander had been non-religious. Afterwards, he gained a definite belief in the existence of an afterlife, and went on to write a book about his life-altering experience. Alexander states that the elaborate, highly detailed, and even prescient experiences he had while his brain activity was clinically non-existent provide definitive proof that consciousness can exist without the need for a functional brain. So the plot thickens.

Researchers have identified the common elements that define near-death experiences. Bruce Greyson argues that the general features of the experience include impressions of being outside one’s physical body, visions of deceased relatives and religious figures, and transcendence of egotic and spatiotemporal boundaries.  Many different elements have been reported, though the exact elements tend to correspond with the cultural, philosophical, or religious beliefs of the person experiencing it, but taken together, the scientific experience suggests that all aspects of near-death experience have a neuro-physiological or psychological basis.

Studying the area close to the finish line.

Dimethyltryptamine
Artificial Near Death Experiences through hallucinogenics. (The “Spirit molecule”)

I am sure many of you will remember the movie “Flatliners” –  a 1990 American sci-fi thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt. Five medical students use physical science in an attempt to find out what lies beyond death. They conduct clandestine experiments that produce near-death experiences. So these ideas are not new. More and more people wants to know what they can expect after death before they die. Is it possible to create NDE artificially? Without going to the extent the Medical students did in the movie. 

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound of the tryptamine family. DMT is present everywhere in Plants and in Mammals. In humans it is secreted by the Pineal gland. Rick Strassman advanced the hypothesis that a massive release of the psychedelic dimethyltryptamine (DMT) from the pineal gland prior to death or near-death was the cause of the near-death experience phenomenon. This in order to explain NDE on a biological basis. So can we create a NDE by administering exogenous DMT?

The Hallucination produced by exogenous intake of DMT are Reported by many people. “Recreational NDE experiences” is currently one of South America’s most lucrative tourism activities through Ayahuasca retreats. The ingestion of Ayahuasca, which is a psychedelic brew made from the bark of Banisteriopsis caapi vine alone or in combination with various plants, contains a high concentration of DMT. The ingestion is often referred to as a “little death”. People to this in order to experience a “spiritual awakening” and many reports that Life hasn’t been the same ever since their experience. 

Real death (RD) vs. Near Death Experience (NDE) vs. Artificial Near Death Experience (ANDE)

real death vs near death

So with all these similarities it is very likely that a type of Near Death Experience can be simulated by an exogenous intake of hallucinogenic substances for example DMT.

Conclusion

So why is this important to the first responder? This is our race. This is why we get up in the morning  – to compete. We are the ones who tries to win the race and make it “not today”. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we don’t. Do we “lose” if we don’t succeed? It is important to know and understand who and what we are up against. Sometimes we don’t know that we may have already crossed the finish line. When we win, we brisk the patient off to the hospital with wailing sirens. What does Death do when he wins? Understanding the finishing line will help us understand our opponent, the race and the prize. The exact definition of death, as with life, has been delusive through the ages. Religions where the only ones who attempted to define what happens during this inevitable ending to all life. Now, as we start to understand the process on a biological basis, there is an overlap of medicine and human spirituality. What we know now will probably not be true in 5 – 10 years. So while we huddle in the trenches on the blurry front line of life – the most important thing is to race well.

Death Joke

“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” - Edgar Allan Poe -

By Dr. Adriaan van der Wart
Iridia Medical Physician, Mobile Medical Unit

Why Employ Paramedics at Remote Worksites?

Employing paramedics on remote worksites means more efficient medical attention and fewer lost-time incidents.

 

Occupational safety is of paramount importance in our offices, warehouses, camps and worksites; safe working conditions promote job satisfaction while keeping workers on the job.

The people commonly assigned to deliver care are occupational first-aid attendants Level III (OFAIII) who respond to medical emergencies on site. While having an OFAIII on site is the minimum standard, organizations serious about the safety of their workers can go above and beyond – as evidenced by the recent trend of placing experienced primary care paramedics (PCPs) and advanced care paramedics (ACPs) on site.

Current WorkSafeBC regulations require high-risk worksites more than 20 minutes away from a hospital to be supported by an OFAIII with access to a first-aid room and transport vehicle. An OFAIII will perform to his or her scope of practice, but often an ill or injured patient will be referred elsewhere because the OFAIII does not have the training or authority to treat the patient beyond a basic level. When there is a life-threatening emergency, this is clearly necessary. However, when the injury is minor but nevertheless untreatable by the OFAIII, a productivity issue arises for employers, as the worker may not be able to return to work promptly, resulting in a lost-workday incident.

Professionals providing medical care come with a variety of backgrounds and not all “medics” are created equal. The differences in the education and scope of an OFAIII, PCP and ACP are significant and clearly defined (see chart). Beyond the classroom, paramedics gain much of their experience working for an ambulance service and attending a wide spectrum of medical emergencies. These interactions provide them with practical experience to identify and treat cases they might find on the worksite.

Under the supervision of a physician medical director, PCPs and ACPs can perform to the full scope of their license. A PCP can administer medications to ease the symptoms of common illnesses like asthma and diabetes. These interventions could save a time-consuming and costly transport out of camp. Likewise, an ACP has an even greater scope of care that extends to the use of narcotics for pain management and the ability to provide cardiac monitoring and airway management in the event of a life- threatening emergency.

Remote WorksitesParamedics have the necessary skills to provide higher-level interventions before referring a patient to the hospital. In ongoing health and safety management, reducing lost-time injuries and major incidents is important to everyone.

An efficient way to incorporate paramedics into the care model of remote work sites is through a “hub and spoke” response system. The highest-trained responder (i.e., an ACP) is stationed at the main camp/medical clinic, and is supported by a combination of PCPs and OFAIIIs strategically placed throughout the worksite to provide the appropriate level of care. Patients are treated on site and turned over to the ACP as required. With such a system, the employer benefits from a high-value safety program while patients receive timely and appropriate care.

Employers looking to attract and retain top workers should consider expanding their health and safety program to include experienced ACPs and PCPs supported by a physician medical director. By raising the minimum standard of care, employers can take comfort in knowing their employees and contractors will receive the right care at the right time.

By Thomas Puddicombe

Director, Business Operations, Iridia Medical

 

Article originally published in the Summer 2014 issue of Mineral Exploration

West Africa Ebola Outbreak – Update

Ebola Outbreak

August 18, 2014 – Ebola Update

2014 West Africa Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak

Introduction

In the past, Iridia has provided updates on the development of emerging viral infections around the world. In particular, we relayed updates to our client audience about developments surrounding:

  • 2013 outbreak of the A(H7N9) Avian Influenza Virus in China
  • MERS Coronavirus, or ‘Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus’

Iridia tracks these developments as they are relevant to a number of our key stakeholders including the following:

  • Fire Rescue Departments – these individuals can be exposed on the front lines to emerging infectious threats, so we attempt to provide current advice on patient care protocols as well as recommendations with respect to limiting occupational exposure.
  • Remote Medical Programs – our paramedics and physicians work in remote camp environments.  These camps are at high-risk for infectious outbreaks; therefore, we need to prepare should these outbreaks spread to Canada.
  • Critical Infrastructure Preparedness Programs – in the past, we’ve been very involved in developing response plans for the health, banking, transportation, and oil and gas sectors with respect to new influenza strains, including the recent H1N1 outbreak. 

For these reasons, we’d like to keep our stakeholders abreast of the recent West Africa Ebola outbreak (learn more about Ebola) so we are all well informed and prepared to act should the virus propagate further.

Current Ebola Outbreak

The outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013. However, it was not detected until March 2014, after it spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. It is the most severe outbreak of Ebola in terms of the number of human cases and fatalities since the discovery of the virus in 1976.

As of August 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 2,127 suspected cases and 1,145 deaths. On 8 August, it formally designated the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern. Various aid organizations and international bodies, including the CDC, and the European Commission have mobilised personnel and funds to help counter the outbreak.

Key Alerts, Aug 8 – 18

  • August 8 – WHO announces a cumulative total of 1779 suspect and confirmed cases – View here.
  • August 8 – WHO declares the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern – View here.
  • August 13 – WHO announces a cumulative total of 1975 suspect and confirmed cases – View here.
  • August 15 –  Between 12 and 13 August 2014, a total of 152 new cases of Ebola virus disease as well as 76 deaths reported – View here.

ebola outbreak history

Risks and Recommendations

The position of the WHO is that the risk of transmission of Ebola virus disease during air travel remains low. “Unlike infections such as influenza or tuberculosis, Ebola is not airborne,” says Dr. Nuttall, Director of WHO Global Capacity Alert and Response. “It can only be transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is sick with the disease.”

Additionally, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends:

“That Canadians avoid all non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to the ongoing Ebola virus outbreak. This recommendation is made to protect Canadian travellers and make it easier for health officials in these countries to dedicate their resources towards controlling the outbreak. The risk of infection is low for most travellers, however the risk may increase for those who are work in a health care setting.”

Statistics

  • Total confirmed cases: 2,127
  • Total fatalities: 1,145
  • Countries with infection – Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone

Additional Information

Thank you for checking our Ebola outbreak summary, please check back for future updates. For more information, please visit http://www.who.int

 

Canada’s 2014 Stroke Report

Strke CareWe came across the 2014 Stroke Report from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and thought we would share. Have a look (full report below) because this report contains a superb assessment of Canada’s current stroke care strategies and outlines where we’re heading.

In case you’re wondering, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is in an excellent position to keep us informed on stroke care. Year after year Heart and Stroke, with support from 130,000+ Canadians around the country, is able to invest in ground-breaking research, prevention efforts and advocates healthy change across Canada.

2014 Stroke Report

Excerpt from the report: “More is known about its causes and effects, and stroke services have improved and expanded in many regions. Patient outcomes are also much better. Now one-third fewer people admitted to hospital for stroke die, compared with 10 years ago. And on top of this, there are fewer hospitalizations from stroke in some provinces, as a result of both fewer strokes happening but also because people with mild strokes can now get appropriate services in the community.

Canadians are also understanding stroke better, recognizing its signs and how to prevent it. 

However, this is only part of the story and only today’s story. Stroke remains a serious health issue that affects thousands of Canadians and their loved ones. It is the second leading cause of death in the world. There are an estimated 50,000 strokes in Canada every year, or one every 10 minutes. And 315,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke, which can include a range of disabilities.”

stroke report

Iridia is proud to have worked with the Heart and Stroke Foundation in developing the BC Stroke Strategy. We will stand alongside the Foundation in the step-by-step fight against heart disease and stroke.