It’s Time for Your Flu Vaccine

flu vaccineWinter is Coming

… and it’s time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and take a shot for the team – yes, the flu vaccine is once again making its way to the Iridia office where we make arrangements to host a clinic and offer flu vaccinations for our employees.

The flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect against and stop the spread of seasonal influenza.

Iridia highly recommends immunizations for all, but especially for those in high-risk groups. High-risk groups include: seniors, people with chronic health conditions (especially heart or lung conditions), aboriginal people, or those with compromised immune systems.

The influenza vaccine is extremely safe, very effective and helps to prevent infection in healthy adults by up to 80 percent.

How Does the Flu Vaccine Work?

  • The vaccine contains antigens: harmless substances (such as dead bacteria or molecules) associated with the disease.
  • The body thinks the antigens are the disease itself, and its immune system starts creating antibodies: proteins that can hone in on that disease’s bacteria or viruses.
  • Now the immune system knows how to create antibodies against the disease. And if that disease attacks your body, your immune system is ready to fight it off.

 Other Key Information

  • Influenza causes the most deaths among vaccine-preventable diseases
  • In addition to being a quality and safety issue, improved influenza vaccination coverage helps to reduce rates of employee illness
  • Flu shots are traditionally available around Thanksgiving each year.
  • Flu season typically runs from late November/early December through to the end of March. 
  • B.C. is the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement mandatory vaccinations for health care workers

Iridia is here to enable peace of mind – so once again, please help us by spreading the word and remember it’s much easier and more cost-effective to prevent a disease than to treat it. That’s exactly what immunizations aim to do. 

Find a vaccination clinic in BC

 

AED Shopping? Read our AED Buyers Guide First

Types of defibrillators - Buy an AED

When buying an automated external defibrillator (AED), choosing a model can be a daunting task. When evaluating a defibrillator, you don’t need an exhaustive background in electronics or cardiac medicine, but with a growing number of manufacturers and a plethora of models and features, how can you know which type of AED will suit your needs?

Keep in mind that all defibrillators do one fundamental thing: they deliver an electric shock that resets the heart’s natural pacemaker and converts an irregular, unstable heart rhythm to a sustainable one. To accomplish this, all AED’s possess three basic elements: a battery that provides energy for the cardiac shock; a main unit that analyzes heart rhythms and generates the electrical charge; and the electrodes, or pads, that deliver the shock to the patient.

These similarities lead some to believe that all AED’s are the same, but there are differences. The features that distinguish defibrillators are component quality, user interface, and innovations in technology.

AED Buyers Guide

Components

Getting to know a few simple details will quickly determine the overall quality of an AED:

  • Better quality AEDs use medical-grade, lithium-ion batteries and do not rely on any secondary source of power to run self-checks or power the unit.
  • Many units use a diagram to show the proper placement for electrodes and the polarity (positive or negative) of each.  The best public-use AED’s simplify this process and use non-polarized electrodes that can be placed interchangeably.
  • Most Health-Canada approved AEDs have been drop tested to just over a meter and are designed to survive rough treatment.

Cardiac Science AED - Buying AED

A product specification associated with durability of any electronic equipment is the IPX rating.  The IP Code is an International (or Ingress) Protection Rating and is expressed as IP followed by a two-digit number. The first digit indicates the level of protection against particles such as dust or dirt; the second gives the level of protection from water. The higher the number, the greater the resistance. Every AED has an IP Code which can usually be found in the user’s manual.

Usability

The most visible features that differentiate AED’s are those that indicated ease of use and quality of performance.  As public access defibrillation programs become more commonplace, simplicity in design and use become paramount.  There are a few factors to consider when purchasing an AED:

  • How many buttons (if any) do I have to push for a shock?
  • Are there voice prompts and a display to guide me during a rescue?
  • Will the unit’s prompts assist me with delivering CPR to the victim?

Many units run daily, weekly and monthly self checks.  It is important to purchase a unit that checks issues such as the presence of electrodes, pad connectivity, battery life and wire conductivity as they increase the potential life of your unit.

Lifepak AED

Time spent remembering or figuring out how an AED works and how to apply the pads can make the difference between a save and a non-save when using a defibrillator.  Features that limit this time are invaluable.

Technology

The most important component of an AED’s design is the technology used to deliver a shock.

There are two methods of shock delivery:  fixed energy and escalating energy. With fixed energy, a shock is delivered once at a given level measured in joules (J), and then subsequently redelivered until there is a correction in the heart’s rhythm. With escalating energy, if the first shock is unsuccessful, the AED progressively increases the energy of subsequent shocks until reaching the maximum allowable number of joules and redelivers shocks at that level.

When purchasing an AED, it is important to find a unit that is not only capable of escalating the shock energy, but of doing so beyond 200J. While an initial shock of 200J is usually successful in an out-of-hospital environment, there are exceptions and escalation above 200J is necessary to maintain success for multi-shock patients. In cases of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), refibrillation is not just common, it is expected… as long as the AED is up to the task.

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There are some costs associated with buying and setting up an AED. Making an informed purchase decision ensures that the hard-earned money you to spend will give a potential SCA victim the very best chance of survival. 

Free CPR and AED Training Events!

If someone dropped to the ground in front of you in sudden cardiac arrest, would you know what to do? Unfortunately, many would not.

A person suffering a sudden cardiac arrest needs immediate help with CPR and an AED (automated external defibrillator). Early CPR and AED use within the first minute doubles the chance of survival.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation wants to improve survival rates by teaching more people CPR and AED use, so that when someone has a cardiac arrest, there will be someone close by who knows what to do.

You can do your part. You can be ready to save a life.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation is offering three regional CPR/AED training events in BC in November. Everyone is welcome to take the free training. You can join them and bring your friends and family. Events will also have blood pressure checks and information on healthy lifestyles.

Free CPR and AED Training Event Information (click on enlarge):

Free CPR Vancouver

For information, please contact:

Shelley Parker
Heart and Stroke Foundation, Resuscitation Program Manager
778.372.8001      sparker@hsf.bc.ca

 

Iridia in the Community Wrap Up

Iridia in the Community

Our Iridia in the Community initiative has wrapped up and we’d like to thank our staff for participating in the activity. The goal of Iridia in the Community was to provide our employees with a unique way of engaging their community through charitable activities. We wanted “community” to be a broad topic and provide no constraints as to what the definition of that was.

What came of this was a wonderful range of unique donations to many different organizations and causes. We’ve provided a brief wrap up video below:

We’d also like to include a list of the various organizations our staff donated to:

We know this event was an excellent experience for our staff and their contributions positively impacted a wide range of organizations. We look forward to bringing you more events like this in the future!

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/