Heart Month 2014, Help Spread the Word

Heart Month 2014It is a little known fact that heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes and, astonishingly, 90 percent of Canadians have at least one risk factor.

With obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes on the rise, it is expected that the incidence of heart disease and stroke will swell in upcoming generations. Lifestyle changes have led to sedentary work environments, poor diets, high sodium intake and increased stress which all contribute to heart disease. We are facing what the Heart and Stroke Foundation calls the “perfect storm.”

Heart Disease Facts

  • Everyday, heart disease and stroke lead to nearly 1,000 hospital visits.
  • Heart disease and stroke rob Canadians of nearly 250,000 potential years of life
  • Heart disease and stroke kills more women than men, a fact that many women may not realize.
  • Today, less than 10% of children meet recommended physical activity guidelines and less than half eat the recommended fruit and vegetables for optimum health.

Heart Month 2014

Today, you can make a difference by celebrating Heart Month 2014 and eliminate preventable heart disease. For over 60 years, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has organized Heart Month, one of the largest fundraising campaigns in Canada in the battle against these two killers.

Heart Month brings together tens of thousands of Canadians who volunteer and donate to raise funds for this worthy cause – funds which will help support life-saving research and the raising of awareness of heart disease and stroke within the community. Learn how you can participate and join the Heart Month Community.

As heart disease is an issue that is very personal to us, Iridia will donate a portion of the proceeds from your purchase of AED’s, AED accessories or workshops to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. We value and appreciate the hard work the Heart and Stroke Foundation is doing and we are thankful to have them as a partner against heart disease.

In recognition of Heart Month, Iridia is offering 10% off all AEDs purchased in the month of February and 1 year of free medical direction for first time purchasers. For more information, please contact AED Sales at 1-888-404-6444.

Heart Month 2014 Banner

It is an uphill battle against heart disease and stroke, but it’s a battle we can win – help us and spread the word!

 

The Case for Public Access to AEDs

Automated External Defibrillator Banner

For one man, a trip to a local mall turned into a cardiac emergency. Without warning, he was struck by sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) – a life-threatening condition that affects up to 40,000 Canadians each year. Without rapid treatment, particularly a shock delivered by an automated external defibrillator (AED), most cardiac arrests result in death.

This man was fortunate to have had his SCA event in the right place and at the right time. Mall security immediately started CPR and knew that using an AED was the critical next step. Fortunately, a London Drugs store was nearby. They had an easily accessible AED located in their pharmacy and, most importantly, staff trained to use it. Thanks to the actions of mall security and London Drugs staff, this man beat the odds and survived his cardiac arrest.

London Drugs AED

Having ready access to an AED is key, as every 1 minute delay in defibrillation will reduce survival rates by 7% to 10%. The fact that London Drugs had an AED immediately available significantly contributed to this man’s survival – London Drugs clearly demonstrates the importance of public access defibrillation (PAD) programs.

London Drugs is a pioneer in Canada when it comes to implementing a workplace AED program. London Drugs was the first major retailer in Canada to put AEDs into all of their stores and they have trained over 1,000 employees in CPR and the use of an AED. The program was developed in partnership with Iridia Medical who is an industry leader in PAD program development and implementation. Each London Drugs store has an AED located in the pharmacy and the front door of every store has a window sticker indicating that the location is equipped with an AED.

London Drugs AED

London Drugs’ AED program actively promotes their “good neighbour” policy in recognition that none of the surrounding retail outlets has an AED present. If an AED is needed, London Drugs and their staff are there to help. To date, the AEDs have been used 7 times since the program launched in 2009. In 4 cases, the incidents occurred at surrounding businesses that did not have an AED and London Drug staff responded with their AED. These businesses now further appreciate the importance of quickly using an AED during an SCA to raise survival rates.

Canada is making strides when it comes to widespread public access to AEDs. In 2013, the Heart and Stroke Foundation launched a formal PAD Program in British Columbia. This important initiative will see about 650 AEDs placed in public locations over three years. Additionally, in 2014, the government of Canada in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation launched a national campaign. This ground-breaking program will see over 2,000 AEDs installed in arenas and recreational facilities across Canada.

London Drugs’ AED partner, Iridia Medical, is involved in both of the provincial and federal programs which will help raise the awareness of AEDs and hopefully raise out-of-hospital survival rates.

London Drugs is a glowing example of a workplace AED Program as well as a public access AED program for the community. In our next blog, we will take a look at what the future holds for public access to AEDs. In the meantime, please help us by spreading the word about the importance of AEDs – learn more.

 

 

Iridia Helps Deliver Innovative Pediatric Simulation

sim baby

If you’ve visited Surrey Memorial Hospital’s new Pediatric Emergency Department, you will be pleased to know that Iridia’s founder Dr. Allan Holmes played a key role in development and delivery of a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Simulation course prior to the department opening.  

Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical pharmacists used state of the art SIM-man and SIM-baby simulators to practice their clinical skills, inter-professional communications and teamwork. It provided an ideal way to master managing critical medical situations with no risk to real patients.

A First for Fraser Health

Last September, before the new Emergency opened, Surrey Memorial hosted a Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) Simulation Course in our new Pediatric Emergency Department. This course was the first of its kind in for Fraser Health.

Eighty People, Four Simulations

Over 30 physicians and nearly 50 clinical staff attended. This included nurses, respiratory therapists, and clinical pharmacologists.

Using infant and child manikins, they rotated through four hands-on, interactive simulation scenarios: Pediatric Airway, Breathing, Circulation/Shock, and Disability/Seizure. This included basic life support, respiratory distress and failure, cardiac arrest algorithms, vascular access, recognition and management of shock, CNS emergencies, status epilepticus, and trauma.

It was also an excellent opportunity for participants to further orient themselves in the new Emergency Department and with new resuscitation equipment before it opened to patients in October.

A Collaboration

BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) and SMH co-designed and ran the course. Key players were Drs. Navid Dehghani and Garth Meckler of BCCH, and Drs. Wade Sabados of SMH, Edward Mak of OHM Medical Training Services and Dr. Allan Holmes and Diana Paraan of Iridia Medical.   

PEM is a great example of how Fraser Health and Child Health BC collaborate to support professional development within the Surrey Memorial Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department.

pediatric simulation

Custom Designed Course

The course was custom-designed for the SMH setting to ensure it was practical and relevant for participants. To maximize learning, PEM was led by highly experienced physicians and nurse instructors plus the student-to-instructor ratio was kept low. Laerdal provided 3 manikins and their senior product manager also attended.

‘Great Instructors’ and ‘Great Experience’

The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Course was a resounding success. Participants especially liked the hands-on realistic scenarios, and the multi-disciplinary approach to learning. Many even said they’d like to attend PEM again and would recommend the course to colleagues!

PEM definitely met the goal of increasing the confidence of participants in dealing with pediatric emergencies. 

 

The Chilling Effects of Frostbite

Frostbite

At Iridia, many of our paramedics work in remote oil and gas camps in northern British Columbia. We encourage them to be prepared for whatever they may come across in these regions. Lately, frostbite has been a key concern.

In recent days much of Canada has been dowsed in northern-like temperatures. With temperatures reaching -30°C in some areas, it’s important for everyone to understand symptoms and causes of frostbite.

Frostbite occurs when the skin and body tissue just underneath it freezes. Your skin becomes very cold, then numb, hard and pale. Frostbite typically affects smaller, more exposed areas of your body, such as your fingers and ears.

What are the stages of frostbite?

The first stage of frostbite is frostnip — a mild form of frostbite in which your skin turns red and feels very cold. Frostnip doesn’t do permanent damage.

The second stage of frostbite appears as reddened skin that turns white or very pale. The skin may remain soft, but some ice crystals may form in the tissue. Skin may begin to feel deceptively warm — a sign of serious skin involvement.

As frostbite progresses, it affects all layers of the skin, including the tissues that lie below. Deceptive numbness may occur in which all sensation of cold, pain or discomfort is lost. Joints or muscles may no longer work. Afterward, the area turns black and hard as the tissue dies.

What are the symptoms of frostbite?

  • A slightly painful, prickly or itching sensation
  • White or grayish-yellow skin
  • Hard or waxy-looking skin
  • A cold or burning feeling
  • Numbness
  • Clumsiness due to joint stiffness
  • Blistering, in severe cases

frostbite treatment

What are the causes of frostbite?

Frostbite occurs in two ways:

Frostbite can occur in conjunction with hypothermia — a condition in which your body loses heat faster than it produces heat, causing dangerously low body temperature. When core body temperature lowers, it decreases circulation and threatens vital organs. This triggers a “life over limb” response, meaning your body protects vital organs, sometimes at the expense of extremities. With decreased circulation, your body temperature lowers and the tissue freezes at -2C.

Frostbite can also occur with direct contact. If you’re in direct contact with something very cold, such as ice or metal, heat is conducted away from your body. Such exposure lowers the temperature of the skin and freezes the tissue.

As always, stay safe. If you experience any of the symptoms above, seek medical attention. For more information, head over to CBC to learn more about frostbite and how it affects you at different wind-chill levels.