In Canada, 35,000 to 45,000 people die of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year. Unlike a heart attack, which is caused by a blockage in an artery, SCA results from an electrical malfunction of the heart. The only effective treatment is a shock by an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Recognizing the link between increased survival rates in SCA victims and the prompt use of a defibrillator, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has recommended that all Canadians:
- have widespread access to automated external defibrillators
- be trained and encouraged to apply CPR and AED skills when needed
The UBC AED Program
When applied to the workplace, these recommendations entail implementing a program that makes AEDs readily available and ensuring that staff are well-prepared to use them when necessary. For these reasons, we’re pleased to have partnered with the University of British Columbia (UBC) to implement their campus-wide public access to defibrillation AED program.
Since 2004, Iridia has worked with UBC on a variety of initiatives including AED fulfilment and accessory replacement, ACLS training for the Department of Dentistry and PALS training for the Department of Anesthesiology. Drawing from our experience in having placed over 3,000 AEDs, we’ve helped UBC create an AED program consisting of three indispensable components:
The AED devices, accessories and servicing
A total of 81 LIFEPAK CR PLUS AEDs (with accessories) are being installed for the UBC AED Program and will be placed in cabinets throughout the campus. The LIFEPAK CR PLUS AED was chosen for the program because it’s easy to use and maintain. Benefits of the LIFEPAK CR PLUS include:
- Ready to use out of the box
- Ease of use, simply open the lid, place electrodes and the LIFEPAK will do the rest
- Increased chance of survival by automatically escalating energy as needed
- Easy transition to EMS teams who also use LIFEPAK AEDs
- Automated self-tests ensuring the device is ready to use
Initial and ongoing training
Managing a cardiac arrest involves more than merely “pushing the button” on an AED. Respondents must be able to recognize an arrest, perform CPR, use a defibrillator properly and understand each link in the chain of survival. A number of UBC staff/faculty will receive an AED orientation and AED/CPR training over the coming months.
Iridia’s customized UBC AED Program is designed to maximize the value of the AEDs placed around the UBC campus. Our program consists of the following components:
- Integrating AEDs into an emergency response plan
- AEDs registered and databased at Iridia
- Liaising with local EMS providers
- AED Troubleshooting and servicing
- Post-incident support
- Physician consultation
UBC is a great example of a public access AED program for the campus and local community. “Iridia Medical is thrilled to be partnering with UBC on the delivery of their fully-comprehensive, campus-wide AED Program. Their industry-leading program will position them for the best possible outcome should anyone on campus suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest,” – Julie Turley, AED Programs Manager, Iridia Medical.
Since 1998, Iridia has overseen the training and certification of over 10,000 lay rescuers in the use of AEDs. We currently provide medical direction to over 300 clients including 125+ fire rescue services.