Certifying the Next Generation Health Care Providers in BC!

UBC RN SocietyAfter a successful sponsorship opportunity with the 2015 Graduating Class of Nursing Students at the University of British Columbia, Iridia was honored to be selected as the preferred training provider to certify the second year cohorts in Basic Life Support and Mask Fit Testing!

On behalf of the education team at Iridia we want to thank Matthew, Kirk and Shivinder the President and Vice-President of the Nursing Undergrad Society for initiating this event and inviting Iridia to UBC on June 11 and 20th, 2015. We had a fabulous time certifying the next generation of Health Care Providers in BC!

A special thanks to our committed instructors Dr. Allan Holmes, Jeff Kain, Ole Olsen, Zahra Solawala, Tom Jones and Tom Attieh for creating a transformative experience for this group!

For anyone who missed this opportunity please do not hesitate to contact us to organize your own BLS or Mask Fit Testing with Iridia.

Testimonials

“Best course I’ve ever taken! Instructors were engaging and knowledgeable. Everything was great!”

“Was great to have healthcare professionals who could answer questions for real life situations and explain physiological reasons”

Iridia Medical provides engaging, practical emergency medical training to healthcare personnel and lay rescuers. Rooted in best practices, content is delivered by highly experienced medical professionals, who balance learner skill, knowledge, and experience.

To provide the highest quality medical education, all of our workshops can be customized to meet your organization’s targeted educational needs and booked for private groups across British Columbia.

To view the schedule, please visit our website,  or contact us directly to discuss the possibilities of developing a course specialized for your group.

 

Elements Update – Introducing the eCard

Iridia Elements - Medical Education

As a responsible member of a global community, we’re also committed to corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability which is why we are so excited to share the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s move to greener sustainability with the launch of eCard!

As of February 18, 2015 successful students of any Heart & Stroke Foundation program (eg: ACLS or PALS)  will receive their completion certificate via eCard. After course completion students will receive an email with information to access their digital proof of course completion, removing the need to distribute a physical completion card by mail.

During the implementation phase students will continue to have the option to receive a physical copy of their certification, free of charge, if indicated in advance of your course date. In order to help facilitate the transition Iridia will offer the option to receive either a digital certificate (eCard) or a physical completion card when you register for a course on our website.

The second phase-in period will commence in May of 2015 when a dispensary fee will be associated with the request of a Heart & Stroke Completion Card. eCards will remain free of charge and is the promoted choice for course participants. Both options will remain available on our website when registering for a course.

FAQs pertaining to eCards have been posted on the Heart and Stroke resuscitation portal however we are happy to answer any questions, comments or concerns.

We look forward to continuing our support with the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the public in sharing the “Go Green” spirit! Stay tuned for updates in the next coming weeks.

 

Patient Safety in the Dental Office

Midwinter Clinic

Is your dental practice as safe as it could be? In this blog we’ll be discussing several ways dentists can enhance patient safety in the dental office. If you’d like to learn even more, visit Iridia at booth #36 at this years’ Midwinter clinic!

At last years’ Midwinter Clinic, we showcased our AEDs, promoted our education courses and supported Dr. Jamie Renwick, one of our physician consultants and instructors, on his presentation about the practical management of life threatening dental emergencies.

Dr. Renwick’s presentation was engaging and provided dentists with key information to enhance the safety of their practice. Dozens of dentists visited our booth afterwards and inquired about the purchase of an AED for their clinic and the specialized training courses we can provide. In response of the positive feedback and in anticipation of the Pacific Dental Conference, we wanted to share some of the key points from Dr. Renwick’s presentation to build awareness for both dentists and their patients.

As Dr. Renwick mentioned in his presentation, life threatening injuries aren’t common in the dental office, but they do happen.  With this in mind, below are some best practices to developing an effective response to medical emergencies in the dental office.

1. Know your patients

Knowing your patients’ medical histories will help you make better decisions in critical situations –update them at each visit.

2. Anxiety reduction

Anxiety is a major factor causing medical emergencies in the dental office – syncope, panic attacks, asthma, and angina can all be precipitated by anxiety.  Attempt to identify anxious patients and try to reduce the waiting times prior to any procedure.  For many patients, providing detailed explanations of procedures may reduce anxiety.

3. Prepare and Practice for Emergencies

All staff members should be trained in Basic Life Support (BLS) – this includes the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator – more on this later.  It’s always a good idea if staff takes BLS together; learning to respond to an emergency as a team is crucial to optimal patient outcomes. Consider developing formal emergency response policies and posting response process algorithms in visible areas –this will help keep response procedures fresh in everyone’s mind.  Lastly, don’t forget to rehearse and practice emergency response simulations with your entire staff at least every 2 years.

Life Support Education

4. Assemble a Resuscitation Kit

Having all essential drugs and equipment in one place will save time and keep you organized when you’re responding to an emergency situation – it will also help keep you calm.  Consider including items such as an Epinephrine auto-injector, Ventolin inhalers, and H1/H2 blockers.

5. Lifesaving Equipment

AEDs are everywhere these days and many dentists are opting to have one in their office for cardiac emergencies; many US states have mandated that dentists have an AED in their facility.  Similarly, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC proposed new changes to policy regulating the practice of minimal and moderate sedation for dentists in BC.  One of these proposed changes called for a mandatory installation of AEDs in dental facilities providing certain procedures. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) affects all ages and for every minute that lapses before defibrillation, your patients’ survival rates will decrease by 10% – consider purchasing an AED for your office to give patients the best chance for survival.

Conclusion

As life expectancy increase, dentists are treating a growing number of medically compromised patients, increasing the likelihood of a medical emergency during treatment; what’s more, is that emergencies like SCA can happen to anyone at any time.  Enhancing the safety of your practice through improved policy, training, and equipment will ensure you and your staff respond to medical emergencies with the best versions of yourselves.

As a leading provider of AEDs, medical education, and medical equipment, we’re confident that taking the steps to enhance the safety of your practice is an investment that will pay returns to both your business and your patients.

For more information about AEDs, contact Julie Turley .

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

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

Looking Back on our First Year as Iridia Medical

Brand Launch

This month marks a very special anniversary in our company’s history – being one year since we re-branded from Global Medical Services to Iridia Medical. 

Many of you lived some of that journey with us as we shared with you the triumphs and challenges associated with changing to a new brand identity and bringing that identity to life through new marketing materials, a new website and Social Media presence, new building signage, documents, email addresses, and so on.  The sheer amount of work involved in the re-brand was staggering and could not have been achieved without the collective efforts of the Iridia team and others with whom we engaged throughout the journey. 

So what has our first year as Iridia Medical involved?

We kicked off our year under our new brand with the deployment of our Mobile Medical Unit into a remote oil and gas camp in Northeastern BC.  This has been one of our most innovative projects to date and is an industry first in British Columbia. It allows ill and injured workers in these remote camps to receive, in many cases, definitive medical care which enables them to stay in camp and avoid the hazards of transport to another medical facility; particularly at certain times of the year when extreme weather conditions can make emergency evacuation close to impossible.

We also saw Iridia named as a key partner in two public access to defibrillation (PAD) programs – the BC Heart and Stroke PAD Program and the National AED Program Federal Initiative. The BC initiative will see 450 AEDs and associated training delivered to communities throughout BC.  The national program will see a targeted 3,000 AEDs distributed to recreational facilities, mostly arenas, across the country.  The initiative will also see 30,000 people trained in the use of AEDs.  Iridia is a key distributor for each of these programs and we are proud to be involved with these life-saving initiatives.

In recognition of the growth we have achieved in the past few years, Iridia was again named one of Business in Vancouver’s top 100 fastest growing companies for the third year running.  We were also proud to have been included in PROFIT Magazine’s list of Canada’s Top 500 Growing Companies for 2013. 

Finally, our commitment to health and wellness continued throughout the year with, most notably, our participation in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC).  This program is designed to “get the world moving” and that is, in fact, what occurred with 37,432 teams (that’s 262,000 people!) from around the world participating in the 2013 GCC program.  21 of Iridia’s staff participated and some incredible accomplishments were achieved during the 4 months of the program.

Our First Year

The above highlights are just a select few of the key accomplishments we’ve achieved during our first year as Iridia Medical which has certainly been an exciting and action-packed one!  Looking forward, we are energized by the goals we have set for ourselves including expanding our remote medical services program both within and beyond BC, and building on our education and AED programs.  Stay tuned for more!

 

 

Do You Know Your Heart Disease Risk?

heart disease risk

What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease is a term used to describe a range of diseases that affect your heart. Diseases that fall under the definition of heart disease include coronary artery disease; cardiac arrest, heart infections and heart defects you’re born with.

What’s Your Heart Disease Risk?

Unfortunately there’s no definitive measurement to gauge the likelihood of suffering a cardiac emergency – reducing your heart disease risk is your best strategy. Steps to take include regular checkups, screening for heart disease, and living a heart-healthy lifestyle.

It is a little known fact that heart disease accounts for 20 percent of all Canadian deaths and 90 percent of Canadians have at least one of the following risk factors:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Stress 

For more information on risk factors, we recommend you assess yourself with the H&S Risk Calculator – a personalized tool to help you find out what’s putting you at risk.

 

Heart Disease Outlook

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.

Heart Disease Facts

  • Every day, 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

The most important line of defense is to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle that can guard against heart disease before it strikes.

 

 

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!

 

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.