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 .

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.

***

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

 

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

AEDs in Canada, Brought to You by Team Iridia!

AEDs in Canada

It’s already been an active year for Iridia Medical’s AED department. Late in 2013 Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) were making headlines in the media with the CBC Marketplace feature “Shock to the System.” This publicity has kept us busy working to further raise awareness of AEDs in Canada.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. You never know when your CPR skills and an AED will be needed, and you might need to know one day exactly where they’re located. That’s why we’re tracking AEDs through our AEDs Everywhere campaign – a crowdsourcing campaign to map the location of AEDs all around the world.

Check out Iridia’s AED scavenger hunt in action:

Heart and Stroke Foundation

Last November we saw the launch of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Federal AED Program. Iridia is a preferred distributer for the 3-year program and we have already placed AEDs and provided training across BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Yukon.

We are continuing to work with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC on their Public Access to Defibrillation Program (PAD). To date the BC PAD program has placed 178 AEDs into Communities across the province. We have already seen a life saved, and we know that many more will be saved over the course of the program! 

Richmond Save Visit

Minoru Aquatic Centre - AEDs in Canada

Earlier this year, Iridia’s AED team was lucky enough to meet a group of local heroes. We met with the Lifeguard staff at Minoru Aquatic Centre in Richmond responsible for saving an individual’s life with CPR and an AED. We were proud to present them with a Save Certificate honouring their impressive lifesaving actions!

Buildex

In February, we attended Buildex 2014 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. We spoke to many contractors, construction companies and property management firms about starting AED programs at their work sites. We would love to see AEDs required as part of BC’s building code. This type of legislation would be a great leap forward in creating wider public access to defibrillators.

Pacific Dental

AEDs in Canada

The College of Dental Surgeons of BC are in the process of adjusting their Dental Sedation Guidelines. Some of the proposed changes include the recommendation of an AED at all dental offices offering sedation and requiring dentists to be Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certified. At the Pacific Dental Conference, we answered questions and provided information about the proposed guideline changes and Iridia’s dental solutions. Iridia’s AED and education teams are prepared to help all BC dentists create programs to meet the new sedation guidelines.

Lunch and Learn @ YVR

The Iridia AED team has been taking our show on the road lately! In January, we packed up the Ambu-Smartman and delivered a Lunch and Learn at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The talk covered SCA and the benefits of using an AED, while our Ambu-Smartman competition saw some of the highest scores we have ever seen from one group!

American Heart Association’s CPR Kiosk

Airports have been at the forefront of CPR and AED programs for many years now, and many are actively promoting CPR and AED training. Last year we saw the Dallas-Fortworth Airport unveil the American Heart Association’s CPR Kiosk, which allowed people to practice their CPR skills while they waited for flights.

Iridia’s AED Department is always available to answer questions and provide information about starting an AED program in your community or workplace. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re here to help.

 

 

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!

 

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.

 

 

Moving Toward an AED Utopia

Automated External Defibrillator Banner

Part II in a series. View part I

Earlier this week, we posted the first blog in a 2-part series as a follow up to the recent episode on CBC Marketplace in which the question was posed as to whether publicly accessible defibrillators are really that accessible.

In our first blog, we looked at the challenges associated with publicly accessible defibrillators.  In this blog, we will consider some of the solutions which are available to overcome the challenges profiled in our first story and how you can help.

AED Density

As mentioned in our earlier blog, AED density is our first challenge. Ideally, we would like to see a 75 percent survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. To achieve this, the first person/s on the scene would have to travel no more than 450 feet to reach an AED (about 90 seconds each way using a brisk walking pace of 300 feet per minute). This is an ambitious goal with a very simple solution – AEDs need to be everywhere; in our restaurants, cars, places of work and any other highly trafficked public location.

Fortunately, a couple of initiatives are underway to place AEDs into these high traffic locations:

  • In British Columbia, the Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) Program, funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon and the Ministry of Health, will see 650 AEDs and associated training delivered to communities throughout BC. The expected impact, as articulated by Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid, will be to “save hundreds of lives”. Learn more about the BC PAD Program.
  • The Government of Canada recently announced the National AED Program – Federal AED Placement Initiative, which 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. Learn more about the National PAD Program.

AED Accessibility

The second challenge we mentioned in our earlier blog is accessibility. AEDs are often placed with little regard to the possibility of their eventual use. The solution for companies and for establishments such as hotels, restaurants, recreational facilities and the like is to implement an AED program, with oversight provided by a medical director, before an AED is installed.

looking for an AED

In addition to determining, as part of the program, where an AED should be placed and what signage should appear, an AED program will also help with:

  • choosing an appropriate AED and accessories
  • setting up a servicing schedule for the AED
  • planning initial and ongoing training in the use of the AED
  • integrating the AED into your medical emergency response plan
  • liaising with local EMS providers

AED programs are designed to maximize the value of your AED and meet all the recommendations from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, WorkSafeBC, and Health Canada.

AED Awareness

Of all the components that lead to a successful AED program deployment, and hopefully, to lives being saved when the need arises, awareness is the critical issue. By talking about sudden cardiac arrest and how it can be treated with the use of an AED, we are all doing our part with raising awareness of this critical issue in the community.

In contrast to the tragic SCA incident we mentioned in our first blog, take a look at the following video profiling an NHL player who suffered SCA on the ice, and who was saved thanks to an easily accessible AED and the fast actions of his teammates and an onlooker:

As you can see, SCA can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. You never know when your CPR skills and an AED will be needed.  Take a look around at the public places you often visit and see whether you can spot the AEDs.  You might need to know one day exactly where they’re located.

Iridia is working to raise awareness of locations of AEDs through its AEDs Everywhere campaign – a crowdsourcing campaign to map the location of AEDs all around the world. The AEDs Everywhere map allows anyone to upload the location of an AED.

Learn more about the program and how to participate.

Since 1998, Iridia has overseen the training and certification of over 30,000 individuals in the use of AEDs. We currently provide AED medical direction to over 300 clients including 140+ fire rescue services.

Part II in a series. View part I