Canadian PAD Programs Offering Free AEDs and Training!

Free AEDs - BC PAD and National PADCommunities and facilities throughout Canada have the opportunity to receive free AEDs and CPR/AED training through the BC and National PAD Programs.  Iridia would like to raise awareness that these AEDs and training are available through a simple application process.  With the public’s help, we can communicate theseopportunities to communities and facilities that meet the criteria – please spread the word. An increase in AED placements will lead to an increase in lives saved across the country.

Please see the BC PAD Program and the National PAD Program summaries, criteria and application process:

Heart and Stroke BC PAD Program

Program Summary

Since 2013, The Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) of BC has been placing free AEDs in areas they identified as priority locations for AEDs.  To date, 264 AEDs have been placed and 3 lives have been saved.

  • The HSF has a goal of placing 450 AEDs
  • The HSF has recently opened up the application process to additional sites

Program Criteria

  • Locations must be open to the public where large numbers of people gather and/or where there may be a delay in accessing emergency services
  • Very small communities that have one central meeting area in town
  • Not-for-profits that perform outreach to large groups of people
  • Senior centres
  • Churches that have a community building attached
  • HUB Schools (host after school programs, rent out the location)
  • Recreation centres
  • Swimming pools / aquatic centres
  • Community centres
  • Public libraries
  • Busy playing fields 
  • Parks and beaches

Application process

  • If a facility/community location meets the above criteria, they will need to complete the application and email it to the BC PAD Program Manager for review/approval
  • Each application asks that the facility provide a letter from the community supporting the site to have an AED installed
  • To learn more about the program, please visit the BC PAD Program Website

Heart and Stroke National PAD Program

Program Summary

Since 2013, The Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) of Canada has been placing free AEDs in rinks and arenas all across Canada.  The end goal is to have an AED in every rink and arena from coast to coast. To date, the program has placed 1,773 AEDs in rinks and arenas across Canada. The end goals is to place 8,000 AEDs across Canada.

  • The HSF is still accepting applications from rinks and arenas that do not have an AED
  • The HSF has recently opened the application process up to facilities that are not rinks or arenas

Program Criteria (For non-rinks/arenas)

  • Locations must not have an AED to be considered for a free AED and training
  • Facilities that permit public to use their premises, services or equipment for exercise, fitness training, bodybuilding or similar purposes and where at least 20 hours of indoor/outdoor physical activity programs are held in the majority of weeks in a year. This includes:
    • martial arts facilities
    • dance studios
    • wellness centres
    • curling rinks
    • and similar facilities
  • Special consideration will be given to isolated and remote First Nations, Métis and Inuit community locations, which may include community centres, medical transport, fire departments and central meeting locations

Application process

Thank you in advance for sharing these details with your friends, your communities and facilities that meet the criteria laid out by both programs. Together we can help enable peace of mind. If you have any questions, we’d be more than happy to help – simply contact our AED department at:

 

UBC AED Program Launches with 81 Defibrillators

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survival RatesIn 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:

  1. 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
  1. 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.

Chain of Survival 2015

  1. Program Management

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.

 

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

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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/

 

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 Dresses Up for Jersey Day

Jersey Day

What is Jersey Day?

Friday, November 29 was a national day to show love and support for sport by wearing a jersey, team or club uniform to work. From municipal council chambers to office buildings and classrooms across the nation, the RBC Sports Day in Canada envisioned a sea of Canadians wearing their hearts on their sleeves on national Jersey Day.

This national celebration of sport, from grassroots to high-performance, was an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate the power of sport, build community and national spirit, and facilitate healthy living.

Iridia on Jersey Day

When we first heard about Jersey Day, the Iridia team threw the gauntlet down and jumped right in – proudly showing our support. We’re passionate about our teamwork (it’s one of our core values after all), and we knew Jersey Day would offer a great opportunity to have fun and show some team spirit!

We were also very keen to support Jersey Day as it ties in to something very important to us – public access to defibrillation. There are millions of sports fans and players in Canada and every one of them is susceptible to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). We want to help raise awareness of SCA, and Jersey Day is one of the ways we’re spreading the word.

As of October 2013, Iridia has been working with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada on a National PAD Program designed to bring Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to arenas and recreational facilities across Canada.

AEDs

The National PAD Program

In April 2012, the Federal Government of Canada announced its commitment to saving lives with AEDs by increasing access to these life-saving devices in hockey arenas and recreation centres across Canada. The Heart and Stroke Foundation is leading this unprecedented initiative, representing the largest application process for AED funding in Canada’s history. The National PAD Program will help to improve the heart safety of communities across Canada with a targeted placement of 3,000 AEDs and the training of 30,000 people in how to use AEDs. Iridia is a key distributor of AEDs for this Program and we are proud to be involved with this life-saving initiative.

Using an AED is the only way to treat SCA, a killer of up to 40,000 Canadians each year. Unlike a heart attack, SCA does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. Survival depends on delivering a shock from an AED within the first few minutes of suffering an SCA. Coupling the early use of an AED with quality CPR can raise survival rates up to 75%.

AEDforMVP_logo_final_iridia

AED for MVP

Learn more about the National PAD Program and head over to AED for MVP – a site to help facilities around the country implement their AED programs. Having an AED will make you an MVP.

Learn why you need access to an AED here.

 

What is an Automated External Defibrillator?

Iridia pioneered the first public-access Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program in British Columbia and we have remained passionate about AEDs. Since our start in 1998, we have become a leading distributor of AEDs and have placed AEDs in almost all places imaginable.

What are Automated Defibrillators and why are they so important?

Automated External Defibrillators

An AED is a portable device that delivers an electric shock to the heart. This shock can stop an irregular heart rhythm due to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and restore a normal rhythm. SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.

Up to 40,000 cardiac arrests occur each year in Canada alone. Without rapid treatment, most of these cardiac arrests will result in death. After more than 12 minutes of an irregular rhythm, the survival rate from cardiac arrest is less than 5%. On average, every 1 minute delay in defibrillation will reduce survival rates by 7% to 10%. However, the combined use of CPR and an AED may increase the rate of survival to 75% or more.

Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates

Thankfully the complicated and cumbersome defibrillators of the past are gone. Today, defibrillators used in public places and in the home are automated, portable and easy to use. They are no longer limited to the emergency room. AED advances have made it possible for more people to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required.

How does an AED work?

A built-in computer analyses the victim’s heart rhythm through two electrode pads. The computer then calculates whether defibrillation is needed. If it is, a recorded voice tells the rescuer to administer a shock. This shock stuns the heart and stops all activity and gives the heart a chance to resume beating effectively. Instructions will guide the user through the process.

Who can use an AED?

AEDs are designed to help people with minimal training use them safely in tense, emergency situations. They have numerous built-in safeguards and are designed to deliver a shock only if necessary.

Where should AEDs be placed?

All first-responders, including paramedics, law enforcement, fire rescue personnel should have access to an AED. 

Defib Place Icons

Additionally, AEDs should be placed in public areas such as sports arenas, golf courses, gated communities, airports, office complexes, doctors’ offices and any other public or private place where large numbers of people gather. Learn more about Why You Need Access to a Defibrillator.

If you need Tools to Save Lives, visit us at www.iridiamedical.com and learn about our:

  • industry-leading AED units
  • AED training for lay rescuers and professionals
  • unique medical direction packages
  • provincial leading AED programs

 

Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) Around the World

Iridia Medical is a proud partner of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s PAD program. Over the past decade and a half many countries have worked to develop programs that facilitate the public’s access to Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs). In order to develop an innovative public access to defibrillation program for BC, the Heart and Stroke Foundation surveyed a variety of national and international PAD programs. We are excited to be part of this exceptional project that will ultimately save the lives of countless British Columbians. To celebrate BC’s PAD Program, we decided to take a look around the globe to see how different Public Access to Defibrillation programs were able to create positive impacts in their communities.

Public Access to Defibrillation

Canada

Canada has a few provincial PAD programs. The Ontario PAD program has been active since 2007, and they have installed around 3000 publically accessible AEDs. Over the next few years, and with the help of additional provincial funding Ontario is planning on installing another 2500 Public AEDs. Today, over 40 lives have been saved by publically accessible AED’s in Ontario.

United States

In the United States, many cities have developed their own PAD programs. San Diego started “Project Heartbeat” in 2001. The initial goal of their program was to place 250 AEDs in public places throughout the city in time for the 2003 Superbowl. San Diego managed to exceed their goal by placing 550 publically accessible AED units in that time frame. San Diego is working to make AEDs prevalent in public places as Fire Extinguishers currently are. San Diego’s AED of choice is the Powerheart AED G3 Automatic; an AED that Iridia Medical is also proud to carry in our product line. Today, Project Heartbeat has saved 107 lives in the Greater San Diego area.

Powerheart AED G3

In Florida, the City of Miami/DADE fire-rescue department developed the “Team for Life” program in an effort to promote public access to defibrillators in the region. The fire-rescue department provides funding, training, equipment and program management for the public AED program. Miami/DADE has also worked to create one of the largest public access to Defibrillator initiatives in the world by equipping 1900 Police vehicles with Lifepak 500 AEDs.

Spain

In 2011, Spain became the first country in the European Union to start a PAD Program. The Territory of Girona, Spain intends to install 500 fixed AEDs and 150 portable AED units throughout the region. Spain has chosen to install the Powerheart G3 Plus Automatic AED on busy street corners and in public buildings. 

Australia

Meanwhile in the Southern hemisphere, Saint John’s Ambulance Australia started the community based “Heart Start” program. This program was begun in 2004 and provides guidance for public institutions seeking to incorporate an AED into their facilities. To date, this program has saved 19 lives. In 2012, Saint Johns Ambulance began offering subsidized AED’s to the public. They have received an overwhelming amount of public support for their program and they are hoping to see it grow dramatically in the future.

Hong Kong

Moving into Asia, on March 11th 2007, the Hong Kong College of Cardiology in conjunction with the Lan Kwai Fong Association installed their first AED in a public place, as part of their “Heart-Safe Place” program. In the program’s first year, over 100 AEDs were installed in places ranging from community centers and sports arenas to amusement parks.

Japan

Since 2004, Japan has been working to incorporate AED’s into their communities. When the program began there were approximately 9906 publicly accessed defibrillators in Japan. Due to a number of public and private initiatives, by 2007 the number of community based AEDs had risen to about 88,265. A study conducted on the Japanese PAD initiative found that the increase in public access to defibrillators was shown to dramatically improve an individual’s chances of surviving a cardiac event .

Iridia Medical is very proud to be part of the BC-PAD program and we are very excited to be joining these other locations in an effort to bring accessible AEDs to the public.

[1] Kitamura, T., et.al. “ nationwide Public-Access to Defibrillators in Japan” New England Journal of Medicine, (March 18, 2010) http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0906644

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Saves Another Life

With the recent launch of the province-wide Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Program, news of an AED save in Toronto couldn’t have come at a better time. Since 2006, the public defibrillator program in Ontario, funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation has saved 48 lives.

Public Access Defibrillation

Now it is our turn here in BC. With the PAD program underway, we can expect the same impact, as articulated by Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid, we will be to “save hundreds of lives”. Indeed, with increased access to AEDS, each of the 2000 SCA deaths reported annually in BC has the potential to be avoided.

The team here at Iridia Medical is excited to play an ongoing role with the HSFBC and PAD program, we hope to see many lives saved.

Toronto AED Save

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ – Once again, AEDs and CPR have proven their worth as a Toronto man is alive today thanks to the quick actions of bystanders. 

On Sunday, January 13, a 51-year-old Toronto-area resident Paul Poce was playing hockey at the Malvern Recreation Centre when he collapsed to the ice after suffering a cardiac arrest. His son Ben Poce, who also works as a paramedic for Peel Regional Paramedic Services, immediately rushed to his father’s side. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest, Poce called out to his teammates to dial 9-1-1, instructed his friend Shawn Nichols to start chest compressions, while he retrieved the on-site AED. 

Read the full story

CPRAbout the Heart and Stroke Foundation:

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke, reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy.

What is an AED Program?

The Impact of Cardiac Arrest

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 for this condition is the early delivery of an electric shock by an automated external defibrillator (AED). Response time is critical; for every minute of delay in delivering the shock, survival rates for SCA victims decrease by 7-10 percent.

cardiac arrest survival

The Solution

Recognizing the link between increased survival rates in SCA victims and the prompt use of a defibrillator, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) has recommended that all Canadians:

  • Have widespread access to automated external defibrillators.
  • Be trained and encouraged to apply cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED skills when needed.

When applied to the workplace, these recommendations entail implementing a program that makes AEDs readily available and ensures that staff are well prepared to use them when needed.

cardiac arrest

Our AED Program Process

Iridia provides an AED Program that includes three indispensable components:

1) The AED device, associated accessories, and servicing

Iridia is British Columbia’s sole distributor of LIFEPAK AEDs and we are a regional distributor of Powerheart G3 Plus AED. Both manufacturers are renown for their use of leading-edge technology, the reliability of their units, and after purchase service provided.

defibrillators

2) 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, and use a defibrillator properly. Our AED training workshops ensure that participants are able to respond effectively when the time comes.

3) Medical direction (a WorkSafeBC recommendation)

Iridia provides a medical direction package, consisting of the following components:

  • Emergency medical response procedures
  • Emergency Health Services liaison
  • Operational debriefing
  • Post incident call review
  • Physician consultation
  • Critical incident stress referrals

Our medical direction package is designed to maximize the value of your AED, and exceeds the recommendations from WorkSafeBC, the HSFC, and Health Canada.

Our Company

Since 1998, Iridia has overseen the training and certification of over 10,000 lay rescuers in the use of AEDs. Dr. Allan Holmes, a fellowship-trained Emergency Physician, is an expert in pre-hospital care and has worked extensively with Occupational First Aid Attendants, fire rescue personnel and the BC Ambulance Service. We currently provide medical direction to over 300 clients including 140 fire departments throughout the province.