Why Did We Create Anna’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor Video?

To Celebrate a Life Saved

Today, Anna has a second chance at life thanks to the quick thinking of a few individuals and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). We worked with Anna to share her story as we passionately believe that the world needs to know about people like Anna who have survived a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

To Draw Attention to Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Anna is not alone in having had an SCA. Latest statistics suggest that 40,000 Canadians die annually from this electrical malfunction of the heart. SCAs do not discriminate – they can happen to anyone at any time, and without warning.

To Focus on a Solution

The only way to treat an SCA is to deliver a shock by way of an Automated External Defibrillator. The biggest challenge is one of timing. For every 1 minute delay in delivering a shock, the survival rate decreases by 7% to 10% (Larsen et al, 1993).

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor

So, How Do We Work Toward Fewer Deaths Due to SCA?

In the simplest terms, we need more AEDs, greater access to them, and more awareness about their location and use.

AED Availability
SCAs can happen anywhere. With this mind, we need more AEDs in the places that we frequent. If someone is to be shocked within minutes, an AED must always be nearby. Airports have been early adopters of AED technology and have save stories to show for it, which is great. But we need them in more hotels, restaurants, golf courses, schools, community centres, and other areas that people gather.

AED Accessibility
Having more AEDs out there is the first step, but this will only make a difference if the AEDs can be found and accessed. These life-saving devices must be well signed, and reachable by as many people as possible. An AED hidden away in a back office is far less useful than one on prominent display.

As you move through your daily life, keep an eye out for AEDs. Where does a good job of providing accessible AEDs? Who could use some help?

AED Awareness
An increased prevalence of accessible AEDs will certainly make a difference, but increasing awareness about them will take things to another level. The more we know about how easy it is to use an AED, the better the survival outcomes will be.

Workplace programs should ensure that all staff are trained properly, and as responsible members of society, we should all do our part to ensure we are trained on AED use.

Help Us Spread the Word

Every day in Canada, people suffer SCAs and we’d like to see every one of them end with a story like Anna’s.

With this in mind, we’ve created this video.

By sharing it with friends and family, you will be helping us spread the word about SCA and increased survival rates through AED and CPR use.

We thank you in advance. To share the video, click one of the links below:

FacebookTwitter – Youtube

 

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.

 

 

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.

An AED Save is Not Your Regular Routine

We came across this AED save not too long ago. Thought it was a great and inspiring story that deserves to be shared!

Haddad remembers very little of his last visit to Charter Fitness a health club in Hobart, Indiana, on October 30th. What started as a routine workout for the 22-year-old turned into a race for his life.

He remembers working in the free weight area of the club, then trying to reach for the wall right before he collapsed. 

“I couldn’t see and I couldn’t hear. I couldn’t move,” Haddad said. 

Two members quickly responded and informed the front desk that someone had passed out.

AED player down

Assistant manager, Jorge Almedina, quickly began administering CPR while employee, Sarah Gacsy, brought a defibrillator that was used to get his heart started again after it had stopped. 

Almedina called 911, then went back to Haddad to begin administering CPR. 

“He started breathing, but still had no pulse and that’s when an off-duty nurse who was working out here came to help,” Almedina said. 

Once the defibrillator was administered Haddad regained a pulse. Shortly after, emergency medical services arrived and transported Haddad to the hospital for assessment. 

Haddad said doctors there couldn’t find a reason for his heart stopping, but inserted a pacemaker to keep his heart beating regularly. 

“The doctors have told me they have no answer as to why my heart stopped. … I thank those who helped me here very much,” Haddad said. 

For Almedina, who is 21, the incident was an eye-opener. “I’m just glad I was certified and able to react. You don’t expect that to happen especially to someone close to my age,” Almedina said.

Tito Garcia, regional manager for the fitness club, said it’s a requirement that there be at least one employee during all shifts who is CPR and AED certified. 

“We’re just happy a life was saved and ecstatic our employees reacted courageously to save a person’s life,” Garcia said.

Defibrillation 101 

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