Quiz – What’s your AED IQ???

Think your AED knowledge is top notch? Try our AED IQ quiz to find out!


First aid and AEDs save lives. The better you understand the process, the better equipped you are to help those around you. And as always, keep up to date on the latest first aid guidelines. You can find the current guidelines here at the heart and stroke foundation’s website:


Another Look at Chest Compressions

Chest Compressions

In 2010, international guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) recommended a change in compression depth. The minimum depth was raised from 38 to 50mm, although there was limited data to support the change from the 2005 guidelines.

Recently, the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) conducted a large scale study to examine patterns of CPR compression depth and associated survival rates.

The trial included 1,029 cases from 7 different sites across Canada and United States. The cases were typical of most cardiac events that take place out of a hospital; meaning 13 percent were in a public location and 40 percent were witnessed by a bystander.

The study was able to determine an average chest compression depth of 37.3mm, slightly less than recommended 2005 guidelines of 38mm and quite short of the new 50mm standard.

According to the study, half the patients received less than the 2005 guidelines and 90 percent received less than the 2010 guidelines; revealing a current trend of sub-optimal compression when delivering First Aid.

Chest Compressions

To lend credence to the “ sub-optimal trend,” the study has found a strong connection between survival and the increase in chest compression depth from 38 to 50mm.

Although compression depth continues to play an important role in CPR, the most effective depth is still unknown. The ROC found no evidence to prove or disprove the new recommendations at depths greater than 50mm.

During the study, the ROC also found an increased rate of chest compressions negated the positive effects of an increased depth. The recommend rate is 100 compressions per minute. Researchers suggest rescuers be cautious not to exceed a compression rate of 120.

The bottom line is that we don’t push hard enough on the chest. In order to increase survival rates, we need to deliver high-quality CPR. High-quality CPR must consist of proper compressions in both depth and rate; constraints rescuers need to be aware of.



Stepping Up to the Plate for AED Training

In March, we announced the winners of our 2012 AED Giveaway – the Kopytko family. Their son, Mitchell, was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart. 

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy can increase the likelihood of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). The only treatment for SCA is though defibrillation. Without immediate access to a defibrillator, SCA is almost always fatal.

For the Kopytko family, having an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) means they now have the right tool to fight SCA.

AED Training

“We are so grateful to have the peace of mind that the AED offers our family, we will always worry about the ‘what if’s’ where Mitchell is concerned, but this gives us a piece of equipment that could make all the difference in a worst case scenario” said Melanie Kopytko.

AED Training

But as important as the defibrillator is, there is one other key component involved – training.

It is true many could pick up a defibrillator and use it without training, but will they be performing high-quality CPR? How do you apply an AED to a child? When should you call 911? These are important questions that training will answer.

Now that the Kopytko family has an AED, the next step was to get them certified. We spoke with FACTs First Aid (located in Vernon, BC), who were so touched by the Kopytko story they generously donated their time to provide AED and CPR certification.

Here’s what Melanie Kopytko (Mitchell’s mother) had to say:
“I just wanted to let you know how well our training went with Jules from FACTs first aid. She was wonderful; she really took her time with Mitchell (10) and Jorja (7) as we thought it was important that they take the training with us.
She was so on task and dialed in to our dynamic that everyone felt very comfortable asking questions, some of them tough and personal because we are thinking it may be this 10 year old child who is our patient one day, and everyone had lots of hands on time with the machine and Annie dolls, as well as a very good understanding of the basic CPR that accompanies using the AED.
I had no doubt the adults would gain from the training, but what touched me most was, like I said, her attention to Jorja, making sure she felt comfortable and sure of herself with what she was learning. They are at that age where sometimes Jorja and Mitchell are home alone together for short periods of time, so it was important she have the knowledge.  
Also with us were Mitchell’s Grandmothers, his aunt, his classroom teacher and his principal, as well as Chad and I of course 🙂
We cannot thank Iridia enough, we feel so fortunate, and now so knowledgeable. I didn’t realize how empowering it would feel to know that I have the tools of CPR if I should need them.”

Iridia is thrilled to hear the training went well; it’s great to have made such a huge impact. We feel very fortunate to be in a position to help others through the promotion of AEDs and life-saving CPR training.

We wish the Kopytko family all the best. – The Iridia Team


Parksville Arena 2 – Sudden Cardiac Arrest 0

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

It’s always great to hear stories of those who survived a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Unfortunately they are few and far between. For an out of hospital SCA, the chances of survival are reduced to a dismal 5 percent.

But don’t fear, a treatment is out there! The use of an AED with CPR within the first three minutes of a cardiac arrest can increase the individual’s chance of survival by up to 75%.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

All it takes is a little preparation and training. If you live or work in a high risk area (see old post), you should have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Program. With an AED program in place you are increasing the chances of survival for anyone who has an SCA. 

Luckily, most people will never be put into a position where they have to grab an Automated External Defibrillator and save a life, but if it happens, you want to be prepared. 

Staff at a Parksville BC, arena never imagined it would happen to them but they were ready when the time came.

Over the past three months the arena staff used their CPR and AED training not once, but twice. In two separate incidents staff had to fetch their on-site AED and administer a life-saving shock.

The first took place on September 21st when an arena patron collapsed on the ice while playing hockey. With the help of a bystander, staff reacted quickly and efficiently calling 911 and performing ongoing CPR.

“Their efforts during the critical time before emergency services arrived, without a doubt, saved a life,” said Tom

Osborne, the General Manager of Recreation and Parks for the Regional District of Nanaimo.

The patron, Bernie Diakow underwent heart by-pass surgery and now is home after recovering for nine weeks at Victoria General Hospital.

Fast-forward almost two months to December 7th, another hockey player collapsed at the arena. The staff again retrieved their first aid kit and the AED. The AED was then used and CPR continued until a pulse was detected.

“The wife of the patron was told by the ambulance attendants and hospital staff that if CPR and the AED were not administered when it was, her husband would not be with us today.  We are pleased to say this wife will now likely have her husband home for Christmas,” said Osborne.

The staff at the arena were not lucky, they were prepared. Are you?


Practice Your Life-Saving Skills Today

Every day, thousands of people suffer Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). 

Would you know how to help?

Now, thanks to the Medtronic Foundation’s Save-A-Life Simulator, you can see first hand what to do as a bystander witnessing a SCA.

Practice Your Life-Saving Skills!

Life-Saving Skills

At Iridia, we are always trying to do our best to promote life-saving efforts to fight SCA. This new simulation from Medtronic is one of the best training tools we have seen out there. We highly recommend you try it out.

Head over to heartrescuenow.com and put yourself in the shoes of a rescuer!

CPR and First Aid Retention + CPR quiz results

In an ideal world it would be advantageous to have widespread CPR training for the whole country. Such a program would save many lives each year in Canada. Unfortunately at the moment it is unknown just how long trained rescuers in CPR remember the course information. Some recent literature indicates that many necessary skills of CPR and first aid are forgotten shortly after certification in laypersons. 

 A recent investigation by WorkSafe BC set out to determine CPR retention rates and made some key findings:

  • Many skills deteriorate rapidly over the course of the first 90 days.
  • Repetition (the number of times trained/certified in First Aid or CPR) may be more important to skill retention than the length of time since the last training.
  • A number of skills were performed poorly regardless of how much time had passed since the last training.
  • Simple and cost effective updating strategies for first aid and CPR are needed to reduce the rate of knowledge and skill deterioration.

WorkSafe’s conclusions suggest that it may be more important to have repeated refresher courses about every 90 days. Individuals who had renewed their certificate more than once managed to score higher on their exams.  Repetition seems to be the key to continuing CPR education.


CPR quiz

Recently Iridia created a CPR quiz. We wanted to highlight the importance of knowing how to perform CPR correctly. We asked ten basic CPR questions that anyone trained in CPR should be able to answer correctly. 

Here are the questions for those of you who did not complete the quiz.

1. What does CPR stand for?
2. CPR can be performed with chest compressions only.
3. Sudden Cardiac Arrest affects up to _____ Canadians each year. 
4. The Heart and Stroke Foundations recommended optimum  chain of survival is:
5. When performing CPR, the ratio of chest compressions to artificial respiration is:
6. When performing CPR on adults, the rate of compressions should be at least _____ per minute.
7. When performing CPR on adults, the compression depth should be at least _____ centimetres.
8. It is not recommended to perform CPR on children aged 6 and under.
9. As many as 85% of all Cardiac Arrests occur outside of a hospital. 
10. Every minute of delay in CPR reduces the chances of survival by _____ percent.

CPR quiz

The results of the quiz so far are not surprising, given the retention of CPR knowledge and lack of widespread training. The first graph charts the correct attempts for each question, while the second shows the quiz scores for each percentile.

With such a small sample of individuals who may or may not have CPR training it is impossible to make any strong conclusions; other than an average of 67% could be greatly improved.

If you would like to complete the quiz please follow this link: