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.

 

Heart Month 2015, Spread the Word!

Heart Month 2015It 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 2015

Today, you can make a difference by celebrating Heart Month 2015 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.

Additionally, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be teaming up with London Drugs this Heart Month to deliver a series of in-store CPR/AED awareness events. More news to follow, but you can expect to see the Iridia team at your local London Drugs store in the coming weeks. Learn more about London Drugs and their commitment to public health and safety here.

In recognition of Heart Month 2015, Iridia is offering 10% off all AEDs in February. For more information, please contact AED Sales at 1-888-404-6444.

Heart Month 2015

It is an uphill battle against heart disease and stroke, but it’s a battle we can win – help us and spread the word!

 

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/

 

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.

 

 

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.

Automated External Defibrillators and Children

Automated External Defibrillators

An automatic external defibrillator is used to restart a heart that is pumping with an ineffective rhythm that does not adequately circulate blood. In most cases AEDs come equipped with defibrillator electrode pads made just for children, but not always.

To address a few concerns, the following is a recent statement to our first-responders on the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for children.

Automated External Defibrillators and Children

Position Statement

Iridia supports the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in the pediatric population.

The following recommendations are provided for First-Responder Services with AED programs and are consistent with the current Heart and Stroke Foundation guidelines:

  • AEDs equipped with pediatric dose attenuator and pads should be used on children (aged 1-8) and infants (less than 1 year) with no signs of life
  • Pads should be placed in the standard anterior-apex position or in the anterior-posterior position
  • Should pediatric dose attenuator and pads not be immediately available, adult pads may be used on both children and infants with no signs of life.

For more information on AEDs  and their use, please visit our website.

Best Regards,
Dr. Allan Holmes
Medical Director, Iridia

Bystander CPR – Moral Obligation?

Bystander CPR

Nearly 20,000 people go into cardiac arrest outside of hospital every single year in Canada. Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of those individuals survive.

One of the leading causes is that 75 percent of those people do not receive bystander CPR.

In many of these cases the cardiac arrest is witnessed, but the bystanders do not have any training in CPR. Bystanders in this situation often fail to offer assistance because of the belief they do not have the necessary skills to act, and potentially they may cause more harm than good.

Recently, the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) has spoken out to say “every Canadian should be willing to offer CPR when they witness someone in cardiac arrest — even if they’ve never been trained in it.”

bystander cpr

 

It is clear that any sort of assistance provided can increase the chances of survival for those who experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

The CAEP clearly wants to push the expectations of CPR further. “It must become a moral obligation and a social expectation that bystanders will perform CPR when they witness a cardiac arrest.

Many more lives can be saved, but we need stronger inducements and a systematic approach to ensure more people in the community are prepared and ready to perform CPR,” says the group.

The CAEP is looking for the next step to be mandatory CPR training in all Canadian high schools. They even go as far to say that it should be a requirement of graduation.

Although CPR is not a guarantee for survival, it is believed that up to 2000 people a year could be saved if all Canadians were taught how to properly give CPR.

For those who haven’t had formal training, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada has updated its guidelines in 2010 to simplify CPR training in the hopes that more bystanders will be willing to give CPR.

It is now recommended that untrained bystanders who don’t want to give mouth-tomouth resuscitation can simply offer chest compressions to adults in cardiac arrest.

If you are interested in learning CPR or would like to update your certification, contact us.

See our 2014 course offerings.

 

Heart and Stroke 2011 Annual Report

Year after year the Heart and Stroke Foundation, with support from 130,000 Canadians around the country, is able to invest in ground-breaking research, prevention efforts and advocates healthy change across Canada.

heart and stroke

In British Columbia alone:

  • 24 Foundation funded researchers are investigating new treatments against heart disease and stroke
  • 33 new research projects have been funded
  • A BC Stroke Strategy has been developed
  • A provincial awareness campaign for improved recognition of stroke has been launched

In the 59 years of the Foundation’s existence, the mortality rate for cardiovascular disease has decreased by 25%. And yet, still, close to 250,000 potential years of life are lost every year heart disease. Heart disease and stroke still take 1 in 3 Canadians before their time.

A 25% decrease is very impressive, but there is always more we can do as early onset of heart disease and stroke is 80% preventable.

Even one campaign can leave a lasting impression. For example, in 2011 The Heart Truth campaign helped make Canadian women aware of their leading cause of death; heart disease and stroke. Awareness grew by 12 percentage points among women 35 and older.

Stroke Strategy

After working with the Heart and Stroke Foundation on various stroke related projects, we at Iridia understand their importance. Research funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation can lead to various projects that that aim to deliver better health care to Canadians. 

Mentioned above, the new British Columbia Stroke Strategy is a key initiative to hit a major milestone in 2011. For the past few years, Iridia has been working with the Heart and Stroke foundation on the development of BC’s Stroke Strategy.

BC stroke strategy - Heart and Stroke

The care stroke survivors received within forty-eight hours after their stroke has a tremendous impact on the length and quality of their recovery. The immediate recognition and treatment of stroke is imperative.

For the first time, a province-wide strategy is in place to improve the prevention and treatment of stroke in BC’s health care system.

According to Pam Aikman, Provincial Director of Stroke Services BC at the Provincial Health Services Authority, “This is a milestone year for stroke care in BC. Thanks to the tireless work by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, we have been able to launch Stroke Services BC, and have a solid plan for implementing ongoing improvements to stroke care here in BC.”

Iridia is proud to have worked with the Heart and Stroke Foundation in the development of the BC Stroke Strategy. We will stand alongside the Foundation in the step-by-step fight against heart disease and stroke.

Learn more about the stoke care strategy: signsofstroke

View the annual report: H&S2011

Visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation: HeartandStroke