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:

 

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/

 

BC PAD Program – Iridia to supply British Columbia with 650 AEDs

BC PAD Program

Michael, Julie, Vern, Allan and Tom at the PAD Program Launch presentation

In 1997, a British Columbia mill suffered a heart-wrenching loss when one of its staff members collapsed and died of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).    The only remedy for an SCA is the delivery of an electric shock that acts to reset the heart’s electrical rhythms – a shock deliverable by an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).   Unfortunately, that shock must come quickly.   For every minute that passes without shock delivery, a person’s chance of survival is reduced by 10%.   In 1997, only ambulance attendants and fire rescue personnel had access to AEDs, and on that day, neither could get to the mill in time with the life-saving AED.

This event, while tragic, led to the formation of Iridia Medical, a BC-based company passionate about broader access to AEDs.  Founded by Dr. Allan Holmes, an emergency-trained physician, Iridia has worked in the intervening years to implement comprehensive AED programs for hundreds of workplaces across the province and throughout Canada.

And then came February 6th, 2013, a particularly special day in our company’s history.

Gathered alongside representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon (HSFBCY), and the British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS), our team helped bring forward the announcement that a province-wide Public Access Defibrillation Program initiative was launching.

Kicked off with a highly effective Public Service Announcement and an awareness campaign, the BC PAD Program initiative, funded by the HSFBCY and the Ministry of Health, will see 650 AED units 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”.   Indeed, with increased access to AEDS, each of the 2000 SCA deaths reported annually in BC has the potential to be avoided.   This was exactly the case for Anna Shanh, an SCA survivor, who shared her survival story with those at the launch.  It was a stark reminder for us all that SCA doesn’t discriminate; even the young, fit, non-smoking and non-drinking among us are at risk.

In participating in the launch and seeing the efforts invested to bring it to life, we could not be more proud to be the PAD initiative’s exclusive AED provider.   We look forward to working with communities throughout the province as well as with the exceptional teams at both the HSFBCY and BCAS.    We share CEO Diego Marchese’s view that this has the potential to be one of the best programs in Canada, and we look forward to playing our role in ensuring that it is.

For more information and video about the BC PAD Program, visit the BC Government newsroom: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2013/02/bc-increases-access-to-defibrillators.html

What is Heart Month?

Heart Month is the Heart and Stroke Foundations‘ key opportunity to reach millions of Canadians in February and alert them to the risks of heart disease and stroke. Today, heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes and 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor.

Here are the 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.

Heart Month History

“Heart Month was inspired by a fundraising initiative called “Heart Sunday.” The concept was adopted in British Columbia in the mid-1950s; in Ontario in 1958, and has since expanded across the country. Today Heart Month is a much broader campaign that mobilizes Canadians to rally together in raising awareness and funds that have an enormous impact on the lives of not just heart and stroke patients, but all Canadians. Through the generosity and compassion of volunteers, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has been able to fund critical life-giving research, education and advocacy programs that help save lives.”

In truth, Heart Month is integral in generating awareness for all heart diseases. Did you know Heart disease and stroke take 1 in 3 Canadians before their time and is the #1 killer of women – taking more women’s lives than all forms of cancer combined?

It is an uphill battle against heart disease, but at Iridia Medical, we believe this is a fight we can win, so help celebrate Heart Month with us and spread the word!

Learn More

 

AEDs in the Workplace

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can strike anywhere and at any time. It can happen to anyone: an employee in the workplace or a shopper in a mall.

The only effective treatment for SCA is early defibrillation with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

In North America, more people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest than from breast cancer, prostate cancer, AIDS, handgun incidents, and traffic accidents combined.

In Canada, this amounts to 35,000 to 45,000 lives lost every year. Although AEDs are not legally required in Canadian workplaces, many organizations have implemented AED programs citing the benefits of risk reduction for employees and customers.

AEDs in the Workplace

AEDs in the Workplace

To maximize the value of your AED and exceed the recommendations for WorkSafeBC and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Iridia can provide you with our medical direction package for your AEDs in the workplace, which includes the following components:

  • Emergency Medical Response Procedures – Working with you, we will provide formal procedures to enhance your current plan with the addition of the AED.
  • Physician Consult – You will be able to consult with an Iridia physician who will answer any medical/response questions from your AED response providers.
  • Emergency Health Services Liaison – Iridia will send letters to the nearest Ambulance station and the Fire Department to inform them of your AED program.
  • Post Incident Call Review – Should your facility experience an event where the AED is used, an Iridiaphysician will review the data from the AED and provide reports as needed to British Columbia Ambulance Service and your local hospital. In addition, you will be provided with a written Call Summary Report of the incident which will assist you with continuous quality improvement in your program.
  • Operational Debriefing/Critical Incident Stress – Iridia can arrange for an operational debriefing with the providers who manage a cardiac arrest event to reassure them of their actions. We can also advise management about best practices to provide appropriate emotional and psychological support. If you do not have an employee assistance program, Iridia can also liaise with WorkSafe BC who will coordinate critical incident interventions for work-related traumatic events.

The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation contains legal requirements that must be met by all workplaces under the inspection jurisdiction of WorkSafeBC. Many sections of the Regulation have associated guidelines and policies.

Please follow the link to read the complete WorkSafeBC guidelines and policies for having an AEDs in the workplace.

For more information about AEDs in the workplace, visit WorkSafeBC’s AED Guidelines

 

Stroke Care – A Fight Against Time

Iridia has worked with various stroke care initiatives over the years, specifically on the Stroke Protocols and Guidelines throughout the province of BC.

Our president, Dr. Allan Holmes was a lead consultant on the creation of the BC Stroke Strategy and the Clinical Leadership Statement for Acute Stroke Management.

Stroke Care

Stroke Care 

The BC Stroke Strategy identified current “gaps” in stroke care and outlines key areas of focus. One of which, is necessary brain imaging. The current idea that there is a gap in brain imaging is also backed by a recent study in the American journal Stroke.

The study found less than 50 percent of stroke patients undergo necessary brain imaging within the recommended 25 minutes of their arrival at a hospital.

Read the original study here

In stroke care, there is an ongoing battle against time. “Time is brain” goes the old stroke care mantra. With each minute that goes by, more and more brain cells are permanently lost. It is vital that individuals receive a timely diagnosis through brain imaging.

“We were struck by the fact that less than half of patients with acute stroke symptoms did not receive a brain scan within recommended guidelines,” says University of Rochester Medical Center neurologist Adam Kelly, lead author of the study.

“This was the performance of hospitals who are actively participating in a national quality improvement program, so rates in non-participating hospitals may be even worse.”

Why is brain imaging so important in stroke care? It allows physicians to “see” what is occurring in the brain. A diagnosis will determine what treatment options are available. For example, the physician may see that the clot can be tackled using clot-busting drugs. Unfortunately, clot-busting drugs often need to be administered as soon as possible and can lose effectiveness after a few hours.

Stroke Care

The study also found that individuals were less likely to receive timely brain scans if they:

  • Did not arrive at the hospital by ambulance (47 percent less likely)
  • Had certain known risk factors for stroke such as diabetes, a prior history of stroke, over 75 years old, and peripheral vascular disease.

“Despite the strides that have been made in stroke care, it is clear that there is significant room for improvement in the evaluation of patients suspected of stroke,” says Kelly. “Time is too precious and hospitals cannot be the reason for delay.”

In our own backyard, stroke care has become an area of focus. Over the past five years, British Columbia has recognized the importance of stroke care and the related economic burden.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation in partnership with many organizations, including Iridia, have come together to identify the gaps in stroke care and put in place a strategic direction for improving stroke care in BC.

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

Kamloops This Week Picks Up Our AED Giveaway!

February has been an exciting month here at Iridia. Our AED giveaway is in full swing and we are thrilled at all the great responses we have received so far. We are very excited at making a difference and being able to give away such an important device as an AED. Heart Month comes, only but once a year, and it is really great to see others taking up this cause and generating awareness.

Here’s the story by Tim Petruk in Kamloops This Week . . .

“Iridia Medical, a leading Canadian distributor of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), is giving away an AED to help raise awareness for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

The promotion is being held in conjunction with February’s designation as Heart and Stroke Month.

In Canada, SCA claims up to 45,000 lives each year, which translates to one cardiac arrest every 12 minutes.

The only effective treatment for SCA is the early delivery of an electric shock by an AED.

Unlike a heart attack, which is caused by a blockage in an artery and requires surgery, SCA results from an electrical malfunction of the heart.

For every one-minute delay in defibrillation, the survival rate of a sudden cardiac arrest victim decreases by seven to 10 per cent.

The major risk factor for SCA is coronary heart disease.

Other risk factors for SCA include a personal or family history of SCA or inherited disorders that makes one prone to arrhythmias, a personal history of arrhythmias, heart attack, heart failure and drug or alcohol abuse.

“Iridia Medical Services is excited about awarding an AED to a deserving winner,” said Tom Puddicombe, director of business operations at Iridia.

“We hope that this contest will generate more awareness about SCA and the value of having AEDs accessible in a cardiac-arrest emergency.”

AED Giveaway

Businesses, organizations and individuals can enter the contest by visiting the Iridiawebsite by Feb. 28 at:
www.global-medical.ca/content/giveaway.

Once there, a form can be accessed on which the entrant can share why they would benefit by winning the AED.

The contest winners will be short-listed by Iridia staff.

Five winners will be posted on Facebook and the public will vote to determine who wins the prize.”

AED Giveaway

Source:
http://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/community/138972739.html

Why You Need Access to a Defibrillator

Our mission

“Iridia is dedicated to preparing and empowering everyone to respond to adversity. Our mission is to ensure that people have the training and preparation they need to mitigate any emergency they encounter and the ability to move on afterwards secure in the knowledge that, when decisive action was required, they answered with the very best versions of themselves.”

How does a defibrillator help?

Defibrillators are the only treatment for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), a leading killer of both men and women worldwide.

Who needs access to a defibrillator?

SCA can affect anyone, at any time, in any age group. Believe it or not, there are is wide variety of situations and locations that are in need of an AED.  Do you work in a hotel, airport or casino? Do you go to school? Or do you live in a high-rise building? These are all high-risk areas that should be equipped with an AED.

Reasons to have a defibrillator:

  • Hotels are vulnerable to SCA incidents due to the high concentration of guests staying at the hotel every day.  The changing demographics of guests as well as their unknown ages and health concerns are all the more reason to implement an AED program into a hotel’s health and safety program.  In addition to hotel guests, a large number of people attending conventions, meetings and special events are also on the hotel property at any given time.  Having an AED in your hotel gives patrons the peace of mind that where they are staying, safety is a top priority and a marquee issue
  • Hotels also employee many staff.  Your employees spend more time on site than any guest.  Having an AED program in place will assist in protecting your most valuable assets
  • Having AEDs in lobbies, meeting rooms, banquet halls and fitness centers can make a difference in a cardiac arrest situation
  • A recent study outlined in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that when security guards at casinos were equipped with AEDs, SCA survival rates soared to 74%
  • Having an AED in your restaurant gives patrons the peace of mind that where they are eating, relaxing and enjoying their time away from home, safety is a top priority and a marquee issue
  • The AHA (The American Heart Association) recommends defibrillation for SCA victims within 3 to 5 minutes of collapse. The Canadian benchmark response time for an ambulance is 8 minutes and 59 seconds
  • Nearly 60% of all sudden cardiac arrests are witnessed, so if an AED is nearby, chances the victim will receive timely defibrillation is improved
  • It is expected that one in 25 schools can expect a SCA incident each year
  • A school AED program will help protect not only the students of the school, but also the adults present on the grounds on a day to day basis. These individuals potentially include teachers, teachers’ aides, custodians, office staff, administrators, reading specialists, parent volunteers, visiting parents and family volunteers
  • There is a chance emergency medical services (EMS) cannot respond fast enough to save someone in cardiac arrest, particularly in congested urban areas, high-rise buildings, in remote rural areas, or large facilities
  • What are the most likely places to have SCA events occur? Some studies have shown a higher incidence in certain locations, listed below:
    • Airports
    • Community/senior citizen centers
    • Dialysis centers
    • Ferries/train terminals
    • Golf courses
    • Health centers/gyms
    • Cardiology, internal and family medicine practices, and urgent care centers
    • Jails
    • Large industrial sites
    • Large shopping malls
    • Nursing homes
    • Private businesses
    • Sports/events complexes

 

 

November Innovation – The Heart Hero App

At the heart of Iridia, lay one of our eight core values, innovation. As CPR month comes to a close we wanted to highlight one of the most innovative CPR tools out there. It’s called Heart Hero (get it here from the Apple App Store), an interactive mobile app that lets you practice CPR to the catchy beat of the Bee Gees’ hit, Stayin’ Alive.

Heart Hero was created by Genius Factor Games who donated their time and experience to develop this app specifically for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The goal of this partnership was to create a fun, easy and free tool to learn CPR on the go. Why did they choose Stayin’ Alive? You may have heard that the song’s rhythm provides the perfect pace for performing CPR, and it’s true, the beat hits the nail on the head and is easy to remember in a pinch.

Who should download this app? Heart Hero is for anyone who would like to establish a basic foundation of CPR knowledge. For those who aren’t comfortable with the CPR process, but would like to take a first critical stride, this app is a great start. Heart Hero will walk you through the appropriate steps and give you the tools you need if you find yourself in a situation where you need to perform CPR.

Some of the features include:

  • Video tutorial on the 2011 definition of CPR and using en AED (automatic external defibrillator).
  • Heart & Stroke Foundation office finder (Canada-wide).
  • Important facts about CPR and the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
  • Seven challenging Heart Hero mini-games to test your skills in saving a patient with the basic CPR techniques.
Heart Hero

Heart Hero Screenshot

“It’s clear that cardiopulmonary resuscitation improves the odds of surviving cardiac arrest, but just as importantly, the app provides CPR practitioners with the practice and confidence needed to employ those skills in an emergency situation,” said Lisa Hutcheon, Manager of Patient Programs at the Heart and Stroke Foundation, BC & Yukon.

Unfortunately many individuals hold back from performing CPR because they are afraid they will do it wrong. The truth is, is that not doing anything at all will be the worst case scenario. “The technique is actually less important than doing chest compressions quickly and firmly,” says Hutcheon.

We urge all Canadians to learn CPR, by learning a little bit now you can potentially save a life later. On the quest to bring CPR knowledge to all Canadians, this is a great leap forward. It is innovations such as this that Iridia can stand behind.

*It is important to note, while the app is a valuable tool to practice CPR, it does not replace CPR certification.
*The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that all Canadians learn the life-saving skills of CPR and review this knowledge often.