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

 

SCA Awareness Month at Iridia Medical

SCA Awareness Month

SCA Awareness Month

Every October is SCA Awareness month. Originally founded as an initiative by the Heart Rhythm Society, it’s become an opportunity to raise awareness on an important subject. Annually, 40,000 Canadians and 350,000 Americans die from Sudden Cardiac Death. Currently, survival rate is still low with 8-11% for out of hospital cases. As survival rate can be increased with the application of an AED, the primary issue is raising public awareness for AED locations and education on how to use them.

As you may recall from last year’s post, Sudden Cardiac Arrest is not a heart attack. A campaign, spearheaded by the Heart Rhythm Society created the imagery of comparing Apples to Oranges. The simple message was that heart attacks and SCA situations must be handled differently as they are not the same disorder.

Over the next year we are working to develop various initiatives to bring the issue of Sudden Cardiac Arrest into the public eye. One of our most recent initiatives is the Tour D’Iridia where our rider Michael Galasso toured Vancouver Island on a bike, visiting 18 different PAD Program locations. The goal of the tour was to verify that the employees responsible understood how to use the device, while raising awareness of the BC PAD program. We’re also developing a unique AED survival story video to further shed light on people who have survived a cardiac arrest as a result of properly trained individuals and quick responses.

As always, we want to ensure the people are aware of the number of Public Access defibrillators available through our AEDs Everywhere map. If you have spotted any AED’s, snap a photo and send it our way and we’ll be more than happy to add it to our map!

As Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness month is important to us, we’ll be donating 10% of our new AED sales to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon.

We’re offering 2 specials SCA Awareness Month:

SCA Awareness Month

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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!

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.

 

 

SCA Awareness – When an Apple Isn’t Apple

If someone were to ask you “what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of October?” Three likely responses would be:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Halloween
  • My Birthday (if your birthday is in October that is)

October - SCA Awareness

At Iridia, we don’t want to forget about those days, but we would like to see a fourth option. If you’re ever asked that question, we hope you will say “October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Awareness Month.”

Why is SCA a big deal? You may be thinking “why do we need more awareness? Every movie or crime show out there throws a cardiac arrest into their plot.” You are right, however, we know Hollywood isn’t always accurate and we have the statistics to back that claim up!

The most important thing to know is sudden cardiac arrest is not a type of heart attack, that’s like comparing Apples and Oranges. SCA occurs when the heart has an “electrical malfunction” and stops pumping blood to the rest of the body. A heart attack occurs when the heart has a “plumbing problem” where a blockage prevents the flow of blood to the heart. That’s a big difference.

If you’re like 70% of the population, you didn’t know that.

SCA Awareness

As a leader in the development of medical education; it is our responsibility to help spread SCA Awareness. We believe by learning about SCA you can understand the importance of knowing the difference and even help prevent and treat SCA. Knowing the difference, combined with the right tools such as knowledge of CPR and an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), you can administer life saving care to those who need it.

Learn more about SCA Awareness Month and difference between apples and oranges here from the Heart Rhythm Society.

  • Save 10% on all AEDs purchased during the month! *Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts*

 

AEDs From Coast to Coast

We Love AEDs

As you might already know, we love our Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at Iridia Medical.

In fact, our company was founded because of this passion for AEDs and their life-saving abilities.  In 1998, publicly-accessible AEDs and workplace AED programs did not exist – only ambulance attendants and fire rescue personnel had access to AEDs. We challenged this practice and pioneered the first public-access AED program in British Columbia. As the foundation of our expanding company, we remain passionate about AEDs and continue to implement and support AED programs across Canada.

Since 1998, we have become a leading distributor of Cardiac Science and Physio-Control AEDs and have placed thousands across the country – 1,998 AEDs in 269 cities/towns/communities to be exact (as of September 19, 2013).

It can be difficult to visualize numbers and for this reason, we created our Iridia AED Placement map. Not only is this information better visualized but it also speaks to the level of importance that has been placed on AEDs and access to them. Even some of the smallest of towns are equipped with an AED in the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

1,998 AEDs Throughout Canada

View fullscreen

On this map, we’ve also included AEDs placed through the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s BC Public Access to Defibrillation Program. In this Program, initiated in February 2013, 450 AEDs over a period of three years will be donated to communities across the province. As the exclusive distributer for the Program, we are proud to have placed 100 AEDs across the province (as of September 18, 2013).

We will be updating this map with every AED we place and together we can raise Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival rates from coast to coast.

 

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

 

Iridia Supporting the Teaching of CPR and AED Skills to Terrace and Kitimat Youth

Furthering our partnership with the ACT Foundation, Iridia recently helped to bring CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to Caledonia Senior Secondary School in Terrace and Mount Elizabeth Middle/Secondary School in Kitimat.  In total, seven teachers across the two schools attended the teacher-training workshop which was held in Terrace on 25 June, 2013.

The workshop was delivered by BCAS’ paramedic, Gil Kurtz, who was supported by the Deputy Chief of the Kitimat Fire Department, Pete Bizarro.  Both gentleman generously volunteered their time to teach the workshop.  Iridia’s support comprised the donation of equipment – including AED training units and AEDs – along with the provision of funding for the AED mannequins and program resources. 

As a result of this teacher-training, approximately 350 students will be trained annually by their teachers to use these life-saving skills.  Janine Dethlefs from Iridia was also in attendance to speak to the teachers about the work that Iridia does and the importance of having as many people as possible trained in CPR and AED use.

 

CPR Training

Click to watch the segment from CFTK TV

Not that this importance isn’t already understood by the teachers and students at Caledonia Senior Secondary School.  A few years ago, a life was saved by a student from Caledonia when a gentleman in Walmart suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.  With no other adult close by who was able to respond, the student acted quickly, engaging his CPR skills and knowledge. Fortunately, the outcome was a happy one and shows that these skills, once learned, can be invaluable.

This is just one example of how sudden cardiac arrest can occur anywhere, at any time.  With eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring at home or in public places, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

Check out the following link for more information about the ACT Foundation.

http://www.actfoundation.ca/index2.cfm

 

Heart Month – Teaming Up to Teach Students to Save Lives!

February is Heart Month and what better way to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest than by helping to bring CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to the youth in our communities!

In a new initiative supporting our value of corporate social responsibility, Iridia has partnered with the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation to bring such training into high schools in British Columbia.

The ACT Foundation is a national charitable organization that is establishing CPR and defibrillator training programs in all Canadian high schools as a regular part of the school curriculum. The program is built on a model of establishing community-based partnerships and support, whereby ACT finds local partners to donate equipment – such as training mannequins, AED training units and AED units – that schools need to set up the program. Training is also a key component. Teachers in secondary schools are trained in CPR and defibrillator use and they, in turn, will act as instructors for their students. The aim of the program is to ensure that all youth prior to graduation could effectively treat someone who is having a sudden cardiac arrest.
Until recently, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 220 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia. Approximately 235,000 students have already been empowered to save lives using CPR skills.

These numbers were increased on 1 February, when eight teachers from Hudson’s Hope Elementary-Secondary School and North Peace Secondary School in Fort St. John participated in the teacher-training workshop. In addition to Iridia’s contribution of AED training units, and funding for the AED training mannequins and program resources, Iridia’s CPR Instructor-Trainer, Jeff Kain, flew to Fort St. John to conduct the teacher training. As a follow-up to the workshop, and as part of the program, each school also received from Iridia an AED so that potential life-saving equipment is on hand in the event of an in-school cardiac arrest emergency.

The training conducted on 1 February will result in 350 students trained annually by their teachers to use these lifesaving skills.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9ebDf7C3Ag&feature=youtu.be

“Since our inception, Iridia has been passionate about increasing community access to AEDs and CPR training within BC”, said Vern Biccum, President of Iridia Medical. “The work conducted by the ACT Foundation aligns with this passion, and we are very proud to be collaborating on such a meaningful opportunity that will equip the youth of Fort St. John with the skills and knowledge necessary to save lives.”

With eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring at home or in public places, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

Check out the following links for more information about the ACT Foundation and the recent workshop conducted in Fort St. John.

Act Foundation
News Story – Training Teachers Save Lives
News Story – Learning to Save a Life

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