Why You Need Access to a Defibrillator
February is Heart Month. If you are like me you have heard this everywhere, but do you know what Heart Month means and why we celebrate it?
From the Heart and Stroke Foundation:“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 Global Medical Services, we believe this is a fight we can win.
Our mission is:“Global 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.”
In honour of Heart Month we will continue spreading the knowledge and tools necessary to fight against heart disease. We will be giving away a free Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to one lucky recipient. (Contest Now Closed – View the Winning Story)
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:
- Community/senior citizen centers
- Dialysis centers
- Ferries/train terminals
- Golf courses
- Health centers/gyms
- Cardiology, internal and family medicine practices, and urgent care centers
- Large industrial sites
- Large shopping malls
- Nursing homes
- Private businesses
- Sports/events complexes