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Going Global! National and International Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) Programs

Global Medical Services 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 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 Global Medical Services 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 .

Global Medical Services 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 in BC, 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 Global Medical Services 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.

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, Global 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 Global’s contribution of AED training units, and funding for the AED training mannequins and program resources, Global’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 Global 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.

“Since our inception, Global has been passionate about increasing community access to AEDs and CPR training within BC”, said Vern Biccum, President of Global Medical Services. “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

Global to supply British Columbia with 450 AEDs

Image

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 Global Medical Services (Global), a BC-based company passionate about broader access to AEDs.  Founded by Dr. Allan Holmes, an emergency-trained physician, Global 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 initiative, funded by the HSFBCY and the Ministry of Health, will see 450 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, 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.

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 Global Medical Services, we believe this is a fight we can win, so help celebrate Heart Month with us and spread the word!

Learn More

 

PGA of BC Partners with Global

Press release from the PGA of BC:

The Professional Golfers’ Association of BC is pleased to establish a new business relationship with Global Medical Services (GMS). The PGA of BC and GMS will be working closely together to create programs and promote safety at golf facilities throughout the province. GMS, a new “Preferred Partner” of the Association, will be offering PGA of BC member facilities “preferred rates” on various products and services related to safety and cardiac care. More details at www.pgabc.org  benefits section.

“Global Medical Services is very pleased to partner with the PGA of BC and its members. We are committed to safety and in particular safety on the golf course and throughout golf course clubhouses. 45,000 Canadians die each year from sudden cardiac arrest, and we at Global Medical Services are working very hard to change that”, says Thomas Puddicombe, Business Operations Director.

Golf cardiac arrest

“We are thrilled about this new partnership with Global Medical Services. We feel that all PGA of BC facilities should be properly prepared with the most up to date safety equipment of their members and guests on a day to day basis. The PGA of BC will promote GMS and encourage member facilities to take advantage of Global Medical Services’ special offers and promotions throughout the year” says Donald Miyazaki, Executive Director of the PGA of BC.

About the PGA of British Columbia
The Professional Golfers’ Association of British Columbia is an association comprised of more than 650 golf professionals who work at and operate golf courses, driving ranges and other facilities across the province.  Their mandate is to promote and advance the game of golf, serving the needs of both its membership and the golf public through professional and junior golf development programs and high-calibre competitive events. The Zone Office is located in Richmond, BC.  For more information, visit www.pgabc.org.

pgabc

About Global Medical Services
Global was founded in 1998 and became an instant pioneer in the implementation of AEDs in British Columbian workplaces.  Through our initial experiences in deploying AEDs, we have expanded into medical education and consulting, becoming one of Canada’s leading companies in the area of health and emergency preparedness.

AEDs, are a core passion for us. Our goal is to see as many AEDs placed in public and private settings as possible in an effort to save more lives.  Global has completed over 1,700 AED installations and our client base is drawn from of a cross-section of industries.

global medical services

What is an AED Program?

Issue

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

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

Process

Global Medical Services (Global) provides an AED Program that includes three indispensable components:

1) The AED device, associated accessories, and servicing

Global 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)

Global 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, Global 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.

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