Communicable Diseases – Tuberculosis

At Global Medical Services, many of our paramedics work in oil and gas camps in Northern British Columbia, as such, we encourage them to be prepared for whatever they may come across in these remote regions.

Throughout the year, we profile various diseases and afflictions to help further their understanding in the hopes they will be prepared should they come into contact with one of these diseases.

This week we are profiling a known transmissible disease that an individual may encounter in their career as a paramedic, nurse or other health care provider. It is our hope that this profile will allow you to quickly
diagnose common or rare diseases should you come across them.

Tuberculosis is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease. Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium, bacteria which are spread through the air like the common cold. 

Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections are asymptomatic and dormant, but about one in ten dormant infections eventually progresses to become an active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.

In the active stage, a person often shows symptoms of the disease. Active bacteria will usually infect the lungs or airways but may also affect several organs (lymph nodes, kidneys, etc).

Global tb cases

Risks

Weakened immune system – A healthy immune system can often successfully fight TB bacteria, but your body can’t mount an effective defense if your resistance is low. A number of diseases and medications can weaken your immune system, including: HIV/AIDS, diabetes, kidney disease and cancer treatment.

International connections – TB risk is higher for people who live in or travel to countries that have high rates of tuberculosis, such as: Sub-Saharan Africa, India, China and Mexico. 

Poverty and substance abuse – If you are on a low or fixed income, live in a remote area, have recently immigrated, or are homeless, you may lack access to the medical care needed to diagnose and treat TB. Long-term drug or alcohol use weakens your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to tuberculosis.

Prevention

If you have active TB, keep your germs from spreading. It generally takes a few weeks of treatment with TB medications before you’re not contagious anymore. Follow these tips to help keep your friends and family from getting sick: Stay home, ventilate the room, cover your mouth and wear a mask.

Symptoms

For active TB, symptoms usually include swollen and sore lymph glands, weakness or feeling very tired, weight loss, lack of appetite, chills, fever, night sweats. For active TB in the lungs and airways (pulmonary TB), symptoms usually include a bad cough that lasts longer than three weeks, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm).

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.

Creativity Strikes Again – Global Day 2012

What is Global Day?

Global Day is based on the concept of “FedEx Day”, an innovation immersion event from software developers, Atlassian.

Years ago FedEx decided to give their employees a designated amount of time to explore possibilities and opportunities for the future of the company and to brainstorm, and pitch their ideas.

Global Days

It was so successful in generating fabulous ideas, they now do it quarterly, and many other successful companies have followed suit, trying variations of the idea.

Their concept is called “FedEx Day” because the goal of their 24-hour blitz was for participants to originate, develop, and deliver new products, new services, or business process improvements overnight.

Global Day 2012 (held in December) was Global’s second FedEx Day event, building on last year when two teams came up with some pretty innovative ideas for new service offerings for Global, and had a lot of fun doing it.

Why?

  • Events like this foster creativity – when there’s no rules, anything’s possible.
  • Every employee has ideas – this is an opportunity to share those ideas in a creative and supportive environment.
  • A spotlight and traction for crazy ideas – nothing is out of bounds so creativity flows.
  • It’s just plain fun – playing with team members creates a fun team-building atmosphere.

innovate

Global Day Theme

The theme for this year’s event was Living Our Values. Some of our values at Global are easy to see in practical ways. Lifelong learning, innovation, social responsibility, teamwork, and client focus, are all things that can be seen in many of our day-to-day interactions.

Our remaining three values however, are not so easy. Out of our seven core values, honesty, professionalism and quality are the most difficult to put on display.

For Global Day 2012, we decided to assign a group to each of these values, to brainstorm how exactly, we can bring these values to life at Global.

vision

This year, the teams threw everything on the table, and then as a group, presented their ideas to the rest of the staff during our January staff meeting. Now all that is left is to select a winner. Deliberation is currently underway. We will keep you posted when a winning team has been selected!

Don’t Take Off Your Running Shoes Just Yet

Marathon runners have been making headlines more and more in recent years. Not because of the times they put up, but rather the dramatic images of runners collapsing and in some cases, dying during or right after an event.

Should you stay out of the race? Not so fast. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that if you want to go the distance, go ahead – as long as you don’t have a pre-existing condition.

The study looked at nearly 11 million runners who took part in marathons between 2000 and 2010.

By scouring media reports and checking with medical staff of races, the researchers discovered 59 cases of cardiac arrest, where a runner became unconscious with no pulse during the race or within an hour of finishing. Unfortunately forty-two of these runners died, and 51 of the 59 cases happened in men.

The overall figures translate to 1 cardiac arrest per 184,000 participants and 1 death per 259,000 participants, the researchers said. Those numbers are low compared to other athletic activities, as shown by prior studies of deaths in college athletes, triathlon participants and previously healthy middle-aged joggers, researchers said.

“You hear about this more and more,” said Dr. Aaron Baggish, senior author of the study.

800px-Marathon_Runners

One of the reasons we have seen an increase in the number of collapses is due to an increase, overall, of runners who are trying to push themselves to stay fit, giving the illusion that cardiac arrest is on the rise amongst runners.

“More cases showed up during 2005-2010 than in the preceding five-year span, but that’s just because more people are participating in the races,” Baggish said. More worrisome was the finding that among male marathoners, the rate of cardiac arrest per 100,000 runners was higher during the latter half of the decade than in the first half.

Baggish thinks that’s because of a shift in attitudes about who can run long distances. Even a decade ago, 26.2 mile marathons were considered appropriate only for very athletic people, he said. But more recently people have come to think of it as “something anyone can do,” and even as a healthy activity for lowering the risk of heart disease, he said. So it has attracted people with a family history of early heart disease or early deaths. “These are just the people who are likely to get into trouble,” says Baggish

In the 31 cardiac arrests for which researchers could find a cause, most were due to clogged hardened arteries or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a sometimes inherited condition in which an unusually thick heart muscle can interfere with the pumping rhythm.

According to Baggish, most of the victims were unaware of their pre-existing conditions, so he would encourage aspiring and experienced runners to talk to their doctors about heart risks associated with distance running.

American Heart Association Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, president of the , called the study “reassuring” for finding so few cardiac arrests. “For most people, running a marathon, if you are so inclined, is a reasonably safe proposition,” he said.

Tomaselli, a heart specialist at Johns Hopkins University, also said runners should pay attention if they feel chest pain, dizziness, light-headedness or unusually short breath or rapid heartbeat while running. “You should listen to your body,” he said.

“We don’t want to alarm people about marathon running. The benefits of exercise are well established” said one of that report’s authors, Dr. Navin Kapur of Tufts Medical Center in Boston. The report shows even seasoned marathon runners can have heart disease, something paramedics should keep in mind if a runner shows suggestive signs, said Kapur.

We’ve Reduced Our Corporate Footprint

Social responsibility is one of our core values at Global – and to do business more responsibly, we made a decision to proactively compost much of the waste produced at our Vancouver office. To achieve this, we partnered with Growing City to reduce our carbon footprint. 

One of the benefits about working with Growing City, is that they send you regular updates about your personal carbon reduction. In only 23 weeks of corporate composting, we have diverted 345 kilo’s of waste that would have otherwise been sent to a landfill.

Check out the diversion update from Growing city below to see what 345 kilo’s of waste looks like:

Growing CityThe Diversion Update is a cumulative record of the amount of waste our company has diverted since starting service with Growing City. The record is based on averages relating to bin size and pick-up frequency.

We look forward to continually reducing the amount of waste produced by our office and our continued partnership with Growing City.

Learn more about Growing City and how you can reduce your corporate footprint.

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