Hypothermia is a medical emergency that happens when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. This causes a dangerously low body temperature, which can cause severe damage. The average body temperature is around 37 C (98.6 F). Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls below 35 C (95 F).
When your body temperature is too low, our heart, nervous system and other vital organs can’t function properly. If Hypothermia is Left untreated, it can lead to failure of your heart and respiratory system and, eventually, death. How Do You Get Hypothermia? You can get Hypothermia from being exposed to cold weather or submerged in cold water for extended periods.
What To Do If You Have Hypothermia?
The first course of action is to warm the body back up to normal body temperature.
Cover any exposed areas of skin, go inside or to the warmest location available to you.
What are the Symptoms of Hypothermia?
Lack of Coordination
Inability to move fingers/extremities
Cold & Red Skin
Typically symptoms come on gradually, and often the person is not aware that they are experiencing these conditions. Confusion and numbness can distort a person’s perceptions of what is happening o their body. If you suspect someone might have Hypothermia, ask them if they are okay and help get them to a place to warm up. If the person is unconscious, call 9-1-1 immediately.
While you are waiting for emergency services, if possible, gently move the person inside and remove any wet/frozen clothing and replacing it with a warmer coat or blanket.
Bystanders using CPR and an AED save up to 30 000 + lives a year. The use of these things together can very often be the difference in life or death of a cardiac event such as sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is the procedure of performing chest compressions and rescue breaths. This keeps oxygen pumping to vital organs until EMS arrives. AED is an Automated External Defibrillator, these are portable machines that can measure a person’s heartbeat and detect if it has stopped, and administer a sock in efforts to restart the heart.
The combination of these two things can raise survival rates from 20% to up to 60% or more.
Using CPR To Save A Life
The success of the CPR does vary from each situation and is not guaranteed however many times, CPR alone or CPR with an AED can save the person’s life, and should be attempted if possible.
Performing CPR and using an AED is very easy to do. There are reports of children successfully saving lives by performing chest compressions (see examples here) with little actual training.
AEDs are very user-friendly. They come with easy to follow directions, units such as the Zoll AEDs we distribute provide CPR assistance with a built-in technology that can sense the depth and rate of your compressions and has audio prompts and an easy to read screen that can provide feedback and advice such as push harder, on the CPR.
How Do You Perform CPR?
Before starting First Aid & CPR, assess that the scene is safe enough for you to do so without putting yourself or the patient in additional risk.
911 – AED – CPR
It is essential for 911 to be called immediately. If possible assign someone to call 911 and retrieve the AED as soon as possible.
If you are alone, call 911 first, get the AED and then begin rescue efforts. The 911 operator will help you with CPR until EMS arrives.
Tap them on the shoulder and ask “Are You Ok?”
Open Airway. It is ideal for the patient to be lying on their back. Tilt their head slightly to lift the chin.
Check For Breathing. Listen (for no longer than 10 seconds) for breathing. If the person is not breathing, begin CPR.
If you’re not trained in CPR it is advised to not do the breaths if you’re not already familiar with how to give them. If you are CPR certified or confident in your ability to; then proceed with rescue breaths.
See how to perform rescue breaths below.
Steps Of CPR
Position. Interlock fingers, Center Of Patients Chest. Interlock your fingers and place the heel of your hand on the center of their chest, interlock your fingers by placing the heel of your other hand, on top of the other hand. Keep your arms straight, keep your fingers raised so they do not touch the patient.
Compressions should be done with force and speed. Compressions should be 2” deep and done at a pace of 100 compressions a minute. If you are giving rescue breaths, do 30 compressions, and then deliver 2 rescue breaths.
How To Give Rescue Breaths
If you are not familiar already or haven’t been properly trained, it is advised to continue with CPR. If performing breaths follow these instructions.
Open Airways Make sure the head is tilted and chin lifted slightly.
Pinch the nostrils closed with one hand, and support the chin with the other.
Take a normal breath and place your mouth over theirs, making sure it is sealed so no air gets out.
Blow into the person’s mouth to make the chest rise, watch it fall. Deliver 2 rescue breaths and then continue with compressions.
Continue CPR until emergency officials arrive, or if the patient starts breathing.
How To Use An AED
If an AED is available, use it before performing CPR. Many AED units have technology that assists the person with CPR.
Turn On AED. Follow the included instructions.
Place Pads On the Chest & Push Analyze
Administer Shock (If Advised)*
Place the pads according to the AEDs instructions on the chest. Push the analyze button and let AED read the patient’s heartbeat. If no heartbeat is detected, the AED will inform you to administer a shock. If the AED prompts you to, push the shock button.
If no shock is required, the AED will inform you. Begin CPR after use.
Always make sure that you can do this without putting yourself or the patient in further danger. Ensure that the scene is safe from any hazards and that performing CPR won’t further injure the individual. Always call 9-1-1 first (or assign someone to) the operator will assist you in CPR until officials arrive. You do not need to be officially certified to perform CPR on someone, you just need to understand what you are doing, and be able to do it confidently.
In this segment of Everyday Heroes, a brave individual saves a woman in a moving vehicle using CPR that he learned on The Office.
Not All Heroes Wear Capes
In Everyday Heroes, Operation Heart Heal outlines stories of everyday people saving other everyday people. The amount of lives saved by bystanders using First Aid measures such as CPR and AED use has increased significantly over the years.
Using CPR in a life or death situation can be intimidating, and many people do not feel comfortable unless they have official CPR training. While proper training is recommended, it is not necessary to be able to successfully save a life using CPR. CPR is easy to use, and with this trick highlighted in The Office, easy to remember.
Belive some things you see on TV
One Woman has The Office to thank for being alive today. In today’s Everyday Heroes, an Arizona man uses the CPR technique he had recently seen demonstrated on the popular comedy, The Office.
In the original article you can find here, the man explains how he had no prior knowledge of CPR before, nor had he ever planned on performing it in the first place. But the thing about CPR is you never know when you’ll need it, and for who.
In the scene, the staff of the company in the show get CPR training. To help them remember the compression rates of 100 compressions a minute, she tells them to do the compressions to the beat of Stayin’ Alive, an actual trick that is taught by many CPR instructors. You can see it below.
Rescued From A Moving Vehicle
The man has noticed the woman unconscious at the wheel of her car, driving down a dirt road. He had to break a window with a rock to get to the woman, he then began performing CPR, his only point of reference is the scene in the office. With no cell phone or other bystanders around, this seemed like the best move, and it was. He had successfully saved the woman’s life and she shortly regained consciousness.
Using CPR To Save Lives
The most important part of CPR training is the technique and rate of compressions. There are many great sources of information on how to properly perform CPR, and as long as you are confident enough to be able to properly administer chest compressions, then you do not need a proper certification if you find yourself in a situation where you need to perform CPR. It is recommended to get official training as there is much more to basic First Aid and CPR that you really only learn from a proper instructor, things like rescue breathing, AED use and other techniques that can help if the situation doesn’t call for CPR.
If you are interested in learning how to perform CPR yourself, you can check out our information on performing CPR and using a defibrillator.
Eating for a healthy heart is easier than you think, and also one of the most important things you can do for your health. Proper nutrition early on can prevent up to 70% of cases of heart disease and other related complications. Without the proper vitamins and nutrients in your diet, your heart can weaken, and plaque can build up in arteries much quicker, leading to heart disease, cardiac arrest, and stroke. Including the proper foods in your diet, can prevent these conditions.
You don’t need to necessarily need to go on to a special diet (unless advised by your doctor of course) but eating heart healthy is very easy to do, and it benefits every part of your body, not just your heart.
Getting your current diet-heart smart is easy!
Start by knowing what to limit, what to start to include and making some better substitutes.
When shopping for your fruits and vegetables think dark greens, deep oranges, bright yellows and reds!fresh produce of these colors are usually high vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
Instead of potato chips, cookies, candy and other processed foods, snack on the right foods.
Cut the refined sugar and deep-fried convenience and opt for a better choice instead. Did you know many people aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables? Snack time is the perfect time to rectify that!
Try snacking on some fruit and crackers, or maybe veggies and dip for a quick snack!
You can replace potato chips with making your own at home!
Try using kale or sweet potato instead, toss with olive oil and seasoning to your liking and bake!
Nuts Instead of Chips and Candy
Almonds and Walnuts are a great snack! The both have plant sterols, fiber and heart-healthy fats such as Omega 3s. Almonds and walnuts can lower cholesterol and protect your arteries from inflammation.
Try a handful of either or both when you’re hungry rather than a vending machine special, these snacks are high in the wrong kind of sugars, fats, and other bad ingredients. Nuts keep you full for longer and can satisfy cravings.
Drink Smarter, Too
It’s unrealistic for everyone who is heart conscious to give up alcohol. If you are a drinker, you don’t have to cut it out completely. Keep in mind to avoid damaging your heart, to stick to no more than 1 or 2.
Try to Cut Out Beer
Beer is full of sugar and wheat, among other toxins. This can raise your blood sugar and pressure levels, leading to heart disease and other conditions such as heart attack and stroke. Try not to turn to drinks that are made with a lot of pop or juice as a result, these are also high in dangerous sugars and preservatives, which not only are bad for you and your heart but bad for your hangover too!
A little Red Wine is Fine
Red wine is a heart-healthier choice. Red Wine has 2 antioxidants that can protect artery walls, resveratrol and catechins. Alcohol can also boost HDL, the good cholesterol.
Getting Your Current Diet Heart Smart
Try to avoid things that are high in or considered the following:
Processed High In Trans Fat High In Saturated Fat High Sugar High Salt (Sodium) Junk Food Fast Food Processed Foods
These are foods that are fast food, junk food, greasy and oily.Things like pizza, hotdogs, chips, cookies, and other processed foods. Even seemingly healthy foods such as white bread, deli meats, and white rice might not be the best choice. These foods generally lose much of their nutritional value during production and tend to get more sugar and salts added. These foods can contribute to artery plaque and raise blood pressure.
You want to limit certain foods, too.
Try Including These Substitutions To Make Heart-Healthy Eating Easy!
Start by making simple substitutions in your diet, and start to feel the difference!
The biggest substitution you can make is cooking instead of eating out. By cooking instead, your food is usually lower in preservatives, fats, and unnecessary sugars, among many other things! Your ingredients will be fresher, and you can choose to use healthier options, which many places do not.
Try to have a balance of what you eat.
Try to limit red meat to occasionally, or once a week if you can. Try to include more fish such as salmon or white tuna. Salmon is considered a superfood it’s loaded with Omega 3s, good fats, and oils that your body does need.
Try to snack on fruits, vegetables and things like nuts rather than chips or a chocolate bar. But if chocolate is your game, Dark Chocolate is the name!
Regularly consuming dark chocolate can help reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease. Some of the things in dark chocolate, (flavanols), affect two major risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The flavanols in dark chocolate stimulate nitric oxide production in the body. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to widen, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
Dark chocolate also contains polyphenols and theobromine, that aids in lowering levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body and increasing the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
Spinach instead of Lettuce
You want to be sure to include at least one of these foods in your diet. Start by swapping the lettuce in your salads and sandwiches with Spinach or Kale!
Beans & Lentils Instead of Ground Beef
Consider making vegetarian chili and burgers. To eat heart smart you want to start limiting your red meat intake. Try making your recipe with black beans instead for a heart smart switch that will make your burgers rich in vitamins and fiber. Black beans are rich in folate, antioxidants, and magnesium, which can help lower blood pressure. The fiber from black beans helps control both cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Barley Instead of Rice
Simmer barley into soups and stews as a great alternative to rice. Barley can lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Olive Oil instead of Salad Dressing
Olive oil is rich in heart healthy antioxidants! When you use olive oil rather than butter it can aid in lowering cholesterol levels and protecting blood vessels.
Try it on salads, bread, cooked veggies, get creative!
Whole Grains instead of White (Bread & Rice)
Whole grains include whole-grain bread and crackers, brown or wild rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and hulled barley. These products are prepared using the entire grain, giving the foods more fiber, protein and B vitamins. They help you feel full longer too, which helps with cravings and snacks!
Sweet Potatoes instead of White
They have more nutrients and a little less starch. Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, vitamin A and lycopene, and won’t spike your blood sugar
Drink Water The Most
Getting enough water is crucial to all major functions, not just a healthy heart. Drinking enough water keeps you hydrated and improves organ function, digestion, reduces headaches and muscle tension.
Your heart is the most vital organs, keeping all other organs and you going. So it should be someone we take great care of. Because once it stops, it doesn’t always start again. Especially if an AED isn’t available.
Luckily, it is very easy to live a heart-smart life. These are all things that most of us are already or trying to do for our health. Including these things in your life are crucial for the prevention of things like heart disease, stroke, cardiac arrest, and countless other benefits.
Your lifestyle can drastically affect the condition of your heart, not to mention other vital organs and your overall health. Everything from how stressful our lifestyle is, to how we indulge and everything in between.
By now it is old news that smoking is a huge link in heart disease, heart attack, stroke and other various forms of conditions and cancers. So it may sound a little redundant, smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your heart and overall health.
While quitting can be challenging, studies show that soon after quitting, your body begins to repair some of the damage that has been done. So it is never too late to quit.
Drinking can also cause unnecessary stress on your heart. Alcohol is a depressant that can literally lower your heart rate, and raise blood pressure. Excessive or long term use of alcohol (think, having just one or two every day) can also contribute to heart disease, as well as the failure of your liver, kidneys and greatly impacts how your brain is able to function and countless other effects on your body’s health.
Stress in your lifestyle can also greatly impact your heart health. If you have a high-stress lifestyle, this can cause literal stress in the heart leading to weakening or as serious as causing or contributing to cardiac arrest and stroke.
Diet is definitely one of the most important factors in your heart’s overall health. What we put into our body directly affects how well it functions, and what condition it is in.
Eating processed, fried and junk foods can have negative effects on your heart, such as putting excess stress on it, as well as plaque buildup in arteries which leads to stroke and heart attack.
One of the biggest contributions to artery plaque is cholesterol and fat, as this mostly what it is composed of.
Here are examples of foods that you should eat less often:
High in trans fat
High in sugar
Considered junk food
Considered fast food
Are generally things you want to limit in your diet, not only for the sake of your heart but for the rest of your body, your mental and emotional well being as well.
Try To Include More Of;
Exercise is essential to an overall happy healthy life and body. Even if you don’t exactly like the idea of working out, even a 20 minute walk a day is all you need to start reaping the benefits.
Exercising improves your overall body health and function and can lower your stress and even strengthen and improve your heart’s performance.
Don’t forget to relax! It is important to not only try and limit the stressors in our life but to actually deal with the stress itself.
Some things you can do to reduce your stress are:
Self Care (bath, home-spa, a real spa, etc.)
Having Down Time (games, reading, tv, etc.)
You don’t have to transform your life to be able to live Heart Smart. Try to make mindful choices and inclusions when it comes to these aspects of your life. Cook dinner more regularly than hitting the drive-thru, take the stairs instead of the elevator or bike instead of the bus or car, and don’t forget to relax!
More often than not, a medical emergency doesn’t happen in the convenience of a home or a hospital. In the news and social media, we see examples of strangers saving other people’s lives. Because the reality is, many times it is a bystander who takes action. People save other people’s lives, all of the time.
A teenager in Surrey had experienced an unexplained event of Cardiac Arrest. It was the use of an AED and CPR that saved the boy’s life, you can read the full story here. A similar situation where in the middle of giving a speech at a banquet, a man fell into Cardiac Arrest and went unconscious. Two women who where CPR trained were able to save the man’s life with prompt CPR and AED use. You can enjoy the full story of that, here.
This is why it is important for organizations, even schools, and families to take action on educating themselves and others in proper first aid CPR and other emergency procedures, as well as having onsite AED units.
Emergencies such as Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone, any age, at any time. In Canada alone, on average someone goes into Sudden Cardiac Arrest every 12 minutes.
Many businesses and organizations require only the manager to have First Aid/CPR training if any. The problem with that is there have been, and will be cases where it is the manager who is in need of assistance. By taking measures to have staff First Aid CPR trained organizations can better prepare for both an internal medical emergency, and gives them the ability to help in an emergency outside of the workplace.
Similarly, schools should begin taking the initiative to provide First Aid and CPR education as part of their programs. Students can grasp, learn and use First Aid and CPR from a young age, but there are little measures taken to properly teach them. Take a look at the story of this Saskatoon Grandmother who was saved by her own grandchildren, whose mother taught them CPR over the summer. Watch the short video here.
You never know who will end up using it, and the reverse of that is true. In many circumstances, not everyone is educated or comfortable enough to be able to take the action necessary in an emergency. Having proper First Aid and CPR training gives people the skills and confidence they need to be able to make a difference.
Manitoba is home to just over a Million people (total), but with only 10 official cities, this leaves a large amount of the population living in smaller rural communities, towns, and reservations. Manitoba has many populated areas that are without any nearby hospital or other emergency medical services. In many of these cases, there is little to no dedicated emergency medical services. In areas where there is no round-the-clock emergency medical care, it is often left up to the local officials or fire and law enforcement departments. The reality is, that isn’t practical.
Anywhere that you have a community, there needs to be emergency medical resources.
Winnipeg in recent years has seen a trend of emergency room & other similar service closures in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. Winnipeg has started closing emergency rooms or converting to urgent care only, leaving Winnipeg technically, with only 3 official emergency rooms.
While these changes are said to benefit a bigger picture such as the city and health care, staff, quality of care, all of those kinds of things, it does still have an impact on overall emergency care, especially since this seems to be the transition phase from what our previous EMS structure was, to what it will be. This still leaves many areas within Winnipeg alone without an Emergency Room, meaning the average amount of time it takes to get to get to the nearest ER goes up, as does wait times and, in turn, affecting the over all quality of care.
This is why Operation Heart Heal has decided to take matters into their own hands with their AED donation program. By placing a huge emphasis First Aid Training and AED donation in rural and First Nations communities that don’t have access to hospitals or other regulated emergencies medical care.
Operation Heart Heal hopes to help by providing these rural areas with sufficient First Aid & CPR Training, as well as matching full classes with the donation of an AED (automated external defibrillator) unit.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest affects 1 Canadian every 12 minutes, and that could be anyone.
Rural areas such as smaller communities, reserves, and towns make up a large portion of our population but are often over saught because individually, they are small in size. The majority of Cardiac arrests happen at home or other public spaces, and the survival rate of Cardiac Arrest episodes without an AED is significantly lower compared to those where an AED is able to be used.
The bottom line is, if there is a population there, there needs to be care.
By getting AED units located in these areas, members of the community can better assist each other in emergencies. Having an AED around during Cardiac Arrest can literally be the difference between life and death in many scenarios. AED’s are very user-friendly, usually provide instance or instruction on use and CPR and only shocks if it is detected as necessary, with these facts in mind, we should be taking extra effort to have more units throughout public areas. Ideally, communities and cities should be planning the proper placement of publically accessible AED units in their areas and making them public knowledge. While many buildings such as large employment offices, malls, and other public areas do take measures to make sure there is one on their properties, it is not common practice by municipality officials to be making this a priority, in most areas.
For more information on AED’s including how to use them and perform CPR, be sure to stop by our blog. Feel free to share this information with as many people as you’d like, and don’t forget to follow or subscribe for updates on our blog, including Operation Heart Heal’s mission progress.
If you know of an organization that could use first aid training, an AED or other questions, including how to get First Aid CPR & AED Certified yourself, get in touch with us today!
AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator, it is a portable life-saving device used to measure and aid in correcting the rhythm of a patient’s heart rate.
How does an AED work?
The AED works by being able to read and assess the patient’s heart rhythm through pads that are placed on the patient’s chest. The AED will then assess the patient’s heartbeat and if it has stopped and only if it is necessary, it will advise the user to push a button that will administer a shock to try and get the heart beating properly again.
While all AED’s are designed for the same primary function, not all AED units are the same. For example, the Zoll AED unit that Operation Heat Heal donates provides the user with real-time CPR feedback on the rate and depth of CPR chest compressions being administered to the patient. This makes the AED very user-friendly so that any motivated bystander may operate in the event of a cardiovascular emergency.
How do you use an AED?
The first step is to ensure emergency services have been called, or someone has been assigned to call them and is doing so. Using an AED and CPR does not replace the need for emergency services, and they should be called immediately and will be able to provide over the phone assistance if needed as well.
How To Operate An AED:
Turn on the AED.
Remove clothing from the chest, cutting the material if it is necessary.
Ensure the chest is bare, and dry, if the patient is wet, dry the chest area.
Attach the AED pads & plug in the connector (if necessary).
Follow the images & instructions included in the AED for pad placement on the chest.
Ensure no one, yourself included, is touching the patient. Ask everyone to “stand clear”.
Push the analyze button.
If the AED instructs you to, then push the shock button. Again ensure everyone is standing clear.
Begin CPR after the shock. Continue to follow the AED’s instructions.
If possible, stay with the patient until emergency services arrive and continue CPR if necessary.
Where are AED units located?
As of yet, there aren’t any specific locations for AED units specifically. Many public locations such as schools, malls, and large employment offices usually have at least one AED accessible, many cases one on every floor.
How Can You Get An AED
The good news AED units ARE easily accessible, they just need willing individuals to seek out having them at their locations. If you are looking to purchase an AED you can get them online or you can contact an AED distributor in your area like Aim For Life.