Why every building needs an AED

why every building needs an AED

SCA can happen to anyone, any age, and anywhere. This is why every building should have an AED. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) affects 1 Canadian every 12 minutes, or about 40 000 people a year. SCA happens when there is an electrical issue with the heart. The heartbeat will stop or be quivering. Cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack because a heart attack is caused by circulatory and other physical problems with the heart. While various cardiac events can happen to healthy individuals at any age, it is becoming increasingly more common that younger employees, students, and athletes are experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

cpr, aed,

What is SCA?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) affects 1 Canadian every 12 minutes, or about 40 000 people a year, making SCA among the leading causes of death for Canadians each year. SCA happens when there is a change or stops in the heart’s rhythm. The heartbeat will stop or be quivering or rapid. SCA is different from a heart attack because a heart attack is caused by circulatory and other physical problems with the heart. In the event of SCA, an AED should be used immediately. It is best to use the defibrillator as soon as possible if the patient requires a shock, every minute that passes without one, that patients’ rate of survival and recovery decreases by 10%.

AED Units

What are the differences: Heart Attack, Stroke, and SCA?

A Heart attack is a circulatory problem when blood flow to the heart is blocked. A stroke is caused by some blockage or ruptured blood vessels in the brain, and sudden cardiac arrest is when there is a change or stops a heartbeat.

What are the warning symptoms of SCA

Often there are no symptoms before an SCA event.
When someone is experiencing cardiac arrest, they may be unconscious and not breathing with little, no, or rapid pulse.

Symptoms of SCA

Rapid or irregular heartbeat or palpitations
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
Fainting after exercise or startle
General chest pain or fatigue or shortness of breath especially
Chest pain, fatigue and shortness of breath during exercise or after
Prolonged shortness of breath, fatigue, confusion and chest pain
Rapid or no pulse
Loss of consciousness with shallow or no breathing.

How do you know if you need an AED?

If you find someone unconscious, not breathing and unresponsive, or experiencing the above symptoms before losing consciousness, there is a high chance you will need an AED. It is good practice in any emergency to get an AED if there is one on-site. Many times, there won’t be visible signs of a cardiac episode, especially if the patient is already unconscious.

Can I accidentally use an AED on someone that doesn’t need it?

AED’s are designed only to allow shock in programmed situations. The machine will first analyze the patient’s heartbeat for any irregularities. The AED will only prompt the user to press the shock button if it detects little, rapid, or no heartbeat. If the shock button gets pushed, and the patient does not meet these requirements, the AED will not administer a shock.

How do I get an AED?

The urgent need for easy access to AEDs throughout our province and country has inspired the website you are on, the mission behind it. Operation Heart Heal and Aim For Life have launched a First Aid CPR/AED training program with a bigger purpose. For every full qualifying class, Operation Heart Heal is proud to donate an AED to that building, or another establishment that doesn’t have one.

We are working to provide Canadian Red Cross Certified first aid training to rural communities who don’t have access to first aid training, or emergency equipment such as EMS or AEDs. To find out more and see how you or someone else can get a free AED, contact us today!

Before you go! Save and Share this FREE guide to CPR!

how to perform cpr
CPR Info graphic, save & share to save a life!


Going The Social Distance

COVID-19 Social Distancing & Cabin Fever

Canada has seen a steady incline of positive coronavirus cases. Manitoba is for now on the lower amount of confirmed cases with only 35, whereas Quebec is now over 1300. Provinces and other nations are already in a state of emergency. Most areas are now limiting gathers to 5 or less.  

However, there are some essential things to take into consideration with these numbers. We can only test and confirm as fast as our time and resources allow. Tests are minimal, and the majority of cases will go untested and recover without any medical treatment. This is because it’s being advised that people only test if your symptoms are more critical and require medical attention. With that in consideration, there remain hundreds to thousands of people who will go unconfirmed, and may never exhibit severe symptoms. We must take this into account when asking if the social distancing is necessary.

In the past decade, we have seen a few dangerous viruses and illnesses that affected people on a global scale. Throughout the 2000’s we had seen Mad Cow, the SARS, H1N1, and Ebola. If you go further back, you see epidemics of the Spanish Flu, Small Pox, and Polio. But none of these epidemics had closed down our modern world like the coronavirus. 

Across the world, nations have had to enforce lockdown and other emergency protocols. Las Vegas has wholly closed for only the 2nd time in history, the first being JFK’S assassination. In more extreme cases, the Italian government has issued threats of using physical force and weapons to shut down large gatherings and social events if people continue to not comply with these temporary laws. While some of these measures may seem drastic, many people are still not taking these warnings seriously.

People who are sick, and people who have been returning home from travel have been proactive as a whole at practicing social distancing and self-isolation. These are not the only people who are at risk for infecting the rest of the public, just the most immediate. The more significant risk is a large amount of the population right now that isn’t showing symptoms and are at risk for passing the virus on unknowingly.

The coronavirus can take up to 2 weeks for symptoms to start. In this time, a seemingly healthy individual with no symptoms, but that has unknowingly picked up the virus can and will transmit it. The average person has the potential to infect up to hundreds of people in one day. You don’t have to come into immediate contact or proximity to transmit the virus. Anyone who accepts their money uses a door handle after them or picks up the jar that they put back is at high risk of contracting the virus. This is an example of the average person. Social distancing has been put into effect to try and reduce and eventually eliminate this from happening. 

With hospitality and customer service industries closing, many people have been transitioned to work at home or laid off. 

This proactive measure kept hundreds of thousands of us contracting and dying from the COVID 19. If companies didn’t take these precautions, the numbers would be significantly higher

This is the same outcome that social distancing is to have. There are a lot of people who work in health care, emergency services, network providers, customer service positions, retirement and care home staff, and many other vital professionals will still have to go into work. These people are working hard to keep us safe; our loved ones cared for and keep our resources going. We all must do our part to keep them healthy, too. 

social distancing, covid 19, coronavirus,stay home, flatten the curve, firstaid, social isolation, quarantine
Together We Can Flatten The Curve & Bounce Back

While this measure is for the best interest of our entire population, it isn’t exactly practical for everyone. Having to follow these social distancing rules and being forced into self-isolation does pose the risk of experiencing cabin fever, a term used to coin the effects that being cooped up for long periods can have on the mind and body.

Some potential risks and symptoms of cabin fever include:

Depression or sadness

Becoming agitated 

Headaches 

Lethargy 

Restlessness 

Troubles concentrating 

Decreased motivation 

Frequent napping

Difficulty waking up

Weight gain or loss

Social isolation 

Here are some things you can do to beat cabin fever and making working and playing at home healthier and happier than ever!

Exercise at home 

Start a DIY project 

Take free online courses 

Virtual Museums 

Try meditation 

Do yoga/stretch 

Read 

Write 

Start a blog 

Set your goals

Work on your business 

Clean your house

At-home spa treatments 

Scrapbook 

Plan a trip

Learn your family tree

Learn a new skill, craft, or language

Try a new show or YouTube channel 

Play board games

Try to make every day different as much as you can, whether you’re with family or alone. 

While we should be staying away from busy public areas, you can still enjoy getting outside. It is vital for your mental health and body to get fresh air and sunshine (natural Vitamin D). If you are someone who has been transitioned to work at home, it is a good idea to take yourself on a walk after a long day of working at home before a long night of binge-watching Netflix. Give your eyes a break and your body and legs much-needed movement and stretching. 

We are all in this together, and together we can bounce back faster than ever. 


How To Save A Life

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).

How To Save A Life Using CPR

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.

CPR infographic, how to do cpr
How To Perform CPR. Share to help save.

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?”

  1. Open Airway. It is ideal for the patient to be lying on their back. Tilt their head slightly to lift the chin.
  2. 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

Basic CPR Steps
  1. 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. 
  2. Give Compressions.

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

CPR rescue breathing how to do rescue breathing
Performing Rescue Breaths. Share and help save.

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.

  1. Open Airways
    Make sure the head is tilted and chin lifted slightly. 
  2. Pinch the nostrils closed with one hand, and support the chin with the other.
  3. Take a normal breath and place your mouth over theirs, making sure it is sealed so no air gets out. 
  4. 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.

How to use an aed aed infographic aed steps
How To Use An AED
  1. Turn On AED. Follow the included instructions.
  2. Place Pads On the Chest & Push Analyze
  3. Administer Shock (If Advised)*
  4. Begin CPR.

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. 


Everyday Heroes: The Office Saves a Life

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. 

The Office Helps Save A Life

Living Heart Smart

Living Heart Smart Heart Attack Prevention

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. 

Lifestyle

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. 

 Smoking 

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

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 

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 
  • Processed
  • Deep-Fried
  • Greasy 
  • 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;

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Fiber
  • Water

Exercise 

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. 

Stress Management 

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:

  • Exercise
  • Yoga 
  • Meditate 
  • 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


Everyday Heroes, People Saving Other People.

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. 


The Shocking Reality of Emergency Medical Services

Shocking Reality of Emergency Medical Services

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!


What Is an AED? How Do You Use It?

what is an AED and how to use them

What does AED stand for? 

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?

Zoll AED Unit in display case

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.