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Cardiac arrest is a fatal medical problem that must be dealt with immediately in order to save a life. Emergency help is required in order to ensure that the victim remains alive before an ambulance arrives at the scene.

Cardiac Arrest Symptoms

    • Instant loss of responsiveness whereby the victim shows no signs of responding when you tap his or her shoulders.  Even if you ask the victim any question there is no response.
    • Lack of normal breathing whereby the patient fails to take normal breath when the head is tilted up. You need to check this for five seconds and if the breathing does not normalize, call for emergency assistance.
emergency help

Dealing with cardiac arrest

Providing Emergency Help

If the above signs are recognized, you need to call for emergency help immediately to avoid death. The most effective way is to call 911 for emergency services.  If you are trained to use an automated external defibrillator or AED, use it immediately to help send electric shock to the heart of the victim to allow the heart to function. At the same time you should also begin conducting CPR immediately and continue until an emergency service provider arrives. If there is another person who is present, one of you should start CPR immediately while the other one call emergency help or finds an AED.

Cardiac arrest is a reversible condition, but the victim needs to be treated immediately. In Canada, survival rates of cardiac arrest victims has gone high since the use of more efficient AED to provide the immediate help required. The use of the defibrillator and bedside monitoring in most of the hospitals has led to the decreased number of deaths. However, something that should be noted is that if one does not know how to use AED or to carry out CPR, one should not experiment on a cardiac arrest victim.

Chain of Survival to Rescue Cardiac Arrest Victims

This chain consists of:

  • Early recognition of the problem and activation of the EMS or emergency medical services.
  • Immediate defibrillation when it is indicated
  • Early bystander CPR and
  • Immediate advanced emergency help followed by post-resuscitation care provided by professional health care providers.

Caring for Children

Children who suffer from cardiac arrest need to have their body temperature, blood pressure, glucose and cardiac and ventilation output managed. The survival rate is always high when emergency help is provided for both children and adults.

Where to Learn More?

To learn more about providing aid and recognizing victims of cardiac arrest enrol in St Mark James first aid and CPR courses. Participants that complete the programs will receive an award that meets workplace requirements and learn the latest American Heart Association rescue techniques.


How to use an AED at home

February 17th, 2014 | Posted by Charles Omondi in Automated External Defibrillators - (0 Comments)
cords and pads for home aed kit

AED rescue pads disconnected from the unit

If you have watched medical programs on the media, you may have experienced a situation where a patient is brought back to life using an automated external defibrillator. The procedure may look complicated because of the situation in which it is applied, but you can do it at home. The only thing you need to note is that the procedure cannot be applied to everyone. If a patient has a certain type of heart problem that AED cannot correct you should not use it.  AEDs for home use in Canada do not have any prescriptions. However, the main question you just ask yourself is whether it could be of help to you. If you are you are not sure; it is good to seek advice from your doctor.

Benefits of using a Home AED

A home AED is useful in case someone suffers from cardiac arrest. This is a condition that occurs when there is a disruption and the heart beat faster than normal or turns chaotic. This makes the heart fail to pump the blood in the body effectively. This makes the body organs to get starved of blood. In case of survival, the chances of getting permanent damage of the brain are very high. This calls for need for the problem to be rectified quickly. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a crucial step in the rectification process and allows some blood to flow to your brain and heart for a short period. However, it is only the use of AED that can restore the normal heart rhythm, thus saving the life of the patient.

Best practice when using a Home AED Kit

If a person experience ventricular fibrillation, you should grab the device and connect it to the chest of the patient in order to check the rhythm. If the problem can be resolved, the device helps by sending electrical current to the muscle of the heart. It will normalize the heart rhythm, thus saving your life. However, it is still important to call emergency help first in order to get more assistance in the process. You must start with CPR before turning on your home AED.

Over the counter home AED devices are safe to use. However, you will require prescriptions before purchasing it. It is also important to note that AED to start the heart can only be used on children over the eight years and who weigh more than fifty five pounds.

Where to Learn to Use and AED?

To learn how to effectively use an automated external defibrillator and know when to use one enrol in a first aid and / or CPR course with a workplace approved provider near you.

Why Workplace CPR is Essential

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by Charles Omondi in How to be Prepared - (0 Comments)
workplace cpr instructor

workplace cpr instructor

Basic life support skills can be applied in many places to save life. Workplace CPR ensures that employer and employees are well versed with first aid skills that can help save life or more damage in the workplace. Regardless of whether you work in traditional or modern office setting, employees will handle issues that will lead to need for CPR or any other techniques geared towards saving a life.  There is nothing bad as working in an office and watch someone struggle with a medical emergency, but you cannot offer any help. Despite that employees may not gain skills like the ones of first responders, they need to be equipped with skills that can help then handle emergencies that may arise in the office.

Enhance Productivity

Many organizations has set side resources and time to ensure that their employees are trained on basic workplace CPR and how they can work efficiently as first responders. Employees in any company are the greatest assets and losing any of them because of an emergency that can be dealt with is bad. Such situations also lead to reduced productivity because of the emotional damage even to other workers. CPR acts as one of the key techniques that can help a person facing an emergency remain stable before emergency service provider arrives.

Simple and Flexible Workplace CPR Training Programs

The good thing is that in the modern days the mouth to mouth CPR technique which cause concerns among many people is not longer common. The new technique that uses only hands in the entire procedure is more hygienic and employees need to gain the skills on how to apply it. Many course providers in Canada have flexible workplace CPR training schedules designed for workplace education. The course are simple to understand and can be done either at the workplace, other training grounds or even online. This makes the training easy for the employees to complete. CPR training for employees is designed to take few hours, thus less hours are spent in the training.

There are hands on tools offered upon request to help learners who like learning more through experience learn effectively. After the completion of the workplace CPR course the team get certified to offer t basic life support and gain team building experience that enhance productivity in an organization. Therefore, it is essential for employers to take charge of the welfare of employees and help them gain skills that can help them in the rest of their life.

tools for aed training programs

Tools for AED training programs

AED training programs aim to educate people on how to use Automated External Defibrillators to handle cases of cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is one of the most fatal health conditions not only in Canada, but in the entire world. This is a state in which the heart fails to pump blood throughout the body instantly. The condition differs from heart attack in that it results from blocking of veins that supply blood to the muscles and heart. In case immediate help is not provided, a victim can lose life in less than five minutes. In order to be able to deal with such situation it is good to be well equipped with enough knowledge and skills on how to use AED effectively. The device will help provide electric shock in order restore normal heart functions and normal breathing. The device has several features and can be used in any kind of environment. With the required CPR training and equipment it is possible to save a life of a victim of cardiac arrest. Most of the AED training programs educate people on how they can help victims of cardiac arrest and the best first aid they need to provide in order to ensure there is success in the entire process.

How to Choose AED Training Programs

Candidates looking for effective programs should look for trustworthy organizations that offer exceptional training. With the many options to select from, it is good to check and find the most reputable organization that offers the training at the most affordable price. The organization must be approved to provide AED training programs and have highly qualified trainers with the ability to offer practical training on the best ways to use the device. The training programs are suitable for people of all ages.

Purchasing the Devices

After completing the training program, you will need to buy an AED to add it to your first aid kit. There are a wide variety of defibrillators that you can buy according to your specific needs. You need to carry out thorough shopping in order to get the best deal. Most of the shops have experts who will offer more advice on how to use the device in case of an emergency. In addition to the skills and knowledge gained in the AED training programs, the advice will ensure you are fully equipped to handle any emergency involving cardiac arrest with confidence and in a professional manner.

Know More about AED First Aid Training

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by Charles Omondi in Automated External Defibrillators - (0 Comments)

There are several AED first aid training programs provided by different organizations in Canada. The courses and programs are developed with the aim of educating people about instant cardiac arrest. This is a situation where the heart fails instantly and stops to pump or supply blood to body organs and the brain. In case such a situation occurs without the presence of the device, the victim is likely to die. The training courses are designed in a way that the trainees understand how to respond quickly to treat victims of this problem. It is good to note that during such a situation, wasting two minutes may result to death. This calls for someone to be adequately trained on how to deal with the situation. The AED first aid training offered by approved organizations in Canada ensures that the deaths occurring out of such situations are reduced.

pads and cords for aed first aid training

Pads and cords for AED first aid training

Where to get AED Training?

During the training, trainees are educated on the best ways of conducting CPR and operation of an AED. In Canada, the training is mostly offered through public education, community forums, defibrillation programs, online courses or other media. It is offered by recognized organizations such as Canadian Red Cross, St. John ambulance and others. The content is developed by highly qualified staff or professionals who deliver the best AED techniques to the trainees.

Content and requirements for the training?

AED training focuses on hands on training and provides skills on how to save life by use of the device. All the courses in the country meet the international standards. Most of the organizations that offer this training require the trainees to be thirteen years and above. They are also required to hold certificates in standard first aid. For those without this certificate, basic first aid training is provided before starting the course. With the basic first aid skills, it becomes easy to understand and use the device effectively.
The content of the training focuses on the best practices while using the device in order to save a life. Some of the major content of AED first aid training course includes the following.

• Assessment of the patient and the incidence in order to understand the right step to take.
• How to use AED on a casualty without causing any problems.
• The general guidelines on how to use the defibrillator.
• How to keep records of information or preparation of sample report form.
• Handing over the case to emergency services

Mistakes to Avoid when Using an AED

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by Charles Omondi in Automated External Defibrillators - (0 Comments)
using an aed

AED setup

There is a lot of information on using an AED in case of a cardiac arrest. The information includes the obvious mistakes to avoid such as touching a victim during the analysis or when the shock is delivered. However, there are other mistakes that should be avoided in order to attain the major goal of the process. The following are some of the situations in which the use of this device can lead to more harm or make it ineffective. For anyone planning to use the different types of AEDs in the market, these mistakes should be avoided.

Using an AED on a child less than a year

This device should not be applied to any kid who is one year or less, regardless of whether the child is equipped with pediatric pads. These pads are designed to be used on children who are more than one year old. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR for children should be done while the child awaits the arrival of an ambulance.

 Use of mobile phones during analysis

The technology of using an AED is a incredibly advanced, but other technologies such as mobile phones or radio waves can cause interruption in the analysis performed. Therefore, it is a great mistake to use a mobile phone while within six feet of the victim. The interruption caused may make the process ineffective leading to the death of the victim. Other mistakes to avoid include defibrillating a victim near a gasoline, other highly flammable substances or near a moving vehicle.

 Avoid defibrillating a victim while in contact with water

The device should not be used on cardiac arrest victims who are in contact with water. The victim should be removed from any contact with water before defibrillation is conducted.

It should not be used when a victim is still wearing a nitroglycerin or any other kind of patch on the chest. The patches or nitroglycerin worn by persons with cardiac compromise should only be removed using a glove. This is mostly important in case of a nitroglycerin that is absorbed through the skin.

Times that AED may not be used

 Using an AED on a victim who has lost large amount of blood many not be of great help. Another instance when you may waste a lot of time using the device and gain no benefit is when it is used on a victim suffering from hypothermia.

Best Practices When Using an AED

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by Charles Omondi in Automated External Defibrillators - (0 Comments)

Emergencies involving heart diseases can occur at any time or place. Cardiac arrest is a fatal problem and therefore it is important for a person to know how to use an automated external defibrillator in the most effective way. It not just a matter of anyone taking this device and starting to use in case of an emergency. If you do not know how to use an AED, you should not try to help a victim using it because you may just make the situation worse.  Here are some of the best practices when using the device.

Check the condition of the victim

  • Before you decide to use an AED on a patient, the first thing you need to do is confirm whether he or she is conscious. If the victim is conscious, you should not use the device on him her.
  • As you try to check whether an infant or a young child is conscious, you need to pinch the skin instead of shaking the victim.
  • Look at the breathing rate and pulse. If you recognize some irregularities or there is no breathing or pulse, then make use of AED immediately.

Get ready to use automated external defibrillator

Before using the AED:

  • Ensure that the victim is in a dry area or away from any water or puddles.
  • Look whether he has some body piercing or any outline of a medical device that may be implanted. Some of the devices you should check include implantable defibrillator or a pacemaker.
  • The AED pads should be put at least one inch away from any of the implanted devices or piercings.

Using an AED

For infants or children who are below eight years, you should use pediatric automated external defibrillator. It is not advisable to use the one designed for adults. Follow the following steps as you use the device.


Using an AED

  • Turn it on
  • Ensure the chest is dry
  • Attach all the pads
  • Ensure the plug is connected if it is needed.
  • Check the device and push the analyze button
  • If there is a need for shock, ensure that there is no one touching the patient and push the shock button
  • Begin or resume doing the chest compressions
  • Continue following the prompts given by the AED.

After using AED continue conducting CPR

  • After conducting CPR for two minutes, check the rhythm of the heart. In case, of irregular or absence of heart beat, apply another shock.
  • If there is not need for a shock, move one with CPR until the emergency service provider arrives.
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