Illinois Schools to Get AEDs

In the legal beat section, Illinois is the latest to require AED units at schools, though there is some opposition due to the expense of the devices. From the aforementioned article:

“The bill was developed after the 2009 death of 18-year-old Lauren Laman, a senior at St. Charles North High School. Laman collapsed during drill team practice and was pronounced dead. It was later determined she died as a result of a known heart condition. Although she was given CPR at the scene, an AED nearby was never used and could have potentially saved her life.”

The debate seems to be shaping between the pros and cons of:

(a) existing AED units that are not being used vs. (b) having more AED units available to the public to increase overall awareness.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that “a” is a challenge, however, we’ll only be able to compare it to “b” after further saturation and deployment of life-saving AEDs.


Maryland Law to Require AEDs at Public Pools

A new law taking effect this summer requires AED units to be located at public pools. The law was passed after the death of 5-year-old Connor Freed, who drowned at the Crofton Country Club pool in 2006.

Maryland is the first and only state requiring AED units at public pools, after the tireless efforts promoting the importance of AEDs by Conner’s parents. Read more here.


CPR Retention

Today we got the following comment from one of our training classes in Houston and I thought I’d share it with the world to get more input:

“A follow up practice session with an instructor about 2 weeks later would be very practical for getting the methods for CPR and AEDs to have higher retention. It wouldn’t be the entire class but possibly 30 minutes or so of practicing the entire process of giving CPR and the entire process of using an AED while giving CPR.”

I really like the idea and its the first time anyone has mentioned a practice session shortly after the initial training, kind of like a pop quiz. Many have suggested a drill a year later, but I would venture to bet that a two-week checkin offers stronger retention. The unfortunate reality, however, is that training companies incur costs to get to our customers’ locations. Adding this short quick check-in would take little time, but would add on a few extra bucks to our customer’s quote. Is it worth the added cost? Only our customers can really decide….Let us know your thoughts!


EMS Response Times

Interesting article that I came across, comparing EMS response times and standards across the country. Also, the chat and comment section brings up some interesting conversation surrounding whether EMS response times are really the measure we should be after. That is, are EMS response times important or is the public merely conditioned to think they’re important? More research and opinions here. What is clear, is that federal and local standards, as well as the opinions of the thought leaders stress the interest and importance of lay-rescuers and AED units to help improve rates of survivability.


HeartSine Wins Prestigious Management Award

HeartSine, the developer and manufacturer of life-saving AED units, won two prestigious awards for management in 2014.

“It’s a great honor for our highly experienced, hard-working management team to be recognized by such a prestigious organization–especially for our international success,” says Declan O’Mahoney, CEO of HeartSine Technologies. “Our global expansion is a direct result of the team’s commitment to excellence, innovation and quality.”

Annuvia is a proud partner of HeartSine, acting as the West Coast Premiere Partner, responsible for managing sales in the western 8 states. If you’re interested in learning more about partnership opportunities for your AED sales business or if you’re interested in learning more about HeartSine AEDs, you’re at the right place. Give us a call to see if we can help! (866) 364-7940


Screening for Young Athletes: Is it Worth the Cost?

According to a new study, reported here, 7 out of 5000 school-aged athletes found serious heart abnormalities due to school-sponsored screening efforts. Screening programs have increased in recent years, in an attempt to “find” possible sudden cardiac arrest patients. There is a debate in the medical community as to whether screening programs are worth the investment. Costly equipment, time, and expert review can add up, making screening campaigns costly.

Depending on the condition identified, treatment options might be limited. What is undeniable, however, is that an AED unit will provide the best level of protection for those who are and are not diagnosed with a cardiac abnormality.

Where do you come in on the issue? Are screening programs worth the risk or are funds better spent on other programs, like saturating communities with AED units?


Annuvia Medical Director First in Manhattan to Implant New Device

Nicholas Skipitaris, MD, director of electrophysiology at Lenox Hill Hospital is first in Manhattan to implant a new insertable cardiac monitor, the smallest cardiac monitoring device currently available.

Cardiac Implant

Dr. Skipitaris implanted the innovative cardiac monitor in a 34-year old Manhattan woman. The device is approximately the size of a thick matchstick, making it more than 80 percent smaller than other ICMs. The device is used for patients who experience symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations, fainting and chest pain that may suggest a cardiac arrhythmia, as well as for those at an increased risk for cardiac arrhythmias.

As reported on the Lenox Hill Hospital website: “The LINQ ICM is a truly innovative monitoring device and a dramatic improvement over previous generations of this apparatus, which were cumbersome, required up to 30 minutes to implant, left a visible scar and did not transmit data,” said Dr. Skipitaris. “This device brings together the best of technology and science allowing us to treat our patients more efficiently and without interrupting their daily life.”

In addition to providing life-saving solutions to his patients and partaking in innovative surgeries, Dr. Skipitaris serves as one of Annuvia’s Medical Directors, overseeing AED programs across the country.


Awareness of AED Units Leads to Use

While by no means scientific, we’re increasingly seeing “evidence” that general AED awareness promotes AED lay rescuer usage. And, as we know, using an AED increases the likelihood of saving a victim in SCA. In a recent story in Phoenix, there were two saves in 24 hours. One save occurred at a show and another at an ice rink, both due to the efforts of quick-thinking bystanders. Bystander use of AEDs is very encouraging, as it leads us to believe such action can be replicated in other communities across the country.


Why Does Bad News Travel Faster than Good?

Why is it that AED recall stories travel faster, farther, and wider than AED saves, deployments and success stories?


When should PAD programs be considered?

According to the AHA, PAD programs should be considered when “An EMS call–to-shock time interval of <5 minutes cannot be reliably achieved with conventional EMS services.” Are you aware of any EMS systems that can produce a “call-to-shock” time of less than 5 minutes? Remember, this is “call-to-shock” not call-to-arrival-to-the-scene or even call-to-applying pads…As such, I’d argue that it is virtually impossible for an EMS system to deliver defibrillation therapy less than 5 minutes after a call.

While there is no standard for EMS response times (and here), most EMS and fire agencies set goals ranging form 6 to 8 minutes. In San Francisco, for example, SF fire has a goal of responding to over 80% of their calls within 6 and 1/2 minutes. According to a report, “The city’s objectives also are less rigorous than standards set by the National Fire Protection Association, which call for arrival on the scene within 6 minutes after a 911 medical call is answered.” In SF, first responders arrive on scene in 8 minutes or less 90 percent of the time – falling short of the city’s goal by up to 1 1/2 minutes.

So, if (a) San Francisco’s goal is to arrive within 6  1/2 minutes, over 1 1/2 minutes LATER than the AHA goal for EMS systems and (b) San Francisco is not meeting its own goal the majority of the time, then (c) a comprehensive community-based PAD program is needed in San Francisco (and any other community with similar response rates).

Additionally, San Francisco, and all other communities do not measure their response times based on “call-to-shock” but, typically, call to arrival on scene. Thus, its likely even further delays exist beyond the “call-to-shock” timeframe, evidence of an even greater need for a comprehensive PAD program.


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