Posts tagged: CPR training

The Darius Jones Foundation – A Mother’s Crusade to Deploy AEDs

Below is an excerpt from a letter of support written by Annuvia to Ms. Monique Bradley, the President of the Darius Jones Foundation and mother of 15-year-old sudden cardiac arrest victim Darius Jones. Ms. Bradley had the opportunity to take many paths after losing her son, but none more noble than to help prevent other mothers from living through the grief she experienced. Ms. Bradley helps remind those in the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and CPR training industry remember why we do what we do.

“Ms. Bradley,

Having been in the AED industry since its infancy, Annuvia has had the opportunity to become acquainted with many periods in which an AED unit was deployed as intended, thus resulting in preventable death. Unfortunately, however, we’ve also experienced numerous stories, such as your own, when an AED was not used. That said, your story is special and touched me like few others.

I was incredibly touched by your email and our phone call. I appreciate your candor regarding the ambitious goals you have for The Darius Jones Foundation. The story of your son’s life is truly inspiring and the way you’re bouncing back, setting out to ensure that other parents are not forced to go through the same agony you’ve faced, is equally inspiring.

Stories like yours remind us of the importance of deploying public access defibrillators. Please let us know if there are any specific things we can do to help honor your son’s name and the wonderful Foundation you’re building.

Very best.

Sincerely:

Micah Bongberg
CEO

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Healthy Schools: Wellness & AED units

Many column inches in the daily newspapers have been devoted lately to increasing the nutritional value of the food offerings in our public schools. Like it or not, nearly all of America’s students eligible for free or reduced school lunch programs now eat both breakfast and lunch at school. Effectively, the American taxpayer is responsible for two thirds of the students’ daily nutrition. This is a significant charge for all of us and the fact that we are not doing very well by these children and young adults was recognized recently by 250 nation wide “eat-ins.” In many areas these well organized slow food events did encourage people to think about the possibility of offering more local, fresh ingredients to our students on a daily basis. Certainly, wellness is a topic deserving mush more media attention. Unlike reactive solutions like prescription drugs, emergency treatment options, and health insurance overhauls, or preventative techniques like health screenings, cholesterol testing, or colonoscopies, wellness is a solution to train individuals to make positive, transformative, life-altering decisions – forever.

But what of a more pressing and immediate health issue; that of sudden cardiac arrest, an interruption in the normal heart rhythm, taking the lives of 7,000 to 10,000 school children each year. What about an organized heart-in in which cardiac screenings, CPR training, and AED Defibrillator instruction would be available for all student athletes? Of course a healthy diet is desirable, but a healthy heart is much more immediately necessary for any student engaging in vigorous physical activity.

Why limit CPR and AED training to the adults in charge of youth sports? The students themselves are much more likely to work out with peers on and off the field, thus far more likely to be closer to a victim in a sudden cardiac emergency than is the coach or referee or even the paramedic assigned to the event, if there is one.

Preparedness could easily be as much a part of sports training as are the ubiquitous push ups and crunches. The audience is already there and willing to be instructed. Because of the nature of the leisure time activities in which this age group engages, the idea of using an AED device is a natural and not to be feared. There exists a huge untapped resource of potential life savers today in our own schools. Train them to save lives today and continue to work toward providing them healthy nutrition in the longer run.

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Annuvia Applies Defibrillator to Hunger

Annuvia’s mission of creating healthier, safer, more prepared communities is not limited to only providing CPR and AED classes and first aid training. Annuvia holds regular volunteering opportunities for its employees as part of the organization’s Social Responsibility Plan. Causes range from the environment and recycling, to pro-bono safety training services and hunger. Just two weeks back, Annuvia’s Operations Team applied a massive, multi-volunteer, defibrillation “shock” to hunger. Working in partnership with the San Francisco Food Bank, staff from Annuvia’s headquarters location volunteered first thing in the morning on Saturday, February 6, 2010 and didn’t stop until the pallets of food no longer rolled in for re-packaging.

When the volunteers arrived they walked in to an enormous warehouse stocked full of fresh fruit and vegetables. Carrots and grapefruit were literally stored in giant cardboard boxes and the task was to separate and box the produce into smaller, more portable, boxes for distribution throughout the community. Working in unison, Annuvia’s staff devised a strategy and appointed positions to quickly handle the flood of healthy food. Soon, the music was turned on and the event was turned into a contest!

Annuvia is always looking to strengthen our relationship with like-minded organizations and we’re fortunate to be located in the heart of San Francisco, near many of the country’s leading organizations. If you or your organization would like to learn more about Annuvia’s Corporate Social Responsibility Plan or partner with Annuvia on their next, up-coming volunteer activity, send an email to Annuvia at info@annuvia.com with details on how you’d like to help.

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How Much Caution Is Too Much?

Anthony Troupe, Jr., 13, collapsed in the third week of August on a St. Louis high school football field while running laps before football practice. Unfortunately, this story does not have a happy ending. Inspite of heroic CPR attempts, Anthony died of a sudden cardiac event related to a previously undiagnosed heart problem. He had passed his mandatory sports physical shortly before, but that physical did not include any sort of EKG heart testing. In Anthony’s case, there was a family history of heart disease evidenced by his father’s sudden death at the age of 45 after working a night shift in April, 2007.

Could Anthony’s life have been saved if a EKG test was a requirement prior to playing prep sports? There are an estimated 7 million high school athletes in the United States; should every one be tested for subtle heart defects that could potentially cause cardiac arrest during strenuous sports? In Italy, there is a national screening program that is credited with lowering the incidence of sudden cardiac death among young athletes. Can such a program be attempted in the much bigger United States with the same results? Should it?

Perhaps the answer does not lie in an all or nothing approach. Bruce Whitehead, the executive director of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association of middle and high school athletic directors, believes that such tests are indicated when a student athlete’s background indicates the presence of heart disease. This middle ground would no doubt catch undiagnosed heart conditions in a number of cases, but there will still be some victims with no known risk factors. Perhaps the parents of all student athletes should be given the information and the statistics and make their own informed decisions about whether to test or not. An unnecessary EKG would be far better than living with the pain of losing your child the way Anthony’s mother lost him.

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Healthy Schools: Wellness and AED units

Many column inches in the daily newspapers have been devoted lately to increasing the nutritional value of the food offerings in our public schools. Like it or not, nearly all of America’s students eligible for free or reduced school lunch programs now eat both breakfast and lunch at school. Effectively, the American taxpayer is responsible for two thirds of the students’ daily nutrition. This is a significant charge for all of us and the fact that we are not doing very well by these children and young adults was recognized recently by 250 nation-wide “eat-ins.” In many areas these well organized “slow food” events did encourage people to think about the possibility of offering more local, fresh ingredients to our students on a daily basis. Certainly, wellness is a topic deserving mush more media attention. Unlike reactive solutions like prescription drugs, emergency treatment options, and health insurance overhauls, or preventative techniques like health screenings, cholesterol testing, or colonoscopies, wellness is a solution to train individuals to make positive, transformative, life-altering decisions – forever.

But what of a more pressing and immediate health issue; that of sudden cardiac arrest, an interruption in the normal heart rhythm, taking the lives of 7,000 to 10,000 school children each year. What about an organized “heart-in” in which cardiac screenings, CPR training, and AED Defibrillator instruction would be available for all student athletes? Of course a healthy diet is desirable, but a healthy heart is much more immediately necessary for any student engaging in vigorous physical activity.

Why limit CPR and AED training to the adults in charge of youth sports? The students themselves are much more likely to work out with peers on and off the field, thus far more likely to be closer to a victim in a sudden cardiac emergency than is the coach or referee or even the paramedic assigned to the event, if there is one.

Preparedness could easily be as much a part of sports training as are the ubiquitous push ups and crunches. The audience is already there and willing to be instructed. Because of the nature of the leisure time activities in which this age group engages, the idea of using an AED device is a natural and not to be feared. There exists a huge untapped resource of potential life savers today in our own schools. Train them to save lives today and continue to work toward providing them healthy nutrition in the longer run.

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Individuals are the Numerator with SCA Saves

Anne Kelly’s piece, Odds of Surviving Cardiac Arrest Unchanged (KFYR-TV 12/9/09), accentuates disturbing and, perhaps, counter-productive figures related to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Kelly cites national Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival rates and stubborn statistical data that industry insiders see time and time again – Out-of-hospital survival rates are less than 5%, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Correctly, Kelly correlates this “stagnant” data to poor and/or inadequate training, even in the face in increased awareness and deployment of life-saving Automated External Defibrillators (AED Units).

Kelly fails to mention, however, that “minor” adjustments to a numerator in any equation wherein the denominator is large, will provide a similar quotient to that which was previously calculated. That is, since SCA kills approximately 350,000 people each year (a HUGE denominator) and only 5% are saved (17,500; a SMALL numerator, relative to the denominator) to see a one-percent adjustment in survival rates, 3,500 new lives must be saved! When stepping away from the long-division and humanizing the math, 3,500 people becomes a meaningful number of lives. For reference, UNICEF reports that child abuse leads to 3,500 child deaths each year.

For arguments sake, let us assume that we’re rounding to the hundreds place – after all, these are just numbers, right? Saving an additional 1,749 lives would result in just under a 0.5% increase to national survival rates, yielding a new quotient of …. 5%!!! (17,500 + 1,749 = 19,249 / 350,000 = 5%) Therefore, when we look at a societal problem such as SCA, far-and-away America’s greatest killer and one that is preventable in most cases (studies indicate with early defibrillation survival rates can exceed 70%), we mustn’t be concerned with national averages unless we’re also prepared to weigh the humanistic reality of the numbers – the numerator. Regularly speaking with SCA Survivors gives me strong reason to believe that they’d like to be counted as more than 0.00028% or a part of the Numerator in a division problem. So I ask, are the daily SCA saves meaningful and are AED units and wide-spread CPR training making a difference or are they irrelevant, leaving the national averages “unchanged?”

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Changing Demographics in the Workplace and its Effect on Corporate Health & Wellness Programs

An unanticipated side effect of the current economic climate is the changing demographic in the workplace. Long time employees are staying on the job and retiring later than did their predecessors, uncertainty about the future coupled with the fact that Social Security benefits that are not fully payable until age 66. More than one retiree has stayed in the workplace several years past a planned retirement date to hedge against shaky company pension funds.

But what of the younger worker, commonly referred to as Gen X? Clearly, as fewer workers are choosing retirement, correspondingly fewer younger workers are being hired. This change has greatly affected the demographics of the work place leading to a general graying of employees. The factors are far reaching, not the least of which is an impact upon corporate health and wellness care benefits. A shift from an emphasis upon health care for middle aged workers–traditionally a low risk group to insure– to the needs of workers previously considered “retirement age” has affected the amount of coverage employers are able to offer as well as the premium price tag employees and employers alike must pay due to higher risk factors associated with aging.

In spite of the fact that today’s “baby boomer” is more likely to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and less likely to smoke, there are health factors associated with aging such as high blood pressure and increased cardiac issues. Add to these the stress factor associated with the uncertain economy and the potential for strain upon the health care system is undeniable. Consider the strain upon the already thin company profit margin and the stress cycle begins anew.

It is time that employers recognize that the corporate health and wellness programs they provide must address the needs of the older worker. The risk for sudden cardiac arrest during exercise is twenty times as high as when at rest. Employers would be well advised to put into practice preventive programs as well as to equip all their workers with the skills necessary to address sudden cardiac arrest such as CPR training and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Unit deployment. The odds are that the longer a person lives and works, the greater the chance a cardiac event will be witnessed. The burden does not rest solely upon the employer, however. It is incumbent upon the older worker to make appropriate life style changes if needed as well as to become informed about interventions that may be necessary. This dual responsibility awareness forges the best possible work partnership, a situation where each is working with the other for mutual benefit.

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How to choose a first aid training provider

Most American businesses and organizations provide some level of first aid or safety training for their staff and employees. It is imperative that management select a firm to provide consultation, training, and follow up support that is the best fit for their needs. However, choosing a first aid training provider is not an easy task especially when you consider the lack of consistency in the health and safety training industry. Additionally, if you have a large organization there are geographical challenges such as having multiple locations diversely peppered across the country. Countless hours are lost locating qualified vendors, negotiating the investment and terms of the agreement, and selecting the appropriate vendor based on a firm’s corporate first aid training goals. To make matters worse, these efforts are further exacerbated when large offices require their human resources departments to properly vet each vendor for each office.

Here are 3 essential factors to consider when deciding who to hire to provide your next first aid training session.

  1. Know what your first aid training session will include and what, if any, customized programs must be addressed. The vendor must be able to scale based on your organization’s demands, give recommendations regarding industry best practices, and provide much more than basic first aid training. Consider, as you grow, will the vendor be able to help with evacuation training, CPR training, or other customized health and safety programs? If not, they might not be the right vendor for you.
  2. Require instruction from medical professionals with years of field experience. The people teaching your office life-saving skills must have extensive experience responding to emergencies. Only professionals who respond daily, who have performed the skills they are teaching, and who have a passion for their craft, will be able to address the critical emotional aspects involved during emergencies. Lay rescuers don’t turn into inactive bystanders because they can’t remember what to do. They freeze, allowing people to die, because they’re scared.
  3. The firm selected must be able to provide customized training at all of your facilities – nationally. One vendor, one negotiation, one contract, and one point of contact will save time, money, and allow your organization to contract and expand seamlessly as your organization’s needs change. Rather than asking satellite offices to adhere to corporate policies, then setting them free to find their own vendors and to learn a new field, the corporate office should set the standard and ensure the solution has been appropriately implemented.

If you’re not sure who’ll be showing up to teach your next First Aid training session, its likely that you also aren’t benefiting from economies of scale, financial savings, and the experiences of medical professionals who know the specific needs of your organization. By sticking to these three criteria, you’ll be the hero of the office. Not only because you’ll learn to implement the skills you’ve been taught, but because you’ve saved your firm time and money.

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Will AED units be as common as the fire extinguisher?

As a national CPR/AED training organization and multi-unit AED distributor, Annuvia has the opportunity to gain a very unique perspective on what is driving the AED industry’s growth. Studies indicate that bystanders play an important role during America’s most common killer – Sudden Cardiac Arrest emergencies.

Businesses and organizations of all sizes are increasingly deploying Automated External Defibrillators (AED Defibrillator) to provide an additional layer of safety for their employees. Some industry analysts have posited that AED units are anticipated to be as commonplace as fire extinguishers in the coming years. To help shed light on why the industry has grown so rapidly, Annuvia has released a report outlining the top five defibrillator drivers.

Five Greatest Defibrillator Drivers:
1. Significant Preventable Deaths
2. Laws, Statutes & Mandates Requiring AED Units
3. Possible Negligence Litigation
4. Widespread Adoption & Defibrillator Program Support
5. Improved Immunity Protection for AED Programs

It is our hope that by exposing would-be buyers (of AED units) to our vast research and analytical approach to this challenging industry, we can not only inform organizations of why other, potentially similar, groups are deploying AEDs, but ideally open management’s eyes to why this initiative is important.

To receive a FREE copy of the Five Defibrillator Drivers, please contact Annuvia at www.annuvia.com or info@annuvia.com with the subject line “Five Defibrillator Drivers” in your correspondence. Learn how the Automated External Defibrillator industry is growing and how your organization might be affected!

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Graying of America – Why no CPR?

Fade age spots. Look years younger with a Lifestyle Lift. Great taste helps lower cholesterol. The suspicion that the target age group of mass media has altered in an upward direction is confirmed by a simple glance through the magazine section of the Sunday newspaper. Born during a 19-year period after World War II, the generation known as the “Baby Boomers” are now closing in upon retirement age. But more and more often, they are choosing to stay in their careers or to engage in a second career of more meaning to them than to retire to the golf course and the bridge table as have done previous generations.

By sheer numbers, this group is causing changes in urban planning, marketing, and even in the English language. In 2006, 12 percent of the American population was age 65 or older. These “seniors” are senior in more ways that one: 76 percent of them have graduated from high school compared to 24 percent in 1965. Median income in this age group has increased by 79 percent since 1974.

More than 6,600 people are celebrating their 65th birthday each day. Couple these sheer numbers of better educated, wealthier retirees that grew up in an age of intense social change with their willingness to volunteer to effect social change and you have a vast pool of available talent that is underutilized. Senior centers offer a number of physical fitness options as well as the usual social choices, but why not health and wellness along with travel and wine courses? Include CPR and First Aid with travel classes. The audience is there and the centers are being built; now is the time to provide input into how they are being built and to capitalize upon the potential resources that are exist.

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