Monthly Archives: November 2018

Saving Lives with Drone Delivery of AEDs

Transforming Emergency Cardiac Care with Drone-Delivered AEDs

You may have heard a thing or two about Amazon’s plans to use drones to deliver packages to your doorstep, but far more intriguing to all of us here at Cardio Partners and AED.com is the potential for drones to save lives.

We’ve spent some time discussing best Automated External Defibrillator (AED) practices including Finding the Best Location for Your AED and the importance of CPR and AED training, but perhaps the ultimate best practice and the biggest step we can take to improve sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival odds comes in the form of drone technology.

Jeremy Sherlock, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engineer at Alare Technologies, agrees. In a recent telephone interview, Sherlock noted that when it comes to cardiac arrest, “Every minute counts. Multi-rotor drones with hover capabilities have the ability to carry AEDs virtually anywhere. And, with an AED delivery service, communities will always have access to a rescue-ready AED, 24/7.”

Reducing the Time Between SCA and Defibrillation

Using drones to carry AEDs to people who are experiencing SCA could dramatically curtail the critical time between cardiac arrest and the first shock from an AED.

The more time a person spends in cardiac arrest before treatment, the lower their chance of survival becomes. The average response time for traditional first responders once 911 is called is 8-12 minutes. For every minute that defibrillation is delayed, survival decreases by 7-10% (American Red Cross).

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen across the United States outside of a hospital setting. In an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) event, a person’s chance of survival is about 1 in 10. Reducing time to defibrillation is the most important factor for increasing survival in OHCA.

In a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June, researchers noted that drone-delivered AEDs may beat ambulance trip times to the scenes of cardiac arrests.

“Unmanned aerial systems, commonly called drones, can be activated by a dispatcher and sent to an address provided by a 911 caller. The drone may carry an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the location of an OHCA so that a bystander can detach and use it. Theoretical geographical information system models have shown that drones carrying an AED can reduce response times in rural areas,” (jamanetwork.com).

Benefits of Using Drones to Deliver AEDs

Although not a reality quite yet, there are a number of potential benefits to delivering AEDs by drone.

Drone-Delivered AEDs are Speedy

Perhaps the most significant benefit is speed. Prototype medical drones can fly up to 62 mph and can fly directly to a victim’s location using a bystander’s cell phone GPS as the delivery target (U.S. Fire Administration).

Drone-Delivered AEDs Can Serve Communities Without Public-Access AED

“It really doesn’t require a whole lot of infrastructure. The AED would be sitting in a drone at all times, always rescue-ready. If you have a relatively large city, it would take just a few stations to have the whole city covered,” said Sherlock.

For communities without the resources to implement a public-access defibrillation program, drone-delivered AEDs can be an extremely cost-effective way to fill a public health need.

Drones Can Service Hard-to-Reach Locations

Whether an individual has collapsed in the thick of a traffic jam, on a high-rise balcony, or at home or in the middle of a remote national park or in a rural location, if there’s a cell signal, a drone-delivered AED has the potential to save a life.

“These heavy-lift, multi-rotor drones have hover capabilities and can go just about anywhere,” said Sherlock.

When Will Drone-Delivered AEDs Become Reality?

Soon. Very, very soon. Earlier this fall, the City of Reno and Flirtey, a drone delivery service, successfully completed first flights of a new drone as part the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP). The specialized, next-generation drone is capable of carrying heavier payloads further than ever before.

“Although we may be a couple of years from this becoming a viable technology, that has a lot more to do with FAA regulations than with the aircraft itself. We have the aircraft that’s capable of carrying this kind of weight and covering a very large area,” said Sherlock. “For safety reasons, however, current FAA regulations mandate that drone pilots must keep the aircraft within line of sight and they must be available to take manual control of the aircraft at any time. Obviously, that will have to change.”

Here at Cardio Partners, our mission is to foster heart-safe environments and to help improve the sudden cardiac arrest survival rates in schools, in our communities, and in the workplace. We are leaders in emergency prevention and ardent advocates in the fight against sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). We are a complete cardiac solution provider, offering supply consultation, new and used FDA-approved defibrillation devices, and accessories. We also offer American Heart Association (AHA) and American Red Cross (ARC)  AED, CPR, and First Aid training courses nationwide.

Follow Cardio Partners on Facebook and LinkedIn for the latest AED-related news and updates. For more information about AEDs or CPR and First Aid courses, call us at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

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Workplace Wellness

5 Strategies to Prevent Heart Disease

Protect Your Heart with These Heart-Healthy Tips

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. In 2017, approximately 630,000 Americans died from heart disease — that’s nearly 1 in every 4 deaths (Medical News Today). In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds! As advocates for CPR and AED training, heart health, and the prevention of sudden cardiac death, we find these statistics incredibly grim.

While you can’t control certain risk factors such as your age, family history, gender, race, or ethnicity, there are plenty of ways you can lead a heart-healthy lifestyle…and that’s what we’ll be focusing on this week.

5 Practical Ways You Can Prevent Heart Disease

#1 — Eat More Fiber (and Less Saturated Fat)

The iconic “Got Milk?” advertising campaign, which turned 25 this year, made drinking milk look downright sexy. But just because the decades-old campaign has decidedly more star power and cache than “Got Fiber?” or “Got Broccoli?” could ever hope for, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good ideas.

The American Heart Association recommends having a few meals without meat each week. By reducing your meat intake and upping your consumption of fruit, veggies, legumes, and whole grains, you’ll dramatically increase the amount of fiber in your diet while simultaneously reducing the number of saturated fats you ingest. It’s a win-win!

Yes, we realize that Thanksgiving is on the horizon and visions of turkey and cornbread and sausage stuffing are peppering your dreams. But we’re going to say that eating vegetarian meals (or, at the very least, meals with less meat) may help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. (You’ll find that it’s easier on your grocery bill, too!)

If the notion of walking an entirely vegetarian path is too daunting, start by incorporating a meal or two a week in which meat plays a supporting role. Then, gradually work up to a few full-on vegetarian options. While the internet is a great place to start your journey towards a healthier menu, finding well-written and reliable recipes can be a challenge. We recommend visiting your local library and checking out a few titles. A few of our favorite veg-heavy and family-friendly cookbooks (translation: great for busy weeknights) include Ottolenghi Simple, Milk Street: Tuesday Nights, and A Modern Way to Cook.

#2 — Watch Your Weight

A few weeks ago we wrote about the relationship between obesity and sudden cardiac death in young people, but being overweight is a key risk factor for heart disease for people of all ages. Which is especially troubling, considering that 72% of Americans are either overweight or obese (Centers for Disease Control). Obesity can put you at risk for a myriad of health problems related to heart disease such as stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. If you’re worried about your weight, don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor or to contact a nutritionist to develop a plan of action.

Losing weight can be daunting, but here’s the good news: there’s scientific evidence that losing just 5% of your body weight can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, decrease your risk of diabetes, help pave the way for a better night’s sleep, and reduce inflammation (Obesity Action Coalition).

#3 — Make a Promise to Yourself to Exercise More

New Federal physical activity guidelines released on earlier this week recommend that adults “…complete at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week, along with strength training twice a week. They also suggest balance training for older people and, for the first time, urge kids between the ages of 3 and 5 to be active for at least three hours a day, an acknowledgment that even small children run the risk of being too sedentary these days” (New York Times).

Staying active and fit can lower your blood pressure, help you lose or maintain your weight, lower your cholesterol, help control your blood sugar, and reduce your stress levels.

Okay, we all know why exercise is good for us, but only 1 in 5 adults and teens get enough exercise. Yikes!

If you’re sedentary, start by simply getting up more frequently and moving around. Invest in a pedometer, Fitbit, or step-counting app to help you achieve your fitness goals. Soon, you’ll find yourself taking the stairs, rather than the elevator and parking as far away from the entrance as possible. Every step counts, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly they add up!

Once you’ve hit your 10,000 steps-per-day goal, set your sites on some cardio and weight training. Make exercising social by going to a class at the gym or by enlisting a friend to work out or walk with you. If you’re the solitary sort, go for a meditative walk or run. Either way, be consistent but be willing cut yourself some slack; if there are days when fitting in 30 minutes of exercise seems impossible, try to fit in a few 10-minute exercise breaks throughout the day.

You may want to speak with your physician before starting an exercise program.

#4 — Read Labels

Who knew that reading was such a great strategy for preventing heart disease?! Following a heart-healthy diet means keeping a close eye on your sodium, sugar, and fat intake, since these are tied to heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. What better way to watch what you eat than to read the fine print?

Generally speaking, pre-packaged foods aren’t as healthy as meals and snacks that are prepared fresh from whole ingredients. While you’re paying attention to calories, fats, sodium, and sugar, be sure to keep an eye on serving sizes! Hint: beverages can be a surprising source of sugar and sodium. Eliminating soda, energy drinks, supermarket smoothies, and juices can do wonders for your daily calorie intake.

#5 — Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Poor sleep is tied to a number of risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, heart failure, and sleep apnea. For many, getting a good night’s sleep (that’s 7-9 hours for adults) is harder than it sounds. Invest in a white noise machine, avoid afternoon coffee runs and evening chocolate binges, turn off the TV, go to sleep at the same time every night, and avoid alcohol before bedtime.

Ready to promote heart-healthy choices and cardiac awareness at your workplace? Contact us to learn more about our blended or traditional CPR and First Aid training courses. Call our team at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

 

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Join Cardio Partners for the Great American Smokeout on November 15

Be inspired to quit. Make today the day for a healthier you.

Although the numbers of American adults who smoke recently hit its lowest point since the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) began tracking smoking statistics in 1965 (American Cancer Society), 34.3 million adults in the United States still smoked cigarettes in 2017 and 47.4 million people used some type of tobacco product. Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the country. An estimated 480,000 American adults die from cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke exposure every year (American Cancer Society).

Cigarette smoking is a known risk factor for sudden cardiac death, and here at Cardio Partners and AED.com we’re all about reducing the number of Americans who die from cardiac arrest each year. Whether we accomplish that by advocating for CPR Training, AED Drills in schools, urging early screening for cardiovascular risk factors, or supporting great causes like the Great American Smokeout, we’re all in.

While the numbers are stunning and the health benefits are undeniable, statistics and scare tactics alone are rarely enough to convince a smoker to quit. Certainly, quitting smoking is the right move, but as any former smoker will tell you, it’s really hard to do.  

So make November 15 the day you do it. The Great American Smokeout is the perfect opportunity to seek the counseling and support you need to succeed. The American Cancer Society notes that finding the right support or getting help through medications may double or even triple your chance of quitting successfully.

Quitting Smoking is Hard. Make a Plan.

Nicotine addiction is one of the strongest and deadliest additions. Quitting smoking takes dedication, endurance, self-control, and perhaps most importantly, a plan. The American Cancer Society encourages smokers to speak to their pharmacist or physician to come up with a strategy that’s right for them based on their daily nicotine intake and lifestyle.

Find the Resources and Support that Work for You

Some may prefer to gradually taper off their cigarette intake while others may have a better chance for success by quitting cold turkey. Some may prefer to quit with a friend while others may prefer the help of an app. Regardless of your preferences, there’s plenty of research that shows that smokers are most successful in their cessation efforts when they have several different support options, such as:

How to Manage Cigarette Cravings

Even if you have a solid plan and you’ve discussed possible medications with your doctor, the urge to smoke can strike at any time. Resisting a powerful craving is one of the toughest things a smoker can do. Even former smokers with years of smoke-free anniversaries under their belts still do battle with cigarette cravings. We’ve polled a few former smokers and have put together a list of alternatives that have the stamp of approval from our team.

  • Go for a walk or run — and keep moving until the urge passes
  • Make a call to a local quitline
  • Try deep breathing or meditation
  • Call or text a friend
  • Think of all reasons why you quit in the first place
  • Remind yourself that you’ve come so far
  • Believe that you can resist the urge
  • Make an appointment with an acupuncturist
  • Chew gum
  • Pop a tart vitamin C drop into your mouth
  • Eat a crunchy, healthy fruit or vegetable snack
  • Reward yourself with a small treat for fending off a craving
  • Calculate how much money you’ve saved by not smoking
  • Make a playlist of your favorite songs and listen to it whenever a craving strikes
  • Stay busy
  • Go someplace (like a movie theater or restaurant) where smoking is prohibited
  • Distract yourself by doing a good deed (picking up litter, making a donation to your favorite charity)

We wish you good luck and strength in your quest to quit! Believe that you can, and you can do it. For more information on sudden cardiac arrest, AEDs, or CPR training, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

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