Tag Archives: Cardiac Arrest

5 Evidence-Based Benefits of Workplace Wellness Programs

Workplace Wellness

Great reasons to start a corporate wellness program

Corporate wellness programs are more popular today than ever before. In the late 1970s, a few major corporations kicked things off by launching fitness tracking programs that focused almost entirely on physical fitness. Since then, wellness programs have evolved into holistic programs that include mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Today, good wellness programs not only encourage physical activity and healthy eating (which are great ways to prevent heart disease), but they often include mindfulness workshops, lunchtime yoga sessions, tobacco cessation programs, weight loss competitions, healthy living seminars, and health screenings. Wellness programs are now standard components of many corporate — large, mid-sized, and small — benefits packages.

When well executed, wellness programs offer workers incentives, tools, social support, and simple strategies for adopting and maintaining healthy behaviors. Furthermore, research shows that promoting healthy habits to employees and encouraging healthy behaviors through on-site fitness centers or gym memberships, lunchtime wellness programming, health-centered competitions, bike-to-work incentives, and mindfulness seminars are effective ways  to benefit both employer and employee.

1. Healthy, Happy Employees Incur Lower Health Costs

Lower health costs are mutually beneficial for employer and employee alike. Some companies even pass a percentage of health cost savings along to the employees as an incentive or use the savings to keep employee health insurance costs down.

“In a case study of large companies, total medical spending at a company with an employee wellness program experienced slower growth in health costs than companies without a program. Employees saw meaningful reductions in chronic disease risk factors; and average annual savings per employee were $565 (in 2009 dollars), producing a return on investment equal to a range of approximately $2 to $4 saved per dollar spent on the program” (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion).

2. Wellness Programs Improve Productivity

There appears to be a strong link between physical activity and cognitive benefits like memory and focus. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that employees who participated in a health promotion program and improved their health care or lifestyle regained an average of 10.3 hours in additional productivity annually and saved their companies an average of $353 per person per year in productivity costs compared to non-participants.

Evidence also indicates that instituting workplace health programs can reduce the average number of sick days taken, health plan costs, and workers’ compensation and disability insurance costs by approximately 25%.

3. Wellness Programs Improve Employee Engagement

In a Humana-sponsored report, the Economist Intelligence Unit found that wellness programs help bring employer and employee priorities and goals into alignment. In fact, 69% of those surveyed agreed that health and wellness programs are important to their organization’s culture.

“They [wellness programs] increase employee engagement with the company’s mission and goals. Employees are also more likely to see their own wellness as being linked with professional success. Companies that build a wellness culture thus acquire a workforce that is not only more focused and engaged, but that sees that culture as benefiting their careers.”

If that’s not enough, there’s also strong evidence to suggest that wellness programs can lead to improved employee retention and productivity.

4. Employee Wellness Programs May Decrease Depression

Wellness programs aren’t just for the body, they’re for the mind and spirit, too. Holistic wellness programs can help alleviate depression and the symptoms of depression, leading to higher rates of overall work/life satisfaction.

An article published by the National Institutes of Health revealed that those in the wellness study’s intervention group (as compared to those in the control group) were a whopping 63% more likely to show a decrease in their Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) score.

Depression is the leading cause of presenteeism — poor employee performance — in the workplace. By decreasing BDI scores, employers can help their employees become happier and more productive.

5. Wellness Programs Inspire Healthy Behaviors and Reduce the Risk of Chronic Diseases

Making lasting changes to behaviors is challenging for many Americans, but workplace wellness programs can make a tremendous difference. Employers and employees can enjoy all the benefits that accompany healthy weight loss, including lower cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure levels, and more. Wellness programs can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or cardiac arrest, and in as little as six weeks, health risks could decline dramatically leading to a healthier, happier, and more productive workplace.

Please contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362 to learn more about our AED packages and our first aid, CPR, and AED training courses — all important components of company wellness programming! We also welcome your email queries; you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

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Key Differences Between a Heart Attack, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and a Stroke

Infographic: American Heart Association

Is it a Heart Attack, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or a Stroke?

They’re all serious conditions that require immediate medical attention but many people don’t fully understand the differences between these three common killers. Simply put, a heart attack is a circulatory problem, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is an electrical malfunction in the heart, and a stroke is caused by a blood clot or ruptured blood vessel in the brain.  

In this article, we’ll help you understand what’s happening within the body during each of these medical emergencies.

Although the risk factors may be the same from person to person, understanding the differences between these conditions can be a matter of life and death.

What’s a Heart Attack?

Heart attacks are, essentially, a circulation problem and they occur when blood flow to a person’s heart is severely reduced or blocked. Heart attacks can be relatively mild or very, very serious.

During a heart attack, an artery becomes clogged and cannot carry enough oxygen to the heart. The heart may continue to beat normally but if the blockage is not quickly resolved, parts of the cardiac muscle will begin to die from lack of oxygen. The longer a heart attack goes on without treatment, the greater the damage to the muscle.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

You may be able to prevent a heart attack from occurring if you know what to look for and you listen to your body! Symptoms can occur hours, days, and even weeks before the heart attack itself. The most common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Jaw, neck, or back pain
  • Discomfort or pain in arm or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

It’s well worth noting that women may experience symptoms of a heart attack differently from men. Even though heart disease is the number-one killer of women in the United States, women often fail to identify their symptoms as warning signs of a heart attack (American Heart Association).

In addition to (or instead of) the symptoms listed above, women may experience pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, lightheadedness, fainting, flu-like symptoms or extreme fatigue.

What’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest is an electrical problem and is caused when an individual’s heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, which prevents blood and oxygen from flowing to vital organs. Unlike a heart attack, SCA is always serious. Without the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock the heart back into a healthy rhythm, death can occur within minutes.

Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest

A heart attack often telegraphs its arrival with clearly defined symptoms, SCA, however, can occur with little or no warning, as it did for SCA survivor Rob Seymour. Symptoms are immediate and dire: sudden loss of consciousness/responsiveness, lack of breathing, and no pulse. During a cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating and the organs of the body are deprived of oxygen.

When the heart stops beating, death can occur within minutes.

SCA can be caused by any number of events, such as ventricular fibrillation, a sudden blow to the chest, electrocution, drowning, drug abuse, heart attacks, cardiomyopathy, or hypothermia. Cardiac arrest can be reversible if it’s treated in the first few minutes with CPR and by using an AED on the victim.

What’s a Stroke?

A stroke is a “brain attack” that can happen to anyone at any time and occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a clogged or burst blood vessel. When blood flow to the brain is cut off, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are permanently lost (National Stroke Association).

Symptoms of Stroke

Using the acronym FAST, you just may be able to save someone’s life. If someone’s face begins to droop or they’re complaining of numbness, ask them to smile. If the person’s smile is lopsided, they may be having a stroke. If their arm is weak or numb, ask them to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Is their speech slurred or strange? If someone is showing any of these symptoms, it’s time to call 9-1-1 immediately.

What You Can Do to Assist Someone Who is Experiencing a Heart Attack, SCA, or Having a Stroke?

If you witness someone suffering from a possible heart attack, SCA, or a stroke call 911 immediately. The operator may be able to help you administer compression-only CPR to the victim. If possible, ask a bystander to locate an AED.

You never know when your actions could help save a life.

To become better equipped to offer assistance, sign up for first aid, CPR, and AED training today! Cardio Partners offers CPR, First Aid, AED, and bloodborne pathogen training courses in all 50 states in traditional classroom settings and in blended learning courses. To learn more about our courses or to schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

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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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