Monthly Archives: September 2010

Atlanta Red Cross’s Health and Safety department wants you to stay informed about AEDs

As promised yesterday we will answer some of the common questions about the Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). Just to quickly recap what an AED is, an AED is a portable, computerized device that can detect a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) attack and also administer a shock to help restore victim’s heart rhythm. Now, let’s get to some questions.

 Who needs one?

The American Red Cross has a vision of one person in every household being trained in First Aid and CPR lifesaving skills, and all Americans being within four minutes of an AED with someone trained to use it in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.. Businesses are a great place for one of these devices, since most Americans are at work more during their waking hours than anywhere else. Having an AED in your workplace and knowing how to use one could save an employee, customer or pedestrian’s life.

 How do I get an AED?

The Atlanta Red Cross can assist you through the purchasing an AED device. Please contact Allison McIntyre at 404-575-3079 or via email at amcintyre@arcatl.org

How much does it cost?

The cost of an AED varies depending on the model that you need. They range from around $1,500 to $3,300. There are also a variety of accessories available including extra batteries, defibrillation pads, wall cabinets and display signs.

Where can I see an AED demonstration?

The Atlanta Red Cross offers free demos of the AED devices. This will allow you to see how one works and talk to a trained AED expert face-to-face.

AEDs save lives! Paramedics and emergency help cannot always get to a victim in time, and having an AED device will ensure that there will always be that life-saving device within arms reach.

To set-up your free demo today or get a customized quote for your business, please contact Allison McIntyre at 404-575-3079 or by email at amcintyre@arcatl.org

Save a life by educating yourself about AEDs

Over the next several posts the Atlanta Red Cross would like to educate you about the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) device. In the time it takes for you to get your coffee in the morning approximately one person has died of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), and with two out of three SCA attacks happening outside of a hospital the need for AEDs are high.

In America one life is lost close to every two minutes and in this year alone about 194,616 Americans have lost their lives due to SCA. On top of that, SCA related deaths reach an average total of 325,000 deaths per year.

On July 8, 2009, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported on Art Bastianello, 64, who survived an SCA attack during his workout at Coward Family Ashford Dunwoody YMCA. A staff member revived him with an AED.

You may think that SCA only affects the elderly or unhealthy individuals, but the truth is that SCA is a danger for everyone. A sudden cardiac arrest death occurs in roughly 1 in 200,000 high school athletes a year and happens one-to-two times every week during sporting related events.

When an attack occurs there is very little time to react and save the victim; a victim’s chance of living diminishes 7-10 percent in every passing minute. But CPR and the use of a defibrillator can double or triple the odds of a victim living.

Up to 50,000 deaths could be saved each year if the proper treatment and tools are present during a SCA attack. The process of defibrillation is often seen on medical dramas portrayed on television, but now the average person can be trained to use an AED. Defibrillation is the treatment of sporadic, irregular or absent heart beats and uses an electrical current to restart the heart’s rhythm. It is also currently the only defining way of treating SCA.

The AED is a portable, computerized device that recognizes when a victim needs a shock and administers the shock to the victim if necessary. These devices often use lights, messaging and sometimes even use voice commands to tell a user what steps to take next during the defibrillation process.

Although the devices are easy to use, training is still necessary. The training will ensure the respondent knows the signs of SCA, how to operate an AED, and how to administer CPR if necessary.

SCA kills more people per year than breast cancer, lung cancer and HIV/AIDS do combined, and in the time it takes to read this article more then 194,701 Americans have already succumbed to an SCA attack, but in most cases an AED could have saved their lives.

How do you get an AED? What does it cost? Where can you get training? These are all questions that will be answered in the next Atlanta Red Cross blog, so stay tuned for more information on how to save a life.

Extinguish house fire deaths by staying prepared

As the cool days of Fall arrive, the weather will soon be getting chilly, portable heaters will be out, Halloween decorations will be out on displayed, and fire places will be ramping back into gear. With home fires being the number one threat in America, the Red Cross would like to make sure that everyone is prepared for the threat of a fire. Even though fires can spread rapidly and without warning, they can also be prevented. In 2009, the Atlanta Red Cross chapter responded to 783 home fires in the metro-Atlanta area. The Red Cross volunteers will respond day and night to provide shelter, food, and emotional support to those in need.

Prevention and preparation are the keys in fire safety. The Red Cross would like to stress two things about fire preparation. First is to have a smoke alarm. Sixty-five percent of deaths occur in a home that smoke alarm is broken or does not have an alarm in the household. It is recommended to have a smoke alarm on every level of the house, inside bedrooms, and outside any sleeping area. Testing the smoke alarm is also equally as important. Once a month the alarm should be tested, and the batteries in these alarms should be changed minimum of once a year. These can small details can be the difference of a saved life.

The second key in being successfully prepared for a fire is a fire escape plan. Since fires can rapidly consume a house, a well practiced plan needs to be in place in cause a situation arises. An escape plan should have two ways to escape from every room of the house and a meeting place away from the house for all of the family members to meet at. Also, do not forget your pets in the fire escape plan since they will also need a way out of the house. Plan on who will make sure that the pets are safely out of the house.

If a fire occurs make sure you remember three things: Get out, Stay out, and Call for help. Staying out of the fire is equally as important as getting out of the fire. Do not reenter the fire as trained professionals are on their way to assist you after the call for help is made.  Doing these three things can make a difference in saving a life. For more tips on Fire Safety visit the Atlanta Red Cross Fire Preparation.

Get prepared with an American Red Cross emergency weather radio

As the weather siren’s scream outside, there is a panic in the air to reach the basement safely before the storm hits. The power is out and your cell phone is dead, but in the dead of night you can tell that the storm is getting closer and closer by the steady rumbling of the night skies. The last thing you heard from the newscaster is that a storm is barreling straight toward your town; you were advised to seek shelter, but now you have no idea what is going on or where the storm is. How can you avoid this problem? An American Red Cross emergency weather radio will provide the comfort of knowing that you can stay connected with the outside world.

With Georgia being in the midst of hurricane season and the possibility of winter weather bringing icy temperatures; the Health and Safety Department at the Atlanta Red Cross would like to remind you that having an emergency weather radio is strongly advised. Along with the Atlanta Red Cross, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also advises to keep an emergency weather radio anywhere you become stranded.

With some meteorologists saying there will be an increase in tropical storms during October, an emergency weather radio is beneficial to have around the house. If the power goes out or there is flooding due to the heavy rains that hurricane’s bring, an emergency weather radio has the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stations, so you can be informed about the condition of the water levels, rainfall, wind speed or storm advisories.

There are three different types of radios available for purchase from the Health and Safety department at the Atlanta Red Cross. The first is the Microlink FR160 which is the most basic of the radios, but still includes a light, NOAA stations, AM/FM stations, rechargeable cell-phone capability and two different power options: solar and hand-cranked. The FR160 is available for $30.

The FR160 is available for $30.

The second type is the Solarline FR360. The FR360 includes a light, NOAA stations, AM/FM stations with a digital tuner, rechargeable cell phone capability and four different power options: solar powered, battery operated, AC powered and hand-cranked. The FR360 is available for $50.

The FR360 is available for $50.

The final type of the American Red Cross emergency radios is the Solarline FR600. The FR600 includes an emergency siren, a light, S.A.M.E stations (location-based weather updates), NOAA stations, AM/FM stations with a digital tuner, rechargeable cell phone capability and four different charging capabilities including: solar powered, AC powered, battery operated, and hand-cranked. The FR600 is available for $80.

The FR600 is available for $80.

These emergency weather radios can be purchased from Atlanta Red Cross’s Health and Safety department at the Atlanta Red Cross education website, by selecting the “Online Store” option on the left-hand side of the screen; then selecting the emergency weather radio picture where the three emergency weather radios will be displayed.

Flu season kicks back into gear

ATLANTA, September 21, 2010 – As corn-mazes, football, county fairs, and leave-covered yards fall back into our minds, so should flu-season.  The 2009-2010 flu-season was a brutal one with the spawn of the H1N1 strain which caused 81 total deaths in Georgia and had 1,060 known cases, affecting between 5 and 20 percent of residents. September is the ‘official’ start of flu season, even though it lingers throughout the year. Signs can be seen in parking lots of drug stores for flu-vaccines, and now is the perfect time to get vaccinated. Since the flu-season is just now ramping up, the vaccine will have time to kick into effect before the peak of the season.

The American Red Cross is currently promoting National Preparedness month and this can apply for being prepared for the pandemic flu. Since the flu is contagious for one-to-five days after contracting it, staying prepared is the best way to relieve the chances of catching the flu. A few of the main ways to prepare for the upcoming season are:

  • Get vaccinated, There are two types of flu vaccines that are out for the public.
    1. The shot: – the show is an inactive vaccine that has a dead virus in the show. This vaccine is given with a needle. Since the virus is dead; there is almost no way to catch the flu from this vaccine.
    2. The nasal-spray: made from a live, weakened flu that does not cause the flu. Since the weakened version can only live in colder environments, the live version will be dead by the time it reaches the warmer region of the body IE the lungs. There could be some nasal and head symptoms, but they should only stay for a couple of days.
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise daily
  • Manage stress
  • Get enough sleep

With these few steps the chances of getting the flu are slimmed down, but this will not guarantee that the flu will be stopped completely. As seen last year, the flu cannot always be stopped and there are new stranded that develop every year. Being prepared is only one step in helping the flu-pandemic, but staying alert and informed is also a step into staying away from the pandemic.

To be prepared and stay prepared for the flu, a list of supplies should be kept on hand so when sickness hits. The supplies you should have with you are:

  • Thermometer
  • Soap
  • Disposable gloves
  • Acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen
  • Alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • Paper Towels
  • Tissues
  • Facemask
  • Bleach
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Oral rehydration, or water

Other tips about the Pandemic Flu can be found at the Flu Checklist.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.