Ventria: Connecting the chain of survival

Ventria: Connecting the chain of survival

Blake Grace, director of Ventria – a company that offers connected automated external defibrillator (AED) solutions – discusses the chain of survival in the workplace and how its connected AED solution is a vital cog in connecting responders and saving lives.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the most common cause of out-of-hospital death in the western world. SCA is caused by an acute and unexpected malfunction of the heart. In most cases, an erratic heart rhythm called “ventricular fibrillation” is diagnosed. The heart stops pumping blood, and the person loses consciousness and stops breathing. Without immediate treatment with early defibrillation, the chances of survival are very low. Emergency services usually arrive too late to administer life-saving techniques, so early defibrillation by people already at the scene can be life-saving.

THE “CHAIN OF SURVIVAL”

This is the chain of events that must occur in rapid succession to maximise the chances of survival from SCA. It is also a simple way to educate the public about its vital role in helping SCA victims. Each link is critical and interdependent, and the chain of survival is only as strong as its weakest link.

The chain consists of six links in total, with four of them happening in out-of-hospital environments. Early access speeds up activation of the emergency services, while early cardiopulmonary resuscitation provides basic life support to slow the rate of deterioration of the brain and heart and buy time to enable defibrillation. Early defibrillation restores a perfusing rhythm and early advanced life support stabilises the patient. Bystanders can help save lives by addressing these first four links.

Being prepared with the right equipment and having your staff trained could make the difference between the success or failure of this chain.

WHAT IS AN AED?

Maybe you have an AED at your office, or you’ve seen one in a public space. An AED is an advanced medical device that can be used to save the life of someone having a SCA. Although they’re sophisticated, they’re easy to use – and you don’t need any training. An AED works by analysing the rhythm of the patient’s heart. If there’s a problem, it can deliver an electric shock (defibrillation) to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

Early defibrillation is a vital link in the chain of survival. This needs to be done within three to five minutes after the collapse. After 10 minutes, there is no realistic chance of survival, so it is vital for organisations and facilities to adopt an AED.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A CONNECTED VENTRIA AED?

If an organisation is equipped with a Ventria AED, anyone will be able to help save a life if an incident occurs. Ventria Smart Heart solutions allow first responders to be confident that the AED is rescue ready, and trust that the technology will deliver that for which it has been designed. 

Our unique Internet of Things (IOT) solution plugs into the AED and allows us to have remote 24/7 visibility of all our AEDs, anywhere in the world. Through this we can proactively service the AED, ensuring it is ready if required. It also allows us to connect to first responders and even emergency medical services (EMS).

On removal of the AED, all trained first aiders will get an alert notifying them that one of their AEDs has been removed from the SafeBox (our unique storage solution); this starts the chain of survival. Ventria has also partnered with an EMS provider, so the notification is also sent to them. They will then contact you directly to find out if paramedics or ambulance services are needed at the scene.

In terms of the chain of survival, our Smart Heart solution assists in all four out-of-hospital links, automatically starting a pre-defined rescue chain, and optimising response time and quick therapy delivery. Furthermore, if the AED is used, the Ventria service department receives the alert and will dispatch a service team to ensure your AED is ready for use.

WHAT GOES INTO OWNING AN AED?

Being prepared for a SCA incident is about more than just having an AED on the wall. You need to know that your AED is accessible, that it works reliably, and that it has not been tampered with. Monitoring key areas will help to keep AEDs ready. These areas include: battery and electronic function, condition of electrode pads, the physical condition of the AED, the lifecycle/age of the AED, and tools that can track and manage all the details.

The Resuscitation Council UK and British Heart Foundation (in the Guide to AEDs) advise owners of AEDs to have a process in place for it to be checked regularly and frequently – ideally daily. It may be the difference between life and death!

We take all this responsibility off your hands, as the IOT monitoring tool comes ready installed inside the carrying case of the AED. It is wireless, connects over mobile networks, and contains its own power source. The tool automatically monitors the status of the AED every day, notifying Ventria when an error occurs and ensuring all defibrillators worldwide are under control – whether in a building, public area, or farm.

A UNIQUE PROGRAMME

Ventria Solutions is a smart, cost-effective programme that allows you to be confident, connected, and carefree about having a rescue-ready AED at your disposal when you need it most. It is as simple and seamless as can be, thanks to a carefree service subscription plan, featuring innovative solutions that provide peace of mind and confidence to AED owners and first responders.

The plan includes full assistance with matters ranging from planning to implementation, programme management, and post-event support.

The AED, maintenance, management, and financing are included under the terms of the agreement. There are no additional charges for the maintenance and remote monitoring of the unit, which include replenishment pads and batteries, software upgrades, and device replacements.  

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