Transportation Liabilities: Sudden Cardiac Arrest without an AED Onsite

August 10, 2009


Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is one of the leading causes of death in this country. According to the American Heart Association, SCA claims the lives of over 250,000 people each year – more than all forms of cancer combined.

There is a 4-minute window to defibrillate a person back to life. With paramedics often unable to get to the scene in that time, lives are lost.”A million things can occur to delay 911 responses, such as traffic and remote locations that make it impossible for a paramedic to get to a victim on time,” says Dave Magruder, a former firefighter and paramedic who now trains people on using AEDs. “And for every minute a person experiences SCA without defibrillation, his or her survival rate drops by 7 to 10 percent.”

If a customer suffers Sudden Cardiac Arrest, are you at risk for not having a defibrillator on hand? The answer to this question is of course a topic of some interest to all in the transportation industry today. The consensus among many experts today, is that increasingly your company is in jeopardy after this type of situation. Because of the litigious nature of our society a perception exists, in the mind of the public, that transportation industry providers should be prepared for such eventualities. The Massachusetts Transit Authority $3.9Million lawsuit settlement is a perfect example of the liability you face. The industry clearly is setting a standard of practice to provide AEDs to their customers.

The $3.9 million settlement in case is alleging that MBTA commuter train personnel failed to stop the train to seek emergency medical attention for a passenger suffering cardiac arrest, despite repeated requests and warnings by the other passengers that the man was not breathing and required immediate medical attention. Instead, the train personnel continued to make the scheduled stops and allowed nearly 20 minutes to pass before eventually arriving at the final destination. Tragically, emergency medical attention was provided too late and the passenger died shortly thereafter. “Family settles with ‘T,’ Amtrak for $3.9 million

Is it worth risking a life to not be fully prepared by not having an AED or because you are worried about AED liability? Of course it isn’t.

For information on Think Safe’s AED solutions contact our AED Expert James Moroney.


5 Basic Steps to Emergency Preparedness – and how we make this easy!

August 7, 2009


CarePages is a site out there that allows people to submit stories of times when they were patients going through a challenge. Recently there was a story by Linda Foster, MA (medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH) that covered why basic training and first aid supplies will go a long way toward giving you a greater comfort level as a caregiver. The blue shows how Think Safe makes things even easier!

1. Take a CPR class. You can use CPR to revive someone whose heart has stopped beating or who has stopped breathing. Bill Guerra, RN, BSN, of the Seven Hills Surgery Center in Henderson, Nev., recommends that all caregivers take a CPR class so you understand the ABCs of emergency response: A (airway), B (breathing), and C (circulation).

Then, keep refreshing on it.  Frequency and repetition are the best bets to being prepared.  Let ResQr First Aid & CPR Coach help you be prepared and be a hero with our interactive quick and simple software solution for iPhones or smartphones. Or, refer to our Emergency Instruction Device (EID) for an instant CPR course at your fingertips.

2. Learn the Heimlich maneuver. CPR training also involves learning the Heimlich maneuver — how to clear someone’s airway in the event a foreign object or food becomes lodged in the throat. Attempting the Heimlich maneuver without proper training can injure your loved one. Visit the American Heart Association Web site to learn about the Heimlich maneuver and where to take a CPR class. Also, find more on the warning signs of heart attack and stroke.

Again, keep refreshing on it!

3. Maintain a well-stocked first aid kit. Thoroughly read the manual as soon as you buy your first aid kit. Check monthly to make certain you have adequate supplies, and replace any items that may have expired. An ear thermometer may be the best choice if your loved one might accidentally bite down on an oral thermometer. Keep a second first aid kit in your car; keep both out of the reach of children.

Check out our innovative First Voice Cube for consumers or smaller companies and organizations.  For companies in remote areas or with higher risks of injury, the infamous, solution-based First Voice SET Systems provide confidence and efficiency to any employee in a rescuer situation.

4. Create a medical provider list and keep copies handy. “Always have all doctors’ numbers in a central, convenient place; put one copy of the list in your purse or wallet and one on the refrigerator. Include a list of all medications and other health facts and conditions. Make another list of family members to notify,” says Guerra. When applicable, have phone numbers of people who can watch your children or pets and secure your home, should you need to take your loved one to the emergency room.

The ResQr Medtag iPhone app allows all this information to be accessible at your fingertips with your iPod Touch or iPhone.

5. Buy an automatic blood pressure cuff. You can buy a good one at any local drug store. Learn how to use it and practice using it regularly. On regular doctor visits, take the cuff with you to check its accuracy against the physician’s blood pressure monitor and to ensure you are using it correctly.

Individual medical or first aid supplies can be purchased from Think Safe online or by calling 888-473-1777.  We build custom kits or can reduce your costs versus buying at a retail store.

4 Steps to Take in an Emergency Situation

And let the EID walk you through each step as you get only the instructions and reminders that you need for any emergency!  The following steps are included in all EID protocols, ensuring your organization is limiting its liability and work comp costs.

Keeping your wits about you will be key, should an emergency arise. Practice these steps so that you’ll know exactly what to do in an emergency:

1. Assess the situation. Is your loved one bleeding or did he have a blow to the head, a fall, or an allergic reaction? Is he experiencing any symptom specifically related to his illness? What were you both doing just prior to the emergency? Is he responsive? Are his pupils enlarged and are they the same size? Was there a complaint of pain or anything else relevant? What is different or unusual about your loved one? “Observe, observe, observe,” says Guerra in anticipation of calling 911.

2. Call 911. Do this when you have the even slightest hint that your loved one is facing a life-threatening emergency. “A call to 911 is the best thing in any emergency,” says Guerra. Do not attempt to take anyone with a potentially serious problem to the hospital yourself; instead, call 911 immediately. Give the 911 operator as much information as you can, so that emergency personnel can be fully prepared to assist your loved one when they arrive, says Guerra. It’s crucial to accurately describe the situation and speak slowly and clearly when talking with the 911 operator. Mention any pre-existing conditions, such as a history of heart attack, diabetes, a bleeding disorder, or asthma.

3. Loosen any tight clothing. Make sure your loved one has nothing constricting the airways, like a restrictive shirt or tie, and keep them in a comfortable position while you wait for help.

4. Comfort and communicate. Talk to your loved one until 911 arrives. Guerra recommends that you keep your loved one awake by talking to them, but don’t encourage them to talk. Take slow, deep breaths to help yourself stay calm as well.

For a caregiver, an emergency can be both alarming and frightening, but when you’re prepared, you can make a tremendous difference in your loved one’s well-being.

Accomplishing the climb of a lifetime.

August 3, 2009

I have a really cool story on accomplishments. I love this topic.

I have been reflecting a bit on life and its journey, and I happened to be thinking about my in-laws. The pair are amazing, rarely pausing a moment as they bound back and forth from Florida (winter/spring) to Iowa (summer/fall) and all the while staying active with tennis and attending the numerous family and community events that are the result of having eight offspring and successful educator careers. My mother-in-law is going through painful double knee replacement recovery but has been a tremendous pillar through it. Despite the pain she somehow manages to worry and think about others. Two weeks before the surgery she was traveling to the Portland Coast for a large family reunion and not complaining one bit about the pain she was in with those worn-out knees.

Tom Wickham holding the US Open trophy

My father-in-law, during that same trip, climbed Mount St. Helens – two days before he turned 70 years old! That is an elevation of 8,365 feet (2,550 m) and he climbed it in one day with his son and grandson. Three generations climbing together, and none of them “mountaineers” – but all of them adventure seekers. According to his grandson (my nephew Blaine), when they checked the records of those whom had climbed to the peak, the next closest in age was 65. That is quite an accomplishment. The real accomplishment is that he climbed it in tennis shoes and hadn’t decided to climb it until the day before. He did not prepare, he did not dwell on it – he just did it.

“It has long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sit back and let things happen to them. They go out and happen to things.” source

Congratulations Tom on this accomplishment – if you ever wonder how you got such a good stack of kids just look at your wife and look in the mirror!

Think Safe President, Paula Wickham