Wednesday, 20 August 2008

first aid...

I'm not quite sure if people are going to find this interesting or helpful at all...but I'd still like to post about it.

On Monday and Tuesday I did a first aid course at the Australian Red Cross and I found it extremely interesting, mostly because I never did a course in first aid and knew pretty much nothing about it.

Here are some things I'd like to share, and you might already know them...or not...

- The first thing to do when someone is unconscious is to roll them onto their side, make sure someone calls an ambulance and tilt the head back to free the airway. If the person does not breathe you have to start CPR immediately.

- Australia has many laws, but there is no law that says you must help someone with first aid, so if you witness a car accident you can choose to ignore it. There are only two legal duties of care: 1. if you are a first aid officer for your workplace, 2. once you've started providing first aid you can't walk away anymore

- The basic life support flowchart works like this:
D = Danger (check if there are any hazards around and if it's safe for you to help)
R = Response (check if the person responds to your voice and touch)
A = Airway (check if the airways are clear by opening the mouth)
B = Breathing (check if the person is breathing by listening and feel the tummy)
C = Compression (if no signs of life, start with 2 breaths, check again and follow up with 30 compressions + 2 breaths if no sign of life yet, continue until paramedics arrive)
D = De fibrillate (use a defibrillator - I recommend training for this)
...remember your DR ABCD

- In case of heart problems, always tell the ambulance services that it concerns the heart, they will prioritise that case and get there super fast.

- Symptoms & Signs of shock: altered conscious state, pale/bluish skin, cool & moist, restless/irritable, excessive thirst, rapid/weak pulse, rapid breathing, nausea or vomiting.

- What to do in case of shock: reassure the person, call an ambulance, manage the injury, lie the person down with the legs elevated, keep the person warm, don't offer any drinks, and apply your DR ABCD when necessary.

- In case of a snake bite you have to lie down and lie absolutely still, do not move! Most snake bites don't kill you if you stay still as your body will start making an anti venom. If you do move the venom will travel through your lymph, which are stimulated by movement. So lie still, bandage it tightly to stop movement and get to hospital asap.

Of course I learnt a lot more, such as how to treat asthma, burns, abrasions, heath exhaustion, strokes etc. but these are the things that impressed me most.
I really think everyone should know the basics of first aid and not just assume that they are doing the right thing, there were a lot of things I really didn't know.


Hoppo Bumpo said...

What a fantastic post, Bianca. You have reminded me that its time to get my first aid training up to date again. Not too long ago I had to use choking first aid on my one year-old ... it was literally a life saver. Those skills are very handy!

diana said...

Hi Bianca, I also recently did a senior first aid course. It was very interesting and very informative. I feel if I needed to, I could actually save a life based on the training. How great is that?

tiel said...

i did a first aid course when I was pregnant with #2. it was especially related to children, but also a general overview.

I passed but left the course feeling more panicked about not remembering any of it if something did happen.