An Airtight Seal

The Cork

– a simple piece of tree bark shaped to form an airtight seal for a bottle of wineWine cork

Designed to keep the wine in and the air out.

 

 

 

CorkscrewCork removed from bottle

Simple device makes removing a cork easy

Will extract a cork effectively in seconds

 

 

Chocolate mini egg

– a small sugar coated chocolate sweetChocolate mini Egg

Ideally shaped to form an airtight seal in child’s airway

Becomes sticky in the mouth and dissolves very slowly

Which makes them very difficult to remove

What should you do if they’re choking?

Choking Hazard

Manufacturers warn of the dangers Warning text

Never leave your child unattended with small objects

 

Some other equally dangerous objects:

Carrot rounds, coins, toy parts, batteries*

Mini eggs and small objects can kill a child in minutes

Would you know how to help a choking child? What to do.

Learn Basic Lifesaving skills now it could be your child you save

*Batteries are even more dangerous they can burn through internal tissues causing irreparable damage to airways and digestive tract

Fetch the AED

Where’s the AED (Automated External Defibrillator)

When someone has a cardiac arrest and isn’t breathing, you should start CPR immediately, then send someone to fetch the AED.AED unit

Not all AEDs have locked cabinets, so you may be able to just pull open the door.

Some of the locked units have quite a lot of writing on them and you could be in panic mode, so may not see, “Call 999 for the access code”

Once you’ve dialed 999/112, you’ll be able to open the door. If you’re not by the cabinet, they’ll tell you if there’s a unit within a few minutes of where you are.

Take the AED out of the cabinet.

Defibrillator ON switch
Switch ON
Defibrillator PULL bar
PULL to activate

Once you’re back with the casualty, open the unit, unzip, pull the lever, switch it on if necessary.

Follow the voice instructions and do whatever they say.

Remove Clothing

Remove all clothing from the casualty’s chest, cutting it off if necessary.

Most AED packs include a set of heavy-duty shears, these will easily cut through cloth and underwired bras.

If there are bystanders, get them to hold up a blanket, rug or towel to preserve the casualty’s dignity.

Once you’ve removed the clothes, wipe dry the skin.

Look at the pads to see where they need to go, if the casualty has a lot of chest hair, be prepared to shave it.

There’s a razor in the pack, use it to clear the areas where the pads are to go.

Remove the pads from the backing and place them as shown in the diagram on the reverse side.Defib Pad placement

Don’t worry if you get them mixed up, they’ll work just as well in either position.

Before placing the pads, make sure they’re not touching any metal or jewellery, including piercings.

Remove all patches and plasters and avoid placing the pads over existing internal pacemakers or defibrillators. (If there’s an internal defibrillator beneath the skin, it has failed, so continue with pad placement adjacent to it)

Attach the Pads

Once the pads are attached, the AED should now be giving you further instructions.

If you’ve already been performing CPR it will tell you to stop and not touch the casualty, while it analyses their heartbeat.

Following a cardiac arrest, the heart won’t be beating normally, it will be quivering or fibrillating.

The AED will detect this, but if someone is touching them it will detect their pulse and stop the defibrillator from shocking.

When the AED has stopped analysing, having failed to find a heartbeat, it will tell you the patient needs a shock.

Deliver a shock

Some AEDs deliver this automatically, but others require the person using it to press a button to deliver the shock.Defib SHOCK button

When you’re told the shock’s been given, if the heart hasn’t restarted, you’ll be instructed to begin CPR again.

The unit will give you the option to follow instructions for this and give you a rhythm to follow for the correct rate of compressions.

You should follow the audible instructions from the unit, administering CPR and shocks as directed.

Always continue this until medical professionals tell you to stop, the casualty comes round and makes definite signs of life, or you’re just too exhausted to carry on and there’s nobody to take over from you.

If the casualty comes around, never remove the pads, they could easily have another arrest. Because they’re single use they can’t be reattached.

Myths about defibrillators.

  1. They start the heart – defibrillators stop the heart from quivering or fibrillating. This allows the heart to naturally “reboot” into a normal rhythm.
  2. The casualty can be harmed by an AED – The person is clinically dead, you can only help them
  3. You can be shocked by an AED – You can only shock someone if there is no heartbeat, this why it’s important not to touch them when the device is analysing.

 

 

The choice is yours

Dead or alive, which would you rather be?Ambulance with blue lights

The choice of being driven slowly and respectfully to the crematorium or fast with blue lights flashing, should be simple.

Unfortunately, fear could make that choice irrelevant.

We all react to events in different ways, and how a bystander reacts could make the difference.

The very definition of an adrenaline response poses the option, “flight or fight”.

Which will it be?

Fear, by the person first on the scene of your cardiac arrest.

Or will they fight for you? Confidently beginning resuscitation and using a defibrillator

In too many instances, the answer is flight, where fear overcomes the ability to help.

In an attempt to confront this fear, we need to consider, what makes you fearful.

Many people worry that they will do more harm than good

Sadly, the fact is, if that person has suffered a cardiac arrest and isn’t breathing – they are DEAD

You cannot harm them.

People also worry about using a defibrillator.

The type of defibrillator available to the public is the automated external defibrillator (AED).

Simply applying the pads to the casualty will start the process of analysis.

It checks for circulation, if there’s a pulse, it will tell you no shock is required and will stop it being delivered.

This is why it’s important you shouldn’t touch the person, if the defib detects your pulse because you’re in contact, it won’t give a shock.

It also tells you when to start CPR and even gives you the correct rate and rhythm as well as when to give rescue breaths.

Why would you be fearful in the words of footballer, Glenn Hoddle

“I never thought I’d be grateful to have seven ribs broken”.

After sound engineer Simon Daniels saved his life with CPR and a defibrillator

If you’d like the confidence to fight rather than flee, learn basic life-saving skills – book now

 

 

 

Dying for a holiday?

Christmas Eve

Why is 10pm on Christmas Eve a dangerous time for Swedes.

Swedish research led by Dr David Erlinge, from the Department of Cardiology, Clinical Sciences, at the Lund University  looked at the frequency of heart attacks at holiday times.

They have concluded that, the average daily number of heart attacks increases from 50 to 69 a on Christmas Eve massive 37% increase. Most of these occur around 10pm, following a day of too much food and excessive drinking

You may ask why Christmas Eve? The simple answer, in Swedish culture they celebrate on the 24th of December, not Christmas Day as we do in the UK.Christmas lights

Christmas Day

Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to suppose that, 10pm on Christmas Day in the UK, may be the most likely time for Brits to be having heart attacks, too.

Seemingly it doesn’t get much better on Boxing Day either, the increase remains high at 22%.

But the big surprise was New Years Eve, with no appreciable increase, and heart attack symptoms probably masked by alcohol.Paper chains

New Year

However, New Year’s Day the heart attacks again rose by 20%. Put down to after effects of too much alcohol and food, sleep deprivation and cold weather.

Dr. Erlinge said, “The peak is very pronounced, exactly on Christmas Eve and the following two days, so, I think it is something specific about the way we celebrate these holidays.

“We do not know for sure, but emotional distress with acute experience of anger, anxiety, sadness, grief, and stress increases the risk of a heart attack. Excessive food intake, alcohol, long distance travelling may also increase the risk.

“Interestingly, the pattern of increased risk in the morning which dominates the rest of the year was reversed at Christmas. With an increased risk in the evening, indicating that the stress and eating during the day triggered the heart attacks.

“People could avoid unnecessary stress, take care of elderly relatives with risk of heart problems and avoid excessive eating and drinking.”

Beliefs

The researchers believe that the emotional pressure of Christmas. Stress, anxiety, sadness, anger, grief, family disputes, financial worries and memories of lost relatives and friends, all contribute.

Of course, environmental issues such as the “flu” season will pay a part. Over 65s being most liable to succumb, especially if they have heart problems.

“People need to be aware of the increased cardiovascular risk associated with emotional distress and excessive food intake that may occur during large holidays. We also need to care more about our elderly and sicker friends and relatives,” added Dr Erlinge.

Read about this research in the British Medical Journal

Will you stand out from the crowd?

Stand out from the crowdGreen grass sheep

You’re in a training workshop and the facilitator asks if anyone has any questions. But no one wants to stand out from the crowd.

You know that you didn’t quite understand something, but nobody else has put their hand up and asked the “dumb question”.

So, you just sit there, in sublime ignorance, possibly never knowing the answer.

Psychologists call it “pluralistic ignorance”. Typically, the only person being hurt by not asking the question is you.

But could “following the crowd”, become a matter of life or death?

The British Heart Foundation carried out a survey discovering that 1 in 3 people wouldn’t attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on somebody who collapsed in front of them.

Some even admitted, they wouldn’t even call an ambulance, expecting someone else had already done so, a situation described as “diffusion of responsibility”.

Therefore, because nobody else is doing anything, bystanders assume, it can’t be that serious, so they needn’t get involved, either – “pluralistic ignorance”.

They frequently lack the confidence to help or feel under qualified to do anything at all.

The bystander effect

This inability to act, is commonly known as the “bystander effect”

However, in the cold light of day, following the incident, you’re likely to be overwhelmed with guilt, horrified and embarrassed that you failed to help.

Psychologists studied this bystander effect, and now believe that simply knowing that it happens, may well overcome its effectiveness.

With knowledge of this effect, they may now react differently and come to the aid of someone in trouble.

If you were on your own and someone collapsed, you’d probably help.

Being in a crowd you become immune to their distress, prepared to be a spectator.

So now you know – what are you afraid of?

There’s no shame in looking a bit silly if you’re the only one reacting.

Just stand and watch and you may feel guilty at not saving a life, learn what to do and you could do just that.

Find out what to do and have confidence to act in an emergency – join one of our First Aid courses and step out from the crowd.

The Chain of Survival

The Chain of Survival.metal chain

Understanding the, “chain of survival”, can make the difference between life and death.

Firstly, nobody goes into work or school, with the expectation of one of your colleagues suffering a major illness or having a serious accident.

Secondly, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is indiscriminate, it can affect any of us, even children and babies.

Sadly, it happens too often, and how you react, can make the difference to their chances of survival.

By learning the basic life support skills you will be in a much better position to help

Early Recognition

This is essential. If you suffer a sudden cardiac arrest, every minute that passes reduces your chance of survival by 10 percent.

Therefore, if they’re, unconscious and not breathing in a normal way, don’t hesitate, call 999 or 112 for an ambulance immediately.

In an ideal world, UK ambulance response times are about 8 minutes, but clinical pressures can probably increase that.

So, by failing to act immediately, their chance of survival will be seriously compromised, by the time they arrive.

Early Resuscitation

Start CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) immediately, it makes a critical difference.

By maintaining circulation and ventilation, the chances of significant brain damage are reduced.

And don’t worry about hurting them, a few cracked ribs in return for life, seems a reasonable exchange.

Early Defibrillation

Most importantly, early defibrillation is the third link of the chain.

Therefore, having a defibrillator close at hand, changes their survival chance, from 5 percent with CPR alone, to a convincing 75 percent.

Because people fear doing harm, or hurting the casualty by using an AED defibrillator, they fail to act.

The fact is you can’t hurt them, the technology prevents you shocking someone who doesn’t need it.

Therefore, you’ll give your casualty the best possible chance of a successful outcome by using it.

Early Hospitalisation

Finally, get them to professional medical care quickly. No matter how good the immediate care at the scene, you will need to get them to hospital, and the sooner the better.

By having an understanding of this chain of survival, you will be more confident to do something.

Resuscitation Council Chain of survival
Resuscitation Council Chain of survival

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