What’s the difference between a rat and a defibrillator

Fear of a rat or a cardiac arrest

Do you believe the urban myth about, never being more than 6 feet away from a rat?

If so, you may find the thought terrifying and you could be forgiven for feeling a little concerned.Rat on wall

Rats have a bad press as dirty, unhygienic, disease-ridden creatures who really have no place in a healthy human environment.

Consequently, we immediately call the rat catcher to have them dispatched.

So, what, has this got to do with First Aid?

Nothing, until you realise our reaction to a relatively insignificant risk, from a small furry creature, is far greater, than being more than 5 minutes away from a device, that could save your life.

Fear of a Cardiac Arrest

None of us want to experience a cardiac arrest, but when it happens, time is critical for your survival.

Every minute that passes after an arrest your chances of survival reduces by ten percent.

With an average ambulance response time of 8 minutes you’ll see the window for successful resuscitation is extremely narrow.

Access to a defibrillator can make a massive difference to your survival but only if it’s close by.

rat on bird feederAnd this is where the comparison with the rat comes in, you worry about being in close proximity with Mr Rat, but who even thinks about how close you are to a cardiac defibrillator?

In the pub, at the cinema, the gym, library, at home if you have a cardiac arrest you’d want the very best treatment to be immediately available.

Ideally every venue, shop or business, would have one and hopefully every street in residential areas.

But in reality you’ll find, most defibrillators are much further away than a rat, and even if they’re not, many will be hidden from view.

Companies will often install defibrillators for their employees but never register them with the ambulance service, as public access.

AED automated external defibrillator
Public Access Defibrillator

This simple act of benevolence and generosity could save the life of you or your closest friend or relative.

If you have a defibrillator, please register it.

If you don’t, consider installing one.

Many communities raise money for defibrillators, but there need to be many more to save lives.

Remember, you’re much more likely to have a cardiac arrest than be bitten by a rat, so doesn’t it make sense to know where your nearest one is and how to use it?

Book a First Aid course here

 

Your ABC of BBQ First Aid

Barbecue First Aid

One of the joys of the summer season is a barbecue with family and friends. Sausages on BBQBut would you know what to do if someone suffered a cut, a burn, or started choking? Here’s a simple ABC, or rather, a CBA, to remember for when you’re next enjoying some alfresco dining.

C is for Cuts

Cutting meat, or in fact anything, on a wobbly camping table puts you at risk of cutting yourself, rather than the food you intend to eat.

If someone cuts themself, first rinse the wound (if it’s practical to do so).

Fetch the First Aid kit and put on protective gloves.

Next, sorry if you’re squeamish, but you’ll need to take a look, to see exactly where the blood’s coming from. Is the blood spurting out in pulses, is it bubbling out or gently oozing.

If it’s spurting or bubbling, it’s a significant wound and you need to put pressure on it with your finger and apply a non-fluffy dressing for 10 minutes, and raising the affected area above the heart to help to stop the bleeding.

The casualty will usually be able to maintain the pressure themselves.

If the blood comes through that dressing put a second one over the top and keep the pressure on for 10 minutes, but if the blood still comes through remove both dressings and reapply the pressure, starting again. Take appropriate steps to get the casualty to hospital.

B is for Burns

If you’re cooking on a barbecue, there’s always the risk of a direct burn from the metal barbecue grill, or from splashes of fat or steam.

The most important thing you can do with any burn or scald, is to cool the area as quickly as possible, ideally in the first minute.

Pouring cold water or a cold drink over the affected part is a start, cola, squash, milk, or even beer will do, until you can get the burn to the nearest tap and get the water flowing over it – this will help to alleviate the pain and help prevent scarring.

If the burn is large and blistered, cover it with a non-fluffy dressing, clean plastic bag or cling film and get the casualty to hospital.

A is for Airways

So, the risk of cutting and cooking the food has passed, and everyone’s finally enjoying their barbecued meal, when suddenly you see one of your guests frantically pointing to their throat, apparently choking on some food.

First, ask them if they’re choking, and if they nod that they are, encourage them to cough. If they can’t cough, lean them forward and firmly slap them firmly with the palm of your hand 5 times between the shoulder blades, until the obstruction is cleared.

If they still can’t breathe, you need to attempt abdominal thrusts.

Stand behind the choking person, put your arms around them, make a fist with one hand and grasp it with the other hand, then pull sharply upwards and inwards between their navel and breastbone.

Do this five times in quick succession.

If this doesn’t work, call 999 / 112 immediately. Then repeat the 5 back slaps, then the 5 thrusts, keep repeating this cycle until either the obstruction moves or the person collapses.

If they fall to the ground and stop breathing start CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) immediately and call for a defibrillator.

Whenever abdominal thrusts have been administered, the casualty must be checked out at a hospital in case internal organs have been damaged.

So, you now know how to tackle three of the most typical barbecue first aid emergencies.

If you’d like to learn more about how to help save a life with first aid training, simply click here

Have a great barbecue.

 

CPR First Aid Training

Giving you the confidence to act in an emergency

Heat Stroke is a killer

Warning sign for Heat StrokeHeat Stroke can be fatal.

Heat Stroke is when your body’s core temperature rises above 40°C (104°F) .

Your body’s cells begin to break down and important organs stop working.

You become mentally confused, have rapid shallow breathing (hyper-ventilating) and will loose consciousness.

Without treatment you will develop, multiple organ failure, brain damage and die.

This is much more serious than Heat Exhaustion

Signs and symptoms of Heat Stroke

  • High body temperature 40°C (104°F)
  • Heavy and profuse sweating which suddenly stops – your body is unable to produce more sweat and has become over heated and dehydrated
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Cramps in your muscles

What you must do

  • Move the person to a cool area
  • Give them as much air as possible – open windows, use air-conditioning or a fan
  • Give them plenty to drink
  • Do NOT give them any form of medication – painkillers etc.
  • Shower the skin with cool, not cold water, immerse them in a cool bath, or cover them with cold wet towels or sheets and direct a fan over them to create evaporation
  • Gently massage the skin to encourage circulation
  • Beware they may start to have a fit or seizure, remove all danger and support them from injury.
  • If they start to have a seizure do not put anything in their mouth
  • If they loose consciousness and begin to vomit, protect their airway by putting them in the recovery position
  • Call 999 / 112 for an ambulance
  • If they stop breathing begin Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation

Heat Exhaustion – Beware

Beach flag warningBeware of Heat Exhaustion.

As the heatwave gets hotter, you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, especially in the young, elderly and vulnerable.

Heat exhaustion is when your body’s core temperature rises from the normal 37°C to 40°C

Your water and salt levels in begin to drop significantly.

You will have symptoms like nausea, feeling faint and profuse sweating.

Untreated, you can quickly become a casualty of Heat Stroke, this is a medical emergency and life threatening.

Things you must watch out for with Heat Exhaustion

  • Skin that is hot and flushed
  • Heavy sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Mental confusion
  • Urinating less frequently
  • Urine is much darker colour than usual

What can you do?

  • Rest out of the sun – ideally in an air-conditioned room or shady area
  • Drink plenty of fluids, water or sport rehydration drinks
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine products – coffee, tea, cola drinks, Red Bull
  • Cool the skin with cold water – cold shower or bath
  • Cover with wet towels and use a fan to create evaporation
  • Loosen and remove unnecessary clothing
  • Give them plenty of air

Watch out for changes that could indicate Heat Stroke

 

Can you help?

people in town centre

Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, any time. Could you help?

You’re in the supermarket, enjoying a coffee, in your local café, on a night out with old friends or just walking down the street.

Suddenly, someone if front of you drops to the ground. They’re unconscious and not breathing.

What will you do?

Walk by and pretend you didn’t notice.

Get out your mobile phone and start recording what’s going on, better still take a “selfie”

Stand there, transfixed in panic

Or will you be the one with the confidence to do something.

Check for signs of response and confirm if the person is breathing? They may have had a cardiac arrest.

Can you instruct one of the bystanders to call 999 to call an ambulance and find out where the nearest AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is kept?

Can you start CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation). Compressing the casualty’s chest 30 times and then giving 2 rescue breaths, repeatedly, until professional help arrives makes a difference.

Do you know where your nearest AED is kept, would you have the confidence to open the box and use it? If you want to know where your nearest public AED is located here’s the Save a Life app to help.

Making a difference

You really can make a difference by starting CPR and defibrillation, immediately. Follow the Resuscitation Council Chain of Survival

Resuscitation Council Chain of survival
Resuscitation Council Chain of survival

 

Learning Basic Life support skills like CPR and how to use an AED are brilliant life skills which you really should know. Book one of our CPR First Aid Training Courses

Remember, it’s not always someone else lying on the cold ground, unconscious and not breathing,

it could be a close relative, a best friend or

YOU.

Other similar links

Your Community Needs a Defibrillator

Don’t Play Hide and Seek

 

 

Pampering dangers

Beauty Treatment Me time

There’s nothing like a bit of pampering, so most women and some men, look forward to going to the hair salon, nail bar or spa.

Treatments are a luxurious pleasure and part of that valuable “me time”. Hopefully you’ll come out feeling fabulous and full of self-confidence.

Knowing your hair, nails and skin look great means, you look good and boosts your self-confidence, esteem and attractiveness.

Fashion demands that how you look is important, and something you must cherish. Whether that is hair colour to nail varnish or other cosmetic treatment.

With colours coming in a vast array of shades and tones, few of us give any thought to how these hues are achieved.

The dangers

Pampering is luxurious and pleasurable why should you have any worries?

Hair colouring foilsYou put all your faith in the colourist or stylist. They must make sure bleaches, colours and other chemicals are not going to be harmful.

You expect they will be properly applied and used in accordance to the manufacturers’ instructions.

In return for this faith we expect the salon to observe a duty of care to you the customer.

Making sure they’re meticulous about allergy testing. Carrying out skin patch tests 48 hours before the treatment.

Giving plenty of opportunity to see if you have any kind of reaction to the type of dye they’ll be using.

All too often you find this as a bit of a chore, or you pressure the salon into doing the colouring now. Telling them you’ve never had any problems before, and you don’t have time to wait for the skin test.

Typically, this is when problems arise.

What you should know

It’s essential that you  never ignore any kind of allergic reaction.

The first sensitivity may only result in minor symptoms. But subsequent exposure can produce a rapid, severe reaction called anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition.

You may regard allergies as an inconvenience and often overlook them as being just a rash or a bit of irritation.  For the person with a genuine sensitivity, it is a serious, life threatening, condition

Sensitivity is not limited to the chemicals and dyes in salons and spas, it can be something as simple as the gloves the therapist or technician is wearing.

With latex sensitivity being one of the more common allergens it’s vitally important that you tell your therapist or technician so they can use an alternative product.tattoo parlour

And of course there are many other occasions when protective gloves are worn so you need to be aware of these too.

Links to related subjects Allergies can be life threatening