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

To book one of our courses click here

 

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