Barbecue First Aid
One of the joys of the summer season is a barbecue with family and friends. But 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.
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