Helping the Nation Save Lives Since 1877 – St John Ambulance

Helping the Nation Save Lives Since 1877 – St John Ambulance


[Song] Place your baby on a nice flat surface, and tilt
their head back – don’t be nervous! [Man’s voice] Wasn’t Steve supposed to be sorting out on Friday? [Football commentator] He’s milking the moment! Just goes to show – you don’t have to be a footballer… [Princess] Then, one gives up to five back blows [Trainer] … under one year old is choking, you’ll notice that they’ll be unable to cry, cough or breathe [Voiceover on historical clips]…the next part of the journey. There will be that
touch of a loving hand, the look that speaks more than a play full of words. When you’re fit enough to be flown back to a home hospital
you begin to… … the one-man ambulance which the St John’s man is
driving, but it’s so comfortable that I’ll be more than one man… [Child’s voice] My mummy, she fell off a chair and she’s moving, and she’s not even getting up… [Man] I just grabbed her and carried out five initial rescue breaths in the hallway. The paramedic popped his head round the back of the ambulance and shouted ‘Well done, she’s alive!’ I couldn’t believe it, I’d saved her. [Woman’s voice] I think it’s very important that
children learn first aid because if they didn’t people like Billy wouldn’t save
people’s lives. If Bill hadn’t been to St John Ambulance, I would be alive today.

Dog CPR – How to resuscitate your pet | First Aid for Pets


If you suspect a dog is unconscious, approach with extreme caution, particularly if it’s not your dog. Any injured dog is far
more likely to bite you. They may not be unconscious,
so just be careful. Approach them from behind. Ideally touch them with your foot first. If no response when you do that, then touch them with
the back of your hand. It’s far less intrusive
than the front of your hand. Keep looking for any
sort of response at all. If there’s no response, then
you need to check their airway. You are only going to be looking after, or approaching a dog that is your dog or a dog that you have permission to help. If it’s not your animal,
please do not be doing CPR or anything intrusive or
first aid related on them without the permission of the owner. Okay, so if this is your animal or you have permission to help, you would then have a look and see if there is anything obvious
that has caused a problem. So this dog is unconscious. You would never do this
on a dog that is conscious without extreme caution. So you would carefully open up the mouth and ease the tongue forward. So pull the tongue forward
because the tongue, when they’re unconscious,
will roll back on itself. And have a look and see if
there is anything obvious that is causing an obstruction and has led to them being unconscious. And if there is, you can
just carefully remove that. So, they are unconscious
and you need to see if they are breathing. If they’re unconscious and breathing, you’re going to put them
in the recovery position as we showed you on a previous video, where you will extend their airway and get them to veterinary help fast. If they are unconscious,
they are not breathing, so when you check to
see if they’re breathing you can’t see their chest move, you would then check for a pulse. And the easiest place to find the pulse is in the femoral artery
here in the back leg and you would feel it
with your fingers here. Just apply gentle pressure. If there is a pulse, then
what you would be doing is ease the tongue back, you would squeeze their
jaw together like this, and you would breathe into their nose. When you breathe into their nose, you will see the chest rise. So you would breathe into them. Four or five breaths. If there was no pulse, you
would still do those breaths. And then you would
start with compressions. The compressions for most dogs are in the side of the chest here, heel of your hand, up over the top and you’re going to give 30 compressions. You’re going to be pushing down hard. So I would be giving 30
compressions like that followed by two more breaths. 30 compressions, two breaths. It’s possible that you
might damage the ribs while you are doing this because you are having to push very hard in order to squeeze the heart. For a greyhound type
chest, a keel type chest, you’ll be slightly further forward. For a boxer, or a barrel type chest, it’s been advised that
if you can put the dog onto their back and push
in the centre of the chest like you would for a human, you may well get a better result. However, it’s very difficult
to keep a boxer on their back, so you might well find
that it’s easier for you to be doing the compressions
in the same way as this.

First Aid for a Choking Baby

First Aid for a Choking Baby


– Choking baby. If your baby appears to be choking, the first signs you might
see are them being very red, very quiet, and struggling to breathe. Initially, they’re red, if they start to turn blue, they are most definitely choking. What you need to do is, very quickly, get them out of the highchair
if that’s where they are, get them onto your lap, have
a quick look in their mouth and see if there is anything obvious. If there is anything
obvious, you would just remove it with your finger and thumb. Do not be tempted to finger
sweep or poke your fingers down in any way because you
could make things worse. Then what you need to do is
support them on their chin with your finger and thumb, turn them over across your hand and your arm, support them and put them
down your leg like that, with the head lower than the body. And then you’re going to hit them hard between the shoulder blades, and check. And check, nice and
calm, the calmer you are, the calmer they will be. And you will do that up to five times, if the obstruction hasn’t come out. If the first five back
blows haven’t worked, get an ambulance on the way. If it hasn’t come out after five times, your second line treatment for a baby, is a chest thrust. When we covered the choking child, you would’ve seen that we
did an abdominal thrust. You would never do an abdominal thrust on a baby under a year, because
you would do serious damage. So for the baby, you’re
holding them like this, supporting them carefully, two
fingers between the nipples, centre of the chest, same
place as you would be pressing if you were doing CPR. And you would push down,
in and up towards the head to dislodge any obstruction. So, one, and check. And you do that up to five times again. So up to five times of that. And then back to, the back blows, and check each time. Five of those, five of those. Five of those, keep going. If the baby starts to lose consciousness, then you need to start CPR straight away. And at any point, that
obstruction could be dislodged, you keep going and you get
an ambulance on the way fast.

Choking Cat – What to Do | First Aid for Pets

Choking Cat – What to Do | First Aid for Pets


How to help your choking cat. Unfortunately, cats can choke, they can choke on fur balls
or things that they find around the house, and it
can be really frightening. If you suspect that your cat is choking, what you need to do is, very
carefully, restrain them. A choking cat will panic,
and you need to restrain them and make sure you’re looking
after your own safety, you should open their mouth, and very carefully have a look and see if there’s anything
obvious that you can remove. If there isn’t anything obvious, and your cat is really
struggling to breathe, get someone to phone the
vet, and get them to the vet as quickly as you can. First aid, on the way to the vet, if you suspect that your cat
is going to stop breathing, because of this obstruction,
you can help them by doing Heimlich manoeuvre
or an abdominal thrust, similar to what you would do on a human. If you reach under their
ribcage, and you make a fist, you put the fist in that little gap underneath their ribcage, you hold them, and you pull in and up,
in a J-shaped motion. So pull in and up, and hopefully, whatever
is stuck will come out. So, in and up, and then you can check, and see if it’s made any difference. If you can see anything
obvious that you can reach, if you’ve got some big
tweezers or forceps, you can just remove it carefully. There are little bones that
you can see at the back of a cat’s throat, don’t try poking there, because that is part of them. So, only if anything obvious, don’t finger sweep, or poke around, and get to the vet as quickly as possible. If you have done an
abdominal thrust to them, and you can do two or three of them, if you’ve done an abdominal
thrust, and it has worked, then still take them to the vet, because they will need to be checked over, because abdominal thrusts can do damage. So, get them to the vet,
get them checked over, and that’s how to help a choking cat.

Choking Dog: What to Do | First Aid for Pets


– My name is Emma Hammett. I’m the founder and CEO
of firstaidforpets.net, and we do first aid training
to teach you how to help your pet in an emergency
before you can get to the vet, in those first vital seconds or minutes. Today, I’m going to talk about choking. If your dog is choking, it’s really important that
you’re able to help them quickly, and dogs can choke on
pretty much anything. They can wolf down their food. They can scavenge and
find all sorts of things that aren’t suitable for
them to eat like socks, and they can choke on the
ball, and they can choke on, as I said, pretty much anything. Rawhide is particularly nasty for them, so please avoid giving your dog rawhide, and also bones, cooked bones
can end up being very brittle and they can do damage if they get stuck. Okay, so if you suspect
your dog is choking, they may be pouring, they may be drooling. They will look distressed, pacing. Have a look very carefully. Your safety is the most important. So have a look in their
mouth, but make very sure that you are not in
danger of getting bitten. What you will need to
do, and if you’ve got someone else to help, that’s even better, is have a look in their
mouth and see if there is anything obvious that you can just remove. Obviously, protect your fingers, and don’t risk getting bitten. If there’s anything that you
can remove quickly and easy with your finger and thumb or with a pair of forceps or tweezers,
then get it out quickly. Don’t finger sweep or
poke your fingers down, because you’ll make things worse. So if there’s nothing obvious down there, then your next thing to do
is to try repositioning them to see if gravity can help
you get the obstruction out. If you have a smaller dog, then holding them upside down and shaking them slightly can end up getting the obstruction out, so that is a good thing to start doing. If you’ve got a large dog, then you would need to do
a wheelbarrow position. I don’t know if you can see. So you would hold them in a
sort of wheelbarrow position in order to try and get
the obstruction out. It’s harder with a big
dog, and they’re heavy, but you’re doing what you
can to save their lives. If holding them like that hasn’t worked, your second line of treatment is the Heimlich manoeuvre for dogs. So, the Heimlich manoeuvre
is the same as with humans where what you are doing with
a human is going under your ribcage, between your tummy
button and your rib cage and making a fist like that, with the thumb towards you. You’re putting that into that dip, and dogs have the same dip. You’re talking about
this sort of dip here, so this dip, just at this point, and you’re going to put
your fist in at that point, and you’re going to be
doing an upward thrust. So you’d be holding them downwards. You’d be putting your fist like that, and you would be doing an upward thrust to try and get the obstruction out. If I demonstrate with this larger dog here that has got a choking vest on, what I will hopefully
be able to demonstrate is that in doing the Heimlich manoeuvre, I will force the obstruction out, and hopefully, if this works, you should be able to see the
obstruction coming through. So what you would do is put
one hand around like that. The other hand goes on top,
and it’s a hard and fast upward movement, a J-shaped movement. In and up, like that. Up, like that. And the obstruction was out. So you would hold them upside down first, so actually, first of all,
you’re checking in the mouth. Then you’re holding them
upside down to reposition and see if you can get
the obstruction out, and failing that, you are then going to do five abdominal thrust or
Heimlich manoeuvres for them, and then back like that. Don’t waste any more time. If it’s not coming out, get
them to the vet quickly. So pop them in and get
them as fast as you can to your local vet, your closest vet, which may not be your usual vet. It’s whatever is closest. This is a medical emergency for your pet. Okay, if the pet loses consciousness, you might need to do CPR on them. We’ll cover CPR in a
separate Facebook Live video, but what you would be doing
is breathing into their nose. You would be giving them two breaths, 30 compressions, two breaths again. 120 beats per minute when
you’re pushing on their chest, but again, get to the vet
as quickly as you can. Do not delay anything in
getting them to the vet fast. So, hopefully that is helpful. If you have managed to
dislodge the obstruction but they are showing signs
of difficulty swallowing or anything, they should
always be checked out by a vet, particularly if you’ve done
a Heimlich manoeuvre on them, because you can end up
damaging their ribs a bit. So get them checked
out, and it may be that whatever was stuck in
the back of their throat, that it’s actually scratched
or damaged the back of their throat and that you might need
to give them some soft food for a couple of days,
and the vet might be able to prescribe some
painkillers for them as well. It can take a few days
for the back of the throat to heal up and feel that much better. I hope that’s been useful to you. So we are firstaidforpets.net,
with practical first aid training, and
we have online courses. We have short courses and
longer courses for you to learn immediate and important first aid elements for your pet, and we also
have First Aid for Dogs available on Amazon and
in all good bookstores. So, please contact us,
[email protected], or just visit our website. Many thanks, and look
forward to seeing you on another Facebook Live.

Cat Unconscious: What to Do | First Aid for Pets


Cat CPR, cardio pulmonary resuscitation. If you suspect your cat is unconscious, you need to have a look at them and see if you can see them breathing. It’s sometimes easier to do this holding a mirror and you can see if there’s breath coming out, otherwise use the back of your hand, and see if you can feel the breathing. Have a good look at them. Have a look at their gums. If their gums are looking blue, they haven’t got enough
oxygen in their system. Okay, so if they are unconsious, and you can’t see them breathing, you then need to feel for a pulse. So two fingers under their lower leg to feel the femoral artery, and you need to feel and push down quite firmly and you should be able to feel a pulse there. If you can’t feel a pulse, then they’re unconscious and not breathing and their heart isn’t beating. If you can feel a pulse and they are unconscious and not breathing, you would then lift them up, you would pull their
tongue forward a little bit to open the airway and see if that starts them breathing again. If it doesn’t, you need
to hold their mouth shut, and breathe into their nose. And you’re going to do
a short sharp breath. Remember your lungs are
bigger than a cat’s lungs, so you need to do a short, sharp sort of puff of your cheeks in, and hold them so that you can feel if their chest is rising when you’re breathing into them. So you would breathe in. A few breaths in, to see if that makes a difference. If they are unconscious and not breathing, but they do still have a pulse, then keep breathing into them, and get them to a vet quickly because they will need veterinary help. If they are unconscious and not breathing and they haven’t got a
pulse that you can feel, then you will need to do CPR. And you will be doing this by pushing hard and fast over where their heart is. So their heart is about here. So for a small cat or a kitten, you would use your
thumbs and you push down 120 beats per minute. Okay, hard and fast. If it’s a bigger cat,
you can use two hands and you can push down like that. 120 beats per minute, and you would do 30
compressions to two breaths. So if they’re unconscious
and they’re not breathing, you would start by giving them five rescue breaths similar
to how you did previously when you found that they had a pulse, but five of those, and then you would do 30 compressions to two breaths. 30 to two, 30 to two. Do not let this first aid delay you getting to the vet. So if you’re able to do this as you’re on the way to the vet,
that is by far the best. The quicker they can get
veterinary help, the better. And unfortunately, please bear in mind that bringing your cat back by doing CPR and having a
successful outcome is rare. So they will need veterinary help quickly, and the other thing, important thing to tell you is if it is not your cat, please make sure you have got consent from the owner to be doing CPR on the cat because the cat belongs to them. So that’s CPR for a cat.

First Aid for Knocked Out Teeth

First Aid for Knocked Out Teeth


– Hello, I’m Emma Hammett
the founder and CEO of First Aid for Life,
firstaidforlife.org.uk. Today I’m going to cover what to do if you find someone has had a mouth injury. If they were cycling along and someone opened the car
door is a real classic one and they go straight into the door, it can knock out their teeth. If it’s a child playing at the swings and the swing flies up
and hits them in the face or they run into the side of a table, a small table or something,
they tripped over one of my son’s friends,
someone was playing a joke and they slapped him on the back and he went straight into his desk and knocked his front teeth out. If the tooth has come out in
its entirety, it can be saved. The priority however is
if you’ve got someone who has had a head injury. So if they’ve been hit hard in the face, do think that they may
well have some degree of whiplash and that they
could have a head injury. Those would be more serious injuries than the superficial injury
that is quite alarming because there will be a lot of blood because mouths bleed a lot
because they’re very vascular. Don’t be distracted
immediately by the blood loss. It’s more important to
just work out whether you think that they have had
a very serious head injury and could have any degree of spinal damage or head injury side of
things because of that. If it is just a mouth injury, then you’re priority will
be to stop the bleeding. Get them ideally to bite on something. A bit of clean non-fluffy cloth, whatever you happen to have. Clean non-fluffy, if you’re
a Mum you’ll probably have a muslin nappy,
well if you’re a new Mum, with you, that would be
great if it was a clean one. Get them to bite on that. If there are loose teeth, if they’re able to remove it themselves
then that would be good. If it is completely
loose and has fallen out. Any tooth that is there
with the root on it as I said before can be saved. Any bits of teeth that have been snapped, then I’m afraid you won’t be
able to do anything with those. If might still be worth
popping them in your pocket and taking them with you when you take the casualty to a good
dentist or a dental hospital. Your priority is to stop the bleeding. Get them to bite on a cloth. If you have a wrapped ice pack
that will reduce any swelling and then the key thing
then is to get them help. For the tooth itself, if
it has been knocked out in its entirety, if it
is popped into some milk, or some saliva, so you can
get them to spit into a pot, or you could spit into a pot, or if you are a loving
parent and you’re somewhere where there isn’t any milk or
a pot that you can spit into, you could put a child’s tooth
in the side of your mouth so long as you’re sure you’re
not going to swallow it. That saliva can keep that tooth alive until you get the casualty and the tooth to a good quality interventive dentist or a dental hospital where they can see whether
or not they can reimplant it. It’s unlikely they will
reimplant milk teeth. Very occasionally they
do, but it’s unlikely. But if it is a permanent tooth and it hasn’t got damaged and they feel that it is likely to take, then you’ve given them
the very best chance to be able to reimplant it. Don’t wash the tooth, don’t touch the root if you can avoid it. Just handle it very carefully
and get as quickly as you can for them to be treated. Don’t forget they have had a head injury so keep a lookout for
signs of anything unusual for the next 24 to 48 hours because you’re looking for after affects from the head injury. I hope that’s been helpful. That’s Emma Hammett
firstaidforlife.org.uk. There’s many more free
resources on our website.

First Aid for Schools: What do you Need?

First Aid for Schools: What do you Need?


Hello, I’m Emma Hammett
from First Aid for Life. Today, I’m going to talk to you about the first aid requirements in schools. Now in schools, it’s really important that you make appropriate first aid cover, provide appropriate first aid provision to comply with the Health
and Safety Executive for you as a business, as a school and to comply with the Ofsted, or if you’re a private school with the equivalent to
Ofsted requirements, in order to ensure that your staff and the children are safe and you have the necessary provision if
an accident should happen. It’s a legal requirement
for all businesses to make appropriate first aid provision and that is governed by the
Health and Safety Executive. So there is HSE provision
that needs to be covered and the Ofsted, so it’s
two different areas. And your duty of care, in terms of the Health and Safety Executive governs you as an employer and the safety and well-being of your employees. Now even if it was an individual running a business as
it was when I started up my first aid training business, you still need to make appropriate
provision for first aid. Now obviously in a school,
there’s going to be many more people than one person. But you need to make sure that you are caring for the welfare, you have appropriate audits to ensure that you have worked what
cover you actually need concerning the risks and that you have to go through exactly how
many buildings you have. So, if there’s a discreet location then that should have its own first aid cover and provision, as well. So, really important
that you’re taking note and making sure that you are looking at all the risks and the
sort of things that you do. So obviously, if you’re a Forest School, you’ll have even more
complex risk assessment that needs to be done in order to clarify exactly what first aid cover you need. You also, as well as your first aid cover, you need to ensure that you have appropriate numbers of first aid kits. Again, making sure that you have cover for discreet locations and it is also strongly recommended, not a legal requirement as yet, but strongly recommended that
you have a defibrillator. They do make a huge difference if you do have someone
who has cardiac arrest on site for whatever reason. If you’re able to get a defibrillator on their chest within three minutes and they’re in a shockable rhythm, the odds of them surviving
jumps from 6% to 74%. So, it’s a no brainer really. You need to make sure you’re looking at all those sides of things. If you’re a primary school
with an early years setting, some of your staff will need to do a 12 hour paediatric course and some of your staff will need to make sure that they complying with the Health and Safety
Executive requirements to ensure that you have the right number of First Aiders to look after your staff. So, we need to make sure. I can see some people coming on and saying, “Hello,” on
this, so thank you very much. Hello to you, too. So, I hope this is being useful. In terms of the duties of a First Aider, they need to, obviously, administer the first aid and make
sure that they can decide whether you need an ambulance or not. You need to make sure that people are appropriately trained
to be able to help in a variety of situations. Ideally, they’re going
to be covering instances such as playground incidents. So, you need to make sure that they know when it is appropriate. Obviously it’s a school, you don’t want ambulances called willy-nilly. A, it’s not great for your
school and its reputation. And B, it’s a complete waste of resources if they are unnecessary. So, you need someone appropriately trained to make the right decisions as to when an ambulance is necessary and when the First Aider themselves can be dealing with situation. Please don’t be tempted to pop a child into the car and drive
them to the hospital. If it’s a less serious problem, then the parent can come in
and take them to their GP or to a walk-in centre to be looked at. If it is a serious problem, you
obviously need an ambulance. But in terms of insurance
cover and things, it is not a good idea to
drive them in yourself. You need to make sure that you’ve got appropriate First Aiders,
so those are people that have done a regulated course, that are able to provide first aid. And ideally, you would
also have a larger number of people trained in basic first aid so that they can assist and support the First Aider and,
again, that they can know whether it is something really serious and whether it’s
something that needs to go to the First Aider, if
they’re on playground duty. Or whether it’s something that’s, just a sort of, bit of
cajoling and they will be okay. Now make sure, as well,
that everybody knows about asthma inhalers
and how to help them, where the child should
have their asthma inhaler, if they’re allowed to have them on them. Ideally that would be great
so that if they are having an asthma attack, they
have immediate access. The same with adrenaline auto-injectors. People should all be able to recognise the signs and symptoms,
so please make sure your dinner staff are
trained up to that, as well. Make sure that they know how to help if someone’s choking too. The thing about first aid
is you want to make sure that you’re treating things immediately and that way it isn’t a drama. If somebody is choking in the dinner hall and they’re able to identify that it is serious choking,
the child can’t cough and they’re able to put
their hand on their back and give them five hard back blows and dislodge the obstruction before there’s any
drama that has occurred, then isn’t that better than having to rush and wait for the First Aider? And then, “Oh my goodness.” The problem is dealt with and it’s sorted. The idea is you have enough people who are first aid trained
throughout your school so that they are able to identify quickly if something’s serious or not
and treat it appropriately. Make sure that children that have individual health care plans so they’re asthmatic,
maybe they’re epileptic. Epileptic, asthmatic
or they have a history of anaphylaxis, make sure
that that is flagged up to all the relevant
staff so that they know what they should do and how to get the medication to the child quickly and how to help them to treat it. Make sure that if there’s school trips that there is an appropriate First Aider on the trip and, also, make sure it isn’t your only First Aider that is going off on the trip so that the school is kept short, is short of First Aiders. You need to make sure that
you have enough people so that you have at least
one person per 50 people, at the very least, that
is available at all times and that is including cover for holidays and sickness and being off-site
and in different sites. If your First Aider is
down on the sports pitch, you need to make sure that you have another First Aider up in the main school. There should be a designated medical room that children can go to and accidents do need to be recorded appropriately, on the right forms. And, you can get some great forms that allow you to keep a
copy without rewriting it. I’ve been to schools before where they’ve been photocopying the forms. There’s no need, you
can get the right forms that are all sorted and
there are various systems, as well, that can help you with this. I hope that’s helpful. That’s just a brief overview. We’ve got lots more information on our blogs, on First Aid for Life and in the article I’ve written for the British Journal of School Nursing on exactly what the first aid
requirements are in schools. And don’t forget, as well, that first aid is now part of the curriculum. So make sure that you have
made the right provision for your children to be properly trained. Please don’t just do lip service to this. Make sure that you’ve
gone through a system, either to get them an online course or a practical course in order to ensure that these skills are taught properly. I hope that’s been helpful. That’s Emma Hammett
from First Aid for Life.

10 Reasons to Learn First Aid | Jan 2019

10 Reasons to Learn First Aid | Jan 2019


– Hello, I’m Emma Hammett from First Aid for Life
and onlinefirstaid.com. And today I’m going to talk to you about why first aid and learning first aid is just so important. It is absolutely vital that more and more of us
are equipped with the skills and the confidence to be able to help if something happens and the more we know, the more likely we are to be able to prevent accidents happening and be more risk aware as well. So, I’m just going to go
through 10 compelling reasons that first aid can make
a massive difference from saving lives to reducing pain, to feeling empowered and having
a degree of legacy about you and the whole lot, let me
go through it very briefly. So, a few things to say first of all – eight out of 10 parents surveyed admitted they wouldn’t know basic
first aid procedures to save someone’s life or save one of their children’s lives. That’s pretty scary stuff and that means that if any of
us have an accident out there that the likelihood of
other people knowing how to help us is pretty small as well. Significantly fewer people in the UK know how to help someone’s life, save someone’s life in an emergency compared with the likes of
Scandinavia, for example. And consequently our
survival rates are lower. It doesn’t take long to
learn these basic skills and we can make it really easy for you. There are so many free
resources on our sites that can help you. We also have online first aid courses, free ones and paid ones and we have practical courses that you can either come to
one of our scheduled courses or we can run a bespoke
one at one of your homes. So, it really is easy and it benefits you and it benefits society as a whole and it benefits your family, so it’s a win-win-win all round. So, key things, reason number one, first aid saves lives. So, a recent survey by the Red Cross showed that 59% of deaths from injuries could have been prevented with immediate first aid, so that’s pretty compelling stuff to start off with. Reason two, appropriate
first aid given competently and immediately reduces recovery time. So, if somebody has got a serious illness or has had an injury, if you give immediate first aid, it can, obviously depending on what’s happened, it
can reduce the amount of time that the person spends in hospital and reduce the overall recovery time. It may also make the difference between somebody having
life-threatening injuries or life-changing injuries and being able to make a full recovery. So, I’ve certainly as a nurse seen many instances when
things have gone right and made a big difference to the positive and when
things have gone wrong or first aid hasn’t been given and people have, yeah, they’ve suffered as a result. So, we’ve covered saves lives, it reduces recovery time, it reduces the time spent in hospital, it can prevent medical situations and accidents deteriorating, so appropriate and immediate first aid can prevent a minor injury becoming a more major one and
it can actually reduce, so certainly in the instance of burns, for example, if you are
running a burn immediately under cool running water, you can reduce the amount of damage that has been done by that initial burn. You can actually reduce it just with cool running water. That’s pretty amazing. So, first aid is generally
pretty simple to do. It doesn’t cost in order
to give immediate first aid and it makes a massive difference. It can prevent unnecessary
visits to hospital. So, doing a first aid course can enable you to understand when something is seriously wrong and when you can treat it at home, so when you might need to refer the person onto more serious or more
highly qualified care, when they should be treated by their GP, when you can drive them to hospital, and when you need an ambulance. All important information to know and understand what you should be doing, what you shouldn’t be doing and how to do things properly and also if you were faced
with multiple injuries it would help you
understand and prioritise which you should be treating first or who you should be treating first. So, competent first aid can reduce the amount of pain
experienced by casualties both in your calm approach and your manner and the way you deal with casualties, and in understanding how
to move somebody in pain, who is in pain, how to
reposition something that is causing them pain to reduce the amount of pain and generally how to help them, so it can reduce their pain and also in reducing the severity
of the injury immediately, you can reduce the pain that way as well. So, as well as that, knowing what to do can improve the communication to the emergency services so that they can prioritise the care and they can get the help that the person who’s
injured needs quicker. So it can speed things up and again, that helps to save lives particularly in the more seriously injured because the more competently you’re able to communicate, and understand and show that you know what you’re talking about, the paramedics will be able to give appropriate or
allocate appropriate resources and make sure they get to
you as quickly as possible. It also, and this is really important, it increases the awareness of potential dangers and reduces your susceptibility and your family’s
susceptibility to accidents. For example, when we do our
teenage first aid courses, I’ve seen this with my children, when we’ve then gone on holiday, and they’re faced with the excitement of diving into water, they will always jump in first rather than how they would
have done perviously dived straight in. Likewise, if they’re going off on holidays together, they are that little bit more risk aware, they’re not totally invincible, accidents do happen and they are also far better empowered to look after each other. The same in preparation
for their Duke of Edinburgh and that side of things, they’re starting to be more individual, and more independent, and
giving them those skills and the ability to understand that things can go wrong
and know how to help is crucially important. First aid makes you feel
empowered whatever your age. Being able to help is a really lovely feeling. It’s good to be able to help, it’s good to be able to
help yourself as well and it’s nice and really important not to know, or not to be totally reliant
on the emergency services and know that you are only using them when you really need to and if everybody was
able to behave like that, there may be a few more of the
emergency services available for all of us when we need them. Sadly there are a lot of people that don’t understand how to
use the emergency services and they think calling
an ambulance gets them to the front of the queue. That is not the case. So, we should only be using
our emergency services when something is life threatening and we need them to come
and give treatment on site and also being able to
stabilise the casualty on their way to hospital. And finally and most importantly, it means that you are far
more self-sufficient as well. And you’re able to prepare in advance and be able to really help
and look after your family when they need you. I hope that’s been helpful. That’s Emma Hammett
from First Aid for life and onlinefirstaid.com.