A Day At The Dreaded Red Cross Emergency First Aid Class That May Save a Life
I sit inside the room at The Fortius Building in Burnaby BC at 8am this sunny day in June, wondering why I am taking The Red Cross Emergency First Aid course on such a beautiful day. I have a contract job that requires a first aid certificate and it is expiring, but will I ever use the training?
There are 11 of us students in the class, and the teacher, and the 28 year veteran first aid teacher, says statistics show that one student in our group will use the training within the next two weeks.
The building above is the sport research and medicine center for BC. The Olympic athletes stayed here for The Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Bill Copeland Ice Rink is right across the street. It has multiple stores and Starbucks and treatment rooms and basketball courts and workout gyms inside, plus accommodation for visiting hockey teams, and tables outside to enjoy your lunch in the sun.
But back to first aid, our teacher says the only person we should not help with our training, is an adult who refuses our help. If an adult refuses treatment and you insist on giving it, you could face a problem in the future.
How many people have a first aid kit at home or in the car?
You can buy these kits everywhere, and they are so handy to have everything in one place to grab in case there is an emergency in your household or neighborhood or office. Time is a huge factor when responding to an injury, and you waste time if you have to go searching around for a dressing or a blanket, rubber gloves or a mask, dressings, or rubbing alcohol, an ice pack, an asthma puffer or an epi pen. Stress is also a factor when your adrenaline is pumping at the sight of someone in pain or injured, an easily accessible kit reduces stress.
A first aid kit makes you feel more ready to respond to an accident. You want to help the victim, but you also want to prevent yourself from getting disease too, and the items in your kit will help to protect yourself too.
Some Great Tips I learned Today:
If you are not sure if you should call 911 in BC where I live, you can call 811 instead, and get in touch with a pharmacist, a nurse, or a Dietician, and ask them the questions you have. How cool is that to be talking to an expert when you have a non emergency problem?
One of the main things to remember when giving first aid to someone, is to make sure that you are safe first.
Check the area surrounding the injured person for hazards such as glass, chemicals and electrical current, or traffic first before entering the area where the injured person is. You are no good to them if you don't survive to help them. So many people stop to help and get injured themselves and then find themselves needing first aid too.
Many accidents occur in the home, such as when we are eating meals.
Hot dogs, are the number one reason for choking deaths in children under six. The hot dogs are the exact size of the child’s windpipe and must be chopped lengthwise when eaten because they can block off the oxygen supply to the child if eaten whole.
Grapes must also be chopped up for children under six, and the skin of an apple is a choking hazard until age twelve. Carrots, especially mini carrots are a hazard, as is soft candy and popcorn which can expand in the windpipe. Peanuts are another choking hazard, as are marshmallows which can’t be removed from the throat if stuck.
The number one choking hazard in adults is steak. If you are alone and choking, try to get somewhere where you will be seen, and bend over at the waist against a secure surface like a chair without wheels or a countertop to dislodge the item stuck in your windpipe.
Make sure to cut up your food well, and to chew it well, to prevent choking. Never throw peanuts in your mouth, they become a projectile that could be diverted into the lungs, and then they have to be surgically removed.
If your tooth gets knocked out, it can be re-inserted by a dentist if you follow protocol.
If you can get to a dentist within 2 hours, and if you pick up the tooth by the white part only, and place it in either a container containing egg whites, or coconut water or whole milk you may be good as new after.
Being prepared with the proper tools and information is half the battle in preventing common injuries that could have life threatening effects. Have fun and be safe!
photos are my own.