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Dealing with an emergency

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No one wants to imagine having to deal with emergencies. But you can be a lifesaver if you know what to do and are able to help.Emergencies need quick action, not panic. It sounds like a cliché, but remaining calm is the key to acting sensibly and with confidence. The person in need of help will need your assurance, and sensing your own anxiety and panic will only increase his/her distress.

Don’t wait for an emergency before you refer to these pages. Prepare yourself now by studying this information and, better still, attend a first aid course. The information given here is not meant to replace practical training that is given on a first-aid course. Contact Canberra First Aid training organisation for courses in your area. If you have taken a course previously, make sure your skills are up-to-date. Make sure that your childminder knows first aid. Again, don’t wait until it is too late.

Post emergency telephone numbers next to all phones in your home and office and save them on your cell phone. Important numbers to keep are of an emergency service, fire department, nearest hospital, the poison information centre and your GP. Know the shortest route to hospital.

Any family member with a serious medical condition, such as a heart condition, epilepsy, diabetes or a drug allergy, should wear a MedicAlert tag or carry a card. This will ensure that proper care can be given. MedicAlert identification can be obtained at your pharmacy or doctor. List any serious medical conditions family members may have and keep the list handy. Teach your children how to call emergency numbers, and tell them to show the list to emergency medical personnel.

Keep a well-stocked first aid kit at home and in your car.

There is a wide spectrum of conditions that can be considered emergencies. Many may turn out not to be as serious as initially suspected, but if in doubt, it is better to react promptly now, than have regrets later.

Dealing with accidents and injuries

  • Stay calm, sum up the situation quickly and act fast.
  • Before you act, adopt the SAFE approach. Shout for assistance, Approach with care, Free the victim from dangers, and Evaluate the victim. Protect yourself and the injured person from danger or further injury. Look out for hazards such as oncoming traffic and fire. If you cannot reach the person without putting yourself in great danger, leave him or her and call the emergency services immediately. Remember that you will not be able to help anyone if you become a victim yourself.
  • Do not move the person unless there is imminent danger such as a fire. If the person must be moved, there should preferably be someone controlling the neck and head to keep them in alignment, and at least two other people on either side of the person to lift him without moving the spine.
  • Get help. Call out for someone to phone for emergency assistance.
  • Check for breathing.
  • Prioritise problems. Remember that the most obvious injury is not necessarily the most serious. Deal with the most life-threatening problems (such as blocked airway and excessive bleeding) first.
  • Check to see if the person is wearing a MedicAlert tag or other medical identification.
  • Loosen tight clothing and cover the person to keep him or her warm.
  • If there are no suspected back and neck injuries and breathing is normal, move the person into the recovery position.
  • In the case of serious injury or shock, don’t give anything to eat or drink.

When to call an ambulance
Calling for an ambulance is generally the fastest way to reach a hospital. A private car may be an alternative option, but only if the hospital is very close by.

In case of poisoning, contact the poison control centre immediately as emergency steps need to be taken before leaving for the hospital.

Call an ambulance if:

  • You don’t know what to do or are uncertain of the severity of the injury
  • Someone is unconscious or struggling to breathe
  • You suspect a back or neck injury
  • Someone may be having a heart attack
  • A person is seriously injured
  • A small child is injured, unless you have another adult with you who can drive
  • There is serious bleeding that you cannot stop

When you call an ambulance, state clearly:

  • The site of the emergency (include names of cross streets, if possible)
  • What happened to the victim and the victim’s condition
  • The number of the people injured
  • The age of the victim
  • Your name and contact telephone number
  • Any first aid currently being given

Do not hang up until the operator tells you to. This way you’ll be sure that you have given all the necessary information.

Check out our upcoming first aid course dates at http://www.canberrafirstaid.com/upcoming-courses/


Scare for Ridell family

First Aid Training Canberra. Book in Today. EOFYS. Cheap course cost. Nationally recognised Certificate. Free Parking. Best First Aid Training in Canberra.

Mark Riddell has urged all parents to get first aid training after a health scare involving his four-month-old daughter, Ava.

Ava has been in and out of hospital while battling bronchitis, but things got really scary when she experienced a coughing attack that provoked vomiting on Monday. She ended up losing consciousness and stopped breathing, prompting a frantic triple-0 call. Thankfully, Ava is now on the mend after being rushed to hospital.

“As she now recovers I thought I should share the story, not for sympathy, we are all OK and our Ava will make a full recovery,” Riddell wrote on Instagram.

“The reason is that after talking with Karli we both thought it best that we up-skill and get our first aid certificates, me to update mine and Karli to get hers. If you have young kids, seriously think about making sure one of you have it!

“If this helps one family not have to deal with what we went through Monday night then that’s a win.”

Make sure you are booked in to a first aid training session this summer.


Foldable helmet looks to the Future

First aid training courses are looking at the future of helmets today and these look great. Book in to one of our first aid training courses at Parklands Hotel to have a great day and learn some excellent skills so that you can look after a friend in need. We have many courses running throughout winter and that is the best time to sit inside and learn so you are ready to help during summer.

AN INNOVATIVE foldable helmet design could solve the most annoying thing about cycling, but they don’t exactly come cheap.


Morpher folding helmet

A CYCLING helmet that offers a revolutionary folding design, allowing it to be easily placed away in your bag after riding has announced one of the world’s most famous athletes as an investor.

World number one tennis player Andy Murray is a financial backer of the so-called “world’s first folding helmet” produced by UK-based company Morpher.

The company’s “folding helmet technology” provides a compact protective headwear solution for cyclists that doesn’t compromise structural integrity or safety.

The design which has been patented in several countries has received widespread praise and was named one of Time magazine’s top 25 inventions of the year in 2016.

This week the Morpher revealed the tennis superstar was among 400 people who helped it raise nearly $1.2 million (£700,000) on crowd-funding platform Seedrs, dedicated to funding start-ups.

“Morpher is a product that the modern cyclist should own — one that has been dutifully perfected by an award-winning inventor,” the tennis champion, who received a knighthood in December, said in a press release put out by the company.

Morpher's foldable helmet tech doesn't come cheap.

Morpher’s foldable helmet tech doesn’t come cheap.Source:Facebook

“Cycle rental schemes are proving to be hugely popular. But very few of us non-bike owners are wearing helmets,” the company’s website says. “According to research, the main reason is that they are simply too cumbersome to carry around all day, especially if you may only be taking a ten minute bike ride.”

A rival company called FEND has since come to market with a differently designed foldable cycling helmet, funded via Kickstarter.

Living in Sydney, I routinely use my bike to get around town. But I almost always leave my helmet clipped onto the bike when I lock it up in a public place (leaving it vulnerable to theft) simply because I can’t be bothered to carry it around.

These kind of innovative helmets could be the solution.

Morpher offers free express delivery of its helmets worldwide — but given the high price tag of the helmet, it’s no wonder why they’re offering free shipping.

If you want to pick yourself up a Morpher folding helmet it will cost you about $200 ($US149.00).

Or, to put it in perspective, just under two thirds of what you’d be fined for not wearing a helmet while riding your pushbike in NSW.


Australian Government releases information on concussion

One of the least treated first aid injuries that occur. Please make sure you check for concussion injuries when administering first aid. Book in to a first aid course with Canberra First Aid and you will learn the way to see concussion and also treat it.

Concussion is a dangerous and sometimes fatal injury so it’s important to be able to recognize and treat the symptoms as soon as they present themselves.  Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury which is caused by a blow either directly to the head or another part of the body with the force being transmitted to the head.

Having access to accurate information to enable people to confidently diagnose and somewhat treat the signs of concussion has become a matter of urgency within both the professional sporting industry and the medical field.  Ongoing research is showing that un-diagnosed concussions, especially those caused through sporting injuries, could now be responsible for neurological issues in later life.

The Australian Government has recently recognized the void of reputable information and a lack of online resources available for those who find themselves in need of a legitimate medical diagnosis for concussion.  The targeted audience for this information includes athletes, coaches, medical practitioners, parents and teachers.

In order to provide accurate information that was particularly relevant to sporting concussions, two major governing bodies, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) combined their research of concussions in sport and created a website which acts as a portal of information for diagnosing and managing concussion:  www.concussioninsport.gov.au.

“Bringing these two organisations together for this important initiative gives Australian’s confidence and clarity in seeking further information about the diagnosis and management of concussion.” Said Dr David Hughes AIS Chief Medical Officer.

It is important for people who are involved in a high-risk environment for receiving a concussion, such as sports players, to understand that even the subtlest of changes to a person’s behavior could be a sign of concussion. As noted in this video released by the Australian government, the main symptoms of concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • ‘pressure in the head’
  • Balance problems
  • Difficulty remembering
  • “not feeling right”
  • Feeling in a “fog”
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Drowsiness

Dr Stephen Parnis, AMA Vice President & Emergency Physician offered a valuable piece of advice in the below video, if someone has received a hard blow while playing sport and showing possible signs of concussion, “If in doubt, sit it out.”   Reducing the damage to someone’s brain is more important than getting back out on the field and scoring a try.

First Aid Accident and Emergency has a range of first aid courses some of which discuss head trauma and possible concussion.  If you would like any information on our first aid classes, please contact our head office today.  



Australians ignorant of food allergy risks

First aid course Canberra. We are helping provide this information to our participants so that they  are aware of the suffering due to allergies and especially asthma and anaphylaxis. Book in to one of our first aid course in Canberra so that we can help train you.

Most people have no idea how to spot if someone is having a severe allergic reaction or how to help them despite Australia having one of the highest rates of food allergies in the developed world, research shows.

Four out of five adults do not know the signs of a severe allergic reaction to food and 70 per cent do not know how to help them or use a potentially life-saving adrenaline autoinjector or EpiPen.

Only four per cent of those surveyed by Galaxy Research knew you could be allergic to any food and half did not know you can develop an allergy to a food you have eaten before without a reaction.

The study showed most Australians are aware of common food allergies to peanuts, shellfish and seafood, but few people realise other triggers like bananas, kiwifruit and celery could also lead to potentially fatal allergic reactions.

The research revealed an extremely dangerous combination of lack of awareness and complacency, said Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia CEO Maria Said.

“We all need to be allergy aware – how to use an adrenaline auto-injector must become common first aid knowledge, just like CPR,” she said.

It is estimated more than 650,000 Australians have a diagnosed food allergy and there are about 30,000 new cases every year, Allergy & Anaphylaxis said on Sunday to mark the start of food allergy week.


Why having a defibrillator could save your business

At Canberra First Aid, our services extend beyond to just teaching first aid courses in Canberra. We pride ourselves on practicing what we preach and that includes supplying first aid and medical equipment to businesses, organisations and work sites.

Having first aid equipment is just as essential as having the knowledge on how to use it which is why we reinforce to our students whom attend our first aid courses, many of which are business owners, the importance of having the most up-to-date first aid equipment on hand.

Having the right first aid equipment can help you as a business owner protect:

  • Staff
  • Clients
  • Tradesmen
  • Contractors

One expense that many businesses are now investing in is defibrillators and with good reason. One Australian dies every 27 minutes from heart disease, which includes heart attacks and unfortunately this figure is continuing to rise.  Having a defibrillator on site can be the difference between life and death. People suffering from cardiac arrest have a very small chance of survival to begin and with a defibrillator you increase the chance of survival by around 60-70%.

If you are interested in having a defibrillator in your workplace or wanting more information on what they actually do, please contact our Canberra First Aid office today.


Theresa May pledges to expand mental health ‘first aid’ training into primaries

First Aid Training done right with Canberra First Aid. We offer great first aid training courses in CPR, asthma and anaphylaxis. 
Our first aid training courses are run at the Paklands Hotel in Dickson which offers excellent accommodation options and is 200 metres from the Dickson shopping precinct. 
The prime minister announces plans to teach children more about mental wellbeing

Theresa May has announced measures to provide every school with mental health first aid training and to teach children more about mental wellbeing.

The plan builds on a proposal announced in January to make mental health first aid training available to all secondary schools, with the aim of having trained at least one teacher in every secondary school by 2019.

The prime minister also wants to provide each school with a single point of contact with mental health services, and to include more in the curriculum about mental wellbeing, particularly in relation to keeping safe online and cyber bullying.

The plans are part of a wider package of reforms that would tear up the Mental Health Act and replace it with new legislation aimed largely at reducing the number of vulnerable people detained in prison cells.

Mrs May said: “We are going to roll out mental health support to every school in the country, ensure that mental health is taken far more seriously in the workplace, and raise standards of care with 10,000 more mental health professionals working in the NHS by 2020.

“These reforms are a vital part of my plan to build a fairer society for all, not just the privileged few, and they demonstrate the positive difference that strong and stable leadership makes.”

‘Empty rhetoric’

But Liberal Democrat former health minister Norman Lamb dismissed the promises as “empty rhetoric”.

Mr Lamb told the Press Association: “I’m sick and tired of great rhetoric from this government about their commitment to mental health but the reality for families across our country is just so very different,”

“Let’s just make them make the investment that they committed to in 2015 in our children’s mental health services.”

The Tories have made it clear that they are not prepared to invest any more from additional taxation, he added.

Speaking this morning on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the proposals would prevent children with mental health problems “ending up in police cells”.

He said: “There is a lot of new money coming in to it – £1 billion.” This amount was announced in January. Asked whether it was new money, Mr Hunt stated: “It’s new money going into the NHS that’s going into mental health.”

Several surveys have shown that many schools struggle to refer pupils to NHS mental health services. More than half of school leaders said they found it hard to locate services for pupils with mental health problems, according to a survey by the NAHT heads’ union and the children’s mental health charity Place2Be in February.

Last week, a cross-party group of MPs found that school funding cuts were harming pupils’ mental health.


South Sydney under scrutiny after Sam Burgess played on with concussion

Mar 23rd, 2017

The NRL will review a concussion suffered by Sam Burgess against the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night after the South Sydney lock remained on the field for four minutes before finally leaving for a Head Injury Assessment (HIA).

The concussion issue has bubbled along this week after the NRL handed down a record $350,000 in combined fines to the Gold Coast, Newcastle and St George Illawarra for failing in their duty of care to players who had suffered head knocks.

Burgess came off second best after rushing out of the line late in the first half to put a hit on Sydney Roosters hard man Isaac Liu. The Souths captain remained on his haunches before slowly rising to his feet and re-joining the play.

South Sydney lock Sam Burgess on the charge against the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night. (AAP)

The NRL review all HIA’s at the completion of the round to determine if the strict rules have been breached and they have already signalled their intentions to clubs over concussions this week after issuing heavy fines.

Channel Nine commentator Phil Gould said on his “Six Tackles with Gus” podcast for 9Podcasts that his greatest concern over the NRL’s tough stance was there would be a knee-jerk reaction from clubs now over concussion.

“It’s a difficult issue and if you’re going to throw $50,$100, $150,000 on top of that well now we’re going to be jumping at shadows,” Gould said

“As soon as a bloke rubs his head because he’s got a knock they’re going to be saying you’ve got to come off and have a HIA.

“We’re more and more and more sanitising the game of rugby league and now that we’ve actually got litigation around this concussion issue it’s a real problem. I don’t know how we play the game and avoid head knocks and avoid people getting hurt.

“It doesn’t mean that they’ve always got concussion and that’s the thing. We’re going to keep running players on and off to the HIA and I don’t know where it’s going to end.”

Newcastle is one of three NRL clubs who were heavily fined over their handling of fullback Brendan Elliott’s concussion in round three.

Gould said clubs placed their faith in their medical staff and it was sometimes difficult to diagnose concussion.

The Titans have already indicated they will challenge their fine, claiming one of the players the NRL had identified Joe Greenwood as suffering a concussion had actually copped a poke in the eye, while the Dragons and Knights are reviewing their options.

“People think it’s easy to determine if a player is concussed or not,” Gould said.

“It’s not.

“A player may be stunned, a player may be hurt, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s concussed and you trust your medical staff out there who have had the experience at this as to whether or not the player (is concussed).

“Just because a player goes down injured we shouldn’t have to get him off to test him for concussion all the time.”

Read more at http://wwos.nine.com.au/2017/03/23/21/52/nrl-expected-to-investigate-concussion-suffered-by-south-sydneys-sam-burgess#mVy5jb0MqDeMIWBW.99


First aid tips: Best ways to tackle mishaps from allergies to tick bite

Here is a good little article with lots of basic first aid procedures. Make sure you book in to a full first aid course though so that you can keep your accreditation up to date. First aid courses can deliver you with all of the skills that you need. In Canberra we feel that we train the best first aid courses so book in now.

HERE are the latest tips on how to treat the most common and serious medical conditions so you’ll know exactly what to do if one strikes.


“The number-one solution for a burn is 20 minutes under cool running water,” Peter LeCornu, national training manager at St John Ambulance Australia, says. “After that, cover it with a loose, non-stick dressing. If the burn is bigger than a 20-cent piece, see your doctor or a pharmacist. If it’s bigger than the palm of your hand, head straight to hospital.” Do not use ice or apply lotions, ointment or fat to the burn. If the burn is deep, seek urgent medical advice.


“If you’ve just received a cancer diagnosis, acknowledge that feeling a range of different emotions is normal,” Nicole Cook, clinical psychologist at Sydney’s MindFrame Psychology, says. “It can be quite overwhelming to think of all the ‘what ifs’, so try to stay in the moment. Discuss the diagnosis with whoever you feel most comfortable talking to. That could be friends and family or a counsellor. If someone close to you has received a cancer diagnosis, listen. It might not feel like much but it’s the best thing you can do.”


Picture: iStock

“Panic attacks can be overwhelming and scary,” Cook says. “The first thing is to remind yourself you’re not in danger and encourage calm thoughts. A panic attack will cause rapid, shallow breathing, so try to counter that with slow belly breathing. If panic attacks are happening often enough to significantly impact your life or cause debilitating fear, see a psychologist.”


“Give the person five sharp blows to the middle of their back using the heel of your hand. Failing that, give them five chest thrusts – stand next to them with the heel of one hand on the lower half of their sternum and one in the middle of their back and thrust,” LeCornu says. If a child is choking, use back blows. Don’t tip them upside down or put your fingers in their mouth or throat.


“Prevention is always the best cure,” associate professor Chris Baker, president of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, says. “But if you get caught out and are suffering from mild sunburn, use a simple moisturiser, such as sorbolene, and a cold compress on the area. Simple is best when it comes to after-sun lotions, and I’d avoid anything that’s highly perfumed or has an anaesthetic agent in it.”


Picture: iStock

“Mild heartburn can often settle with a glass of milk and rest,” GP Dr Elizabeth Sturgiss says. “For anything more severe, use over-the-counter tablets or liquids.” If that fails, seek urgent medical advice to rule out a more serious issue.


Picture: iStock

“A fever is considered temperatures above 38˚C,” Sturgiss explains. “If you have a fever for more than 48 hours or if paracetamol isn’t helping to bring it down, make an appointment to see your doctor. If, however, you have a fever as well as neck stiffness, difficulty with bright lights, a bruise-like rash, drowsiness or confusion, get to the hospital. Exercising to ‘sweat out a fever’ is a myth so don’t try it. Children with fevers should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.”


“The most common form of allergic reaction is hayfever, which can cause sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, and a runny or blocked nose,” Sturgiss says. “If you’re having these symptoms for the first time, see your doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Then, over-the-counter medicines and steroid nasal sprays will help relieve symptoms. An acute allergic reaction can be caused by a range of things and cause a number of different symptoms, from itchy rashes and sneezing right through to life-threatening airway swelling and breathing difficulties. If it’s a severe allergic reaction, call an ambulance and give the person first aid while you wait for it to arrive.”


“Keep well hydrated by drinking a combination of water and electrolyte solutions frequently,” Sturgiss says. “It’s also important to rest. If you’ve had ongoing diarrhoea for 48 hours, it’s worthwhile visiting your GP. If you’re vomiting too, don’t leave it any longer than 12 hours before seeing a doctor.”


Picture: iStock

“It’s crucial you get the whole tick out, so only try to remove it if you’ve got tick-removal forceps,” LeCornu advises. “With normal tweezers, it’s really easy to get the body out but you often leave the head behind. If you don’t have the right forceps, get to a doctor.”


Picture: iStock

“The message is simple: R-I-C-E,” LeCornu says. “That is, rest, ice, compression and elevation. Sit down with an icepack on the area for 15 minutes every two hours for the first 24 hours. Also use a compression bandage on the area for at least 48 hours and elevate it for as long as you can.”


Picture: iStock

“Make sure it’s a migraine and not a bad headache, which can be treated with paracetamol or ibuprofen,” Sturgiss says. “Migraines tend to be on one side of the head and they throb. The best thing for migraines is aspirin washed down with coffee. We think spasms in the brain vessels cause migraines, and the aspirin and coffee work together to dilate them and relieve the pain.”


“If someone blacks out with no warning, they should see a doctor immediately,” Sturgiss says. “But if someone feels they’re about to faint and then does, it’s less serious. Put them flat on their back on the floor with their feet up at a right angle. If they don’t wake in a few minutes, call an ambulance. If they do wake, keep them lying flat for 5-10 minutes and then ease them up gently. Have them sip some fluids. If they’re acting oddly or feeling unwell, call an ambulance.”


“The first step is to put gloves on to reduce the risk of infection,” LeCornu says. “If the area is bleeding, stop it by applying pressure. Then use water or saline and sterile gauze to clean the area and get any nasties out. After that, apply a soft, dry dressing. If the wound can’t be cleaned or if there’s something stuck in there, that’s when you should head to the doctor.”


“Concussion is the result of a head injury so it always needs to be treated seriously,” LeCornu says. “I’d call an ambulance straight away and then keep the person lying down until the ambulance arrives.”


“Increasing your fibre intake with more vegetables, whole fruit with the skin on and wholegrains, as well as upping water intake, should be the first step,” Sturgiss says. “Exercise also gets the bowels moving.” If that fails, see your doctor.


“Book in to see your doctor,” Sturgiss says. “While you’re waiting, keep your fluids up so your urine is almost clear – that will help flush the bugs through. You can also get effervescent drink sachets that will make your urine less acidic so it’s less painful.”


“People who are depressed tend to think negatively and be self-critical so an easy tip is to ask yourself whether you’d talk to a friend in the same situation as you’re talking to yourself,” Cook says. “Writing your thoughts down and trying to challenge them can also help. So can exercise because it improves mood and sleep quality. Last of all, ask for help – it’s never too soon.”


“Chest pain that lasts for a few seconds is something that should be followed up with your doctor,” Sturgiss says. “But if chest pain lasts more than a few minutes or comes with difficulty breathing, racing heart or feeling unwell, call an ambulance quickly.”


Picture: iStock

We’ve all had that queasy feeling but Sturgiss says, “Severe or persistent tummy pains should be discussed with your doctor, who will do a comprehensive assessment of your medical history and a physical examination. There’s no common remedy for a stomach ache and they can be caused by so many different things so it’s really important to get to the bottom of the cause.”


Picture: iStock

“Even a mild toothache warrants a visit to your dentist,” Dr Gary Smith, president of the Australian Dental Association Queensland, says. “The most likely cause of a toothache is sensitivity, decay or a cavity, all of which need treatment. Other causes include fractures, gum disease and even things unrelated to the teeth such as sinus infections and heart disease. Have regular check-ups.”


“If a person is having an acute asthma attack, they will have difficulty breathing, trouble speaking and may even collapse,” Sturgiss says. “Help them use their puffers and call an ambulance. If someone has undiagnosed asthma and is experiencing wheezing, coughing or breathlessness when exercising, they should book in to see their GP. It’s also especially important for people with asthma to avoid cigarette smoke.”

* If you or someone else is in need of urgent medical help, call 000. For 24-hour health advice and info: Health Direct, 1800 022 022. For 24-hour mental health support: Lifeline, 13 11 14.