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Breathing or no breathing

Jenny Bourne - Sunday, January 25, 2009

After clearing the airway or the airway is clear how do you assess for breathing in a collapsed casualty? 

In an emeregency situation where there is no danger to you and you have a person who is not responsive, you have called 000 or 112 for an ambulance to assist and you have cleared the airway or their airway is clear. The next step is to check for breathing.

You are close to the caualty's head and shoulder and look to their chest to see if it is rising and falling with each breath, place the back of your hand about 5 cm from their nose and mouth to feel for any breath and listen closely for any breath sounds. If there is no rise and fall of the cheat, you can not fell any breath on your hand and you can hear any breath sounds then the casualty is not breathing and will need to commence CPR.

If they are breathing then roll them into recovery position by placing their arm that is on the opposite side to you out at right angles to their body or directly up beside their head with their upper arm close to their ear. Fold the other arm across their body with it bent at the elbow. Bend their knee up on the side closest to you and then place your hand closest to their head under their shoulder on the side closest to you and your hand that is closest to their feet under their hip on the side closest to you. Now roll them gently to the other side, adjust their arm and hand on the upper side into a natural right angle positions and adjust their leg and foot that is uppermost to be along the ground or floor so the lower part of the leg is parallel to the other leg. Stay with the casualty until medical help arrives as they are unconscious and need assistance.

Until next time continue to be amazing First Aiders.

Checking Airway is clear

Jenny Bourne - Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How do you after calling the emergency call centre check the casualty's airway is clear?

How are you feeling when you have found an unconscious person and have called the emergency call centre? Maybe a little or lot anxious and feeling how do you need to do the next step which is to check the airway is clear.
If you suspect they may have a neck injury or fracture or broken neck then lift their jaw forward by placing your thumbs at the angle of their jaw about 5 -6 cms below their ears and moving thier jaw forward without moving their head back. Then look in their mouth and remove any loose teeth, loose dentures, food or other things.
Otherwise hold their head with one hand on their forehead and tilt their head back and hold their chin with the other hand so that your thumb is on one side of their face as far back as you can and your first finger (or pointer ) is on the other side of their chin and your other three fingers are curled in towards your palm in a pistol grip. So that you are have contact with their chin from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your first finger and open their mouth. Look in their mouth is there anything in their mouth other than their tongue and that all their teeth are still attached. So no loose teeth or no loose dentures or no food or any other thing in their mouth and if there is something in their mouth then it needs to be removed. Roll the casualty on their side and remove the loose teeth, dentures, food or other thing from their mouth.
To roll the casualty place one arm straight up beside their head so that their ear is on their upper arm, and place the other arm across their chest bent at right angles at the elbow, bend up the leg at the knee on the same side as the arm across the chest . You are on the same side as the bent leg. Then place your hand closest to their head on their shoulder that is closest to you and other hand on their hip on that same side and then roll them to the other side. Adjusting their bent arm so that their upper hand is out and in natural position. Tilt  their head back to maintain a clear  airway.
The casualty is now is safe stable lateral position or recovery position.

In the next blog is about checking for breathing. Unitl then be safe.

Call Emeregency Call Centre 000 or 112

Jenny Bourne - Monday, January 12, 2009

What are you feeling as you call '000'or '112'? What will you hear when you make the call? What do you watch for?

Your heart may be racing a little and wishing yourself to feel calm and confident and focused.
The call is answered promptly and the question you are asked is "what service do you need?"
Your reply is ambulance in whichever state you are in.
Next question is "Where are you located?
Your reply "Unit number, house number, street name, suburb, State and any information that makes it easy for the ambulance to find you'
for example 'unit 3, 40 Queen Street, West End, Brisbane Queensland and the building entry is on George St '
Next question is "What is the situation? Who needs help?
Your reply, 'describe the situation with as much detail as possible
for example '"it is an elderly  gentleman who appears to have had a stroke, he has facial drooping, slurred speech, his right arm is weak and he was incontinent of urine". Please tell me how I can help him to be more comfortable.
The emergency service staff may continue to talk to you to assist you and it is recommended to follow their instructions until the ambulance arrives.

Check for Response of casualty

Jenny Bourne - Monday, January 05, 2009

Why check for response of the collapsed casualty after you know it is safe to assist them?

If the person is only sleeping and not unconscious then they may not need assistance.

What are the questions to ask?
Can you hear me?
Open your eyes?
Whats your name?
Squeeze my hand? and test both hands as they have weakness from a stroke that has caused them to collapse

If there is no response to the questions that the person is unconscious and needs medical assistance so call the emergency call centre on 000 on landline or 112 on mobile and 106 if hearing or speech impaired.

Stay safe and shine in 2009 as excellent First Aiders

DANGER in emergency

Jenny Bourne - Sunday, January 04, 2009

Why not use the letters of DANGER to help remember what to check for when in an emergency situation?

D - deadly creatures - snakes, spiders, stingers
A - alcohol affected people and any other toxins
N - not known - anything that you do not know how it can harm you
G - gases, fumes, smoke, fire
E - electrical cables that are live
R - racing cars, moving vehicles or swirling flood waters

Danger in emergency situations

Jenny Bourne - Saturday, January 03, 2009

Why make sure it is safe before going to help someone in an emergency situation?

Firstly so that there is only one casualty and you do not become one as well and cause a bigger emergency than it is already. Do you have the skills to assist the person?

What are the things you want to look out for before assisting another person?
Is there any live electrical cables? Are there any moving cars in a motor vehicle accident ? Is there any smoke or fire? Is there any fumes? Is there deep water or flood waters? Are there any venomous creatures - snakes, spiders etc? Is there any broken glass? Or needles and syringes? Or sharp objects? Or heavy items that could crush you? Are there drunk or intoxicated people?

How to make sure it is safe to go to them? If none of the dangers above are there then carefully approach the person and check for a response. if there is no response then call Emergency Call Centre on 000 or 112 on molbile and describe the situtation.

What if you can not make it safe? If it is not safe for you then you call the Emeregency Call Centre on 000 or 112 and describe the situation, where you are and that you could not check the person as it was not safe for you to go to them.

First Aid Fast

Want to shine in 2009

Jenny Bourne - Friday, January 02, 2009

Do you want to be outstanding in First Aid in 2009?

The people who are confident and calm in emergency situations do 'shine' and are most helpful to those around them and themselves.
Do you want to know how to get that feeling of confidence and calm before the emergency and then be able to access it easily in the emergency situation?

Commence by being in a calm and comfortable position now and reading through these directions and then doing them.
Next close your eyes and remember a time when you did felt confident and calm. As you think of that time get a picture of what you saw, and hear what you heard and remember the feelings of being confident and calm. You may want to anchor that feeling to yourself with a movement that you would automatically do in an emergency situation. It could be that you 'pull your self together' by standing taller and looking more alert, or you wipe your hands together and then wipe them across your thighs like wiping your hands on an apron.

So build on your emergency anchor of confidence and calm during the coming weeks whenever you think about being confident and calm. Remember the time when you were confident and calm and have the feeling intensely then use the anchor movements that you had set by standing taller or by wiping your hands or the action that works for you.

The next step is to focus on what you do want, and that is, there are only emergency situations that require your help when you are feeling confident and calm and able to deal with them.

Now go and shine in 2009 as only you can.

Dehydration & heat exhaustion

Jenny Bourne - Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How do you help someone affected by dehydration and or heat exhaustion?

Over the past few weeks now that the weather has got hotter I have been seeing people affected by the heat. They may look like they have less energy and colour in their face may be pale and less shiny or say that they feel tired or that they need a sleep.

Ask them have they been drinking enough water? What is the colour of their urine when they go to the toilet? They may have drunk less than 2 litres or 8 glasses of water. Or their urine may be dark and concentrated not light and straw coloured. If they have been drinking water have they also been taking some salt in their diet.

They also need to rest in the shade and sip water cool water - not cold or iced water.
Take off any excess clothing and this may mean having only their underwear on or less.
Place them under a fan
Place cool packs in their armpits their groin and around their neck and on their forehead

If they have not recovered in an hour or so then they should seek medical assistance.

Infant First Aid for new parents & new grandparents

Jenny Bourne - Sunday, November 30, 2008

How do you feel when you hold your new baby in your arms and wonder what you would do if they needed you to save their life? Would you know what to do?

If your a new parent or prospective parents pregnant with your first child and would like to know what to do in an emergency? What do you do when they have a fever? or when they having difficulty breathing with a cold in their nose?

Then come to the Infant First Aid class on Monday December 15 at 8.00am. There is room for baby as well at the class.

Asthma attack from Spring flowers

Jenny Bourne - Wednesday, November 05, 2008

How do you help someone with asthma as a response to the spring flowers?

If a friend or family member or anyone else becomes short of breath and distressed and is having an asthma attack then help them to sit down in an uprigth position, remain calm and stay with the person.

Assist them to use their reliever medication in blue or grey puffer and if they have a spacer available it is preferable to use this. Give one puff and wait for them to take four breaths then give then another puff and wait for them to take four breaths and continue in this pattern until four puffs have been given. Wait four minutes and then check to see if they are breathing more easily. If they are more distressed call 000 for ambulance or 112 on mobile phone.

For more information go to this website

For information for asthma and children go to this website

For a Asthma First Aid Plan go to this web page