1. A heart attack and cardiac arrest are the same thing.
A cardiac arrest is not the same thing as a heart attack. They are different conditions and require different treatments. A heart attack happens when one of the coronary arteries becomes blocked due to fatty deposits. The heart muscle is robbed of its vital blood supply and, if left untreated, will begin to die because it is not getting enough oxygen.
A cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart stops pumping blood around their body and they stop breathing normally. Many cardiac arrests in adults happen because of a heart attack because their heart has develop an abnormal heart rhythm which can lead to a cardiac arrest.
2. Don’t perform CPR on a casualty if you haven’t been trained.
If you have not been trained to perform CPR, Hot Response First Aid Training & Consultancy recommends that everyone attempts chest compressions when assisting with a cardiac arrest casualty.
The first three minutes after a cardiac arrest are the most important therefore it is essential that bystander CPR is performed. Ambulance dispatches will always provide instructions on how to carry out chest compressions over the phone.
3. You do not need to perform rescue breaths when performing CPR.
There has been some confusion for many years now that rescue breaths should not be provided when performing CPR, with popular television adverts regarding bystander CPR adding to some of that uncertainty.
Someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest will still have 3 or 4 minutes’ worth of oxygenated blood residing in their system and it is vitally important to pump this blood throughout the casualty’s body by means of chest compressions. After this period of time, the oxygenated blood will deplete and the importance of breathing for the casualty becomes crucial to aiding the casualty’s survival. Two rescue breaths should be given after every 30 compressions.
If a child suffers a cardiac arrest, it is very important for a First Aider to provide 5 rescue breaths first as a child’s body does not retain oxygenated blood the same way as adults. These 5 breaths should then be followed by 30 compressions and then continue with 2 rescue breaths and 30 compressions until emergency crews arrives.
However, due to infection control risks we recognise that some people may be unable or unwilling to provide rescue breaths for an unresponsive casualty who is not breathing normally, and therefore strongly recommend delivering chest compressions only. Always use an approved face shield when providing rescue breaths.
4. If a person is alone, they can avoid a cardiac arrest by coughing.
There has been information circulating on social media claiming that a person who is alone can avoid a cardiac arrest by coughing to prevent the condition getting worse. This information is false and should not be followed. If you go into cardiac arrest there is no way to ‘stop’ this.
5. A casualty can die if CPR is delivered incorrectly.
If a person is at the point of receiving CPR, technically they are already dead. CPR and defibrillation is the single most effective treatment for a cardiac arrest. CPR can only help the casualty at this point, even if it is not performed perfectly.
In the event of a cardiac arrest, it is better to attempt some form of CPR than nothing at all.
6. You can be sued for performing CPR.
Some people are scared to perform CPR as they are concerned that they may hurt the person who needs treatment or be sued for their actions. Although there is the ‘Good Samaritan’ law in Australia, which protects a first aider who acts in good faith and within their level of training.
7. It takes too long to learn CPR.
Hot Response First Aid Training & Consultancy run a short two hour course covering CPR and how to use a defibrillator.
8. You can contract HIV/AIDS from delivering rescue breaths during CPR.
People can be reluctant to deliver full CPR (30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths) to a stranger at the risk of contracting HIV or AIDS. This is highly unlikely to happen as HIV and AIDS can only be spread through direct contact with blood, semen, or vaginal fluid. However, we recommend using a face shield to avoid any infection control risks. If in doubt, commence CPR only until emergency crews arrive.
Know the dangers of button batteries – and what a swallowed battery could do to your child’s inside’s.
Button batteries burn. The damage is noticeable within just 30 minutes and if the child does not receive immediate medical help, they may die. Often, the first anyone knows that a button battery has been swallowed is when the child starts vomiting blood – but this is usually too late!
The dangers of button batteries:
We all remember having fun with science experiments as children … watching a bottle of cola explode when a mento mint was dropped in it – and seeing the enamel on a tooth disappear before our eyes when left in fizzy pop overnight. A far more important experiment that we should all be doing with our kids though, is one where a small, round ‘button’ battery is left on a slice of ham for a few hours. This represents what would happen to a person’s insides if they were to swallow one. The process is staggering to watch. It outlines just how vital it is to keep these batteries out of the reach of babies, toddlers and small children.
Button batteries and lithium coin batteries are the small, round, batteries you find in toys, cards, watches, key fobs, calculators, hearing aids and numerous other everyday objects. They look to be totally harmless and you would think that if they were swallowed, that they would pass straight through and out the other end. Whist sometimes the battery can come out the other end, with no problem, sadly it is usually not the case.
What would happen if one was swallowed?:
With batteries being needed in ever more electronic gadgets around the home, hospitals are reporting an increase in life-changing injuries resulting from these innocent-looking culprits. These batteries are commonly found in toys, key fobs and even greetings cards. If the battery is swallowed and gets stuck at any point in its journey; then it continues to emit its charge (even if it was already considered to be ‘dead’ when swallowed). This creates corrosive caustic soda which burns through the tissue and causes horrendous damage and internal bleeding.
Lithium coin batteries are particularly dangerous. They have a higher voltage and so release more energy and are more corrosive. Fatal damage can therefore occur in just a couple of hours. In most cases, parents have no idea their child has swallowed a battery until they start vomiting blood, by which time it is often too late to help as irreparable damage has already occurred.
An experiment to illustrate the dangers:
This video experiment is to show what a button battery would do to a slice of ham in just 90 minutes. To mimic a battery being swallowed, saliva was added to the battery and it was enclosed in cling film to be enclosed, as in the body – and the results were shocking.
So … what can be done?
Prevention and vigilance are key:
- Always check that battery compartments on electronic gadgets are securely fastened (usually with a screw).
- If a battery is missing and you think it likely your child may have swallowed it, take your child to A&E for an x-ray to be sure.
- If a battery compartment isn’t secured with a screw; ensure the gadget is kept safely out of the reach of children. Avoid buying products that do not conform to AU safety standards.
- Store spare batteries carefully; somewhere inaccessible to children, ideally in a high-up, lockable cupboard. Button batteries are potentially as dangerous as medicines and your cleaning products and should be treated as such.
- Inform your whole family about the dangers of button batteries.
- Recycle used batteries safely, as these too are dangerous
If you think your child may have swallowed a button battery, act fast:
- Take them to your nearest A&E as quickly as possible
- Tell the triage nurse that you think they have swallowed a battery. Take the gadget with you so the staff can identify the type of battery you are worried about.
- Do not wait for any signs or symptoms
- Do not try to make them sick
- Make sure you do not give them anything to eat or drink. They may need an anaesthetic in order to be operated on
Your child will be x-rayed to establish whether the battery is there or not and if so, where it is lodged. If necessary, they will be taken for an operation to remove the battery as a matter of urgency.
Please do follow this advice on how to prevent accidents happening in the first place. Also spread the word on how to keep children safe around button batteries.
Hot Response First Aid Training provides this information for guidance only. It is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. Hot Response First Aid Training is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that you attend a practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.
Triple Zero kids challenge is a free app available for Apple, Android and Windows. Children engage in scenarios teaching them how to handle different emergencies.There are 9 different safety scenarios to explore, including simulated 000 calls.
The game looks at key things children should know in an emergency, from basic information like their addresses and telephone numbers to escape routes and safe meeting points. Parents can benefit from these as well if they had not considered them before. Children are taught to stay relevant when making calls. They are also shown the cost of making prank calls to these services.
There are scenarios for calling, police, fire and ambulance. By playing these scenarios repeatedly children call develop the necessary skills and confidence that they may need in an emergency.
Triple Zero Ambulance Emergency
Scenarios include dealing with a medical emergency like a suspected heart attack.
They are talked through the questions they will be asked.
- Police, fire or ambulance.
- What is your exact address? How to identify your location if the adress is unknown is also covered.)
- What phone number are you calling from?
- What is the emergency?
- Tell me exactly what is wrong.
- Are there other adults who can help you?
- Always stay on the phone.
- Do you know if the person takes special medicine?
- Can you find it?
- Can you help him take it?
Stay calm and talk clearly.
Understanding unconsciousness and how to get a response are also discussed.
Users are shown how to make emergency calls if a phone is locked.
Do you really need an ambulance?
The app looks at the difference between situations that require emergency services and those requiring simple first aid (refered to as big accidents and small accidents.)
Triple Zero Fire emergencies
The following issues are covered in these scenarios.
- What is your escape plan?
- Every room needs two escape routes.
- When there is smoke get down low and move.
- Close the doors behind you.
- Leave keys in deadlocks.
- Know how to get out safely.
- First aid treatment for managing burns.
- Bushfire Survival plans
Triple Zero Police Emergency
Besides the information covered in the other scenarios this looks at.
- What to do if approached by a stranger.
- What to do if you see a crime.
- What to do if you see an accident.
- What if you don’t know which service you need.
- What constitutes an emergency.
This is an excellent app for educating children and adults alike.
Ever wondered how the emergency services could contact a friend or relative if you were found unconscious with only your Smartphone for identification?
Medical ID or ICE stands for “in case of emergency,” and it’s what many of us have been taught to look for if someone needs medical attention in a first aid incident. Well, what if that person is you? Where is your ICE info? One of the easiest and most convenient places to keep emergency information is on your smartphone, but only if you know the right way to do it so that someone can see it without having to unlock your phone. Now is a great time to make sure you and everyone in your family has ICE info on their phone, especially with Christmas and new round the corner and smartphone-carrying students who might be heading back to school.
ICE on iPhone
If you have an iPhone, you can add emergency contact information and medical notes so that’s it’s accessible to anyone from your lock screen.
1. Open the Apple Health app, which is installed on all iOS devices running iOS 8 and later. This app can’t be uninstalled.
2. Tap on Medical ID in the bottom right corner.
3. Tap Create Medical ID.
4. At the very top, make sure Show When Locked is turned on (to green). Fill in as much information as is relevant to you. If you have no known allergies or aren’t taking medication, it still helps to write “None” or “None known” so that medical personnel don’t assume you’ve overlooked these fields.
5. Make sure you assign at least one person as your emergency contact person. You must save that person’s name and phone number in your Contacts app for the Health app to be able to include it.
6. Hit Done to save.
Now here’s how to test it to make sure it worked, and to make sure you know what to look for if you ever have to find someone else’s ICE info. Lock your phone. Now wake it up but don’t fully unlock it with the passcode or Touch ID. When you slide to get to the passcode screen, you should see Emergency at the top. Press it, and a new screen appears with a number keypad to dial, as well as Medical ID in the bottom left. Press Medical ID, and you’ll see your information appear along with a phone icon that, when pressed, will automatically dial your ICE contact. Note that while you can find ICE apps in the App Store, they are not accessible from a locked phone! You should always lock your iPhone with a passcode or TouchID for security reasons, meaning these ICE apps are useless in a real emergency. Use the Apple Health app instead.
ICE on Android
Depending on which phone you have and which version of Android you’re running, you might have an emergency contact feature in your phone’s setting. Check there first. It might be under a sub-menu such as My Information.
If you can’t find an emergency contact field within the settings, there are apps for adding ICE info, but you’ll need one that has a widget accessible from the lock screen. Note that not all versions of Android support lock screen apps anymore. It’s tricky.
I also recommend not relying on an app that sends emergency information via text messaging. When a true emergency is happening, first responders need to know whether they’ve reached an emergency contact. They can’t wait around for someone to reply to a text message.
For Android 4.2 and later, the ICE: In Case of Emergency app ($3.99) seems promising (I haven’t personally tested it), I have the free medical ID app. It has a lock screen widget and lets you save important information as well as ICE names and numbers. Some user feedback suggests that it may disable alarms, however. If you use your Android as an alarm clock, you might want to consider other options before shelling out four bucks for this app.
Summer is usually the happiest time of year for Australian families. It’s a time when we enjoy extended holidays and sun-soaked Christmas celebrations, long days at the beach and barbecues with friends.
However, sunny days spent outside in the backyard or on the sand can mean injuries are more commonplace.
We’ve had a look at some of the most common injuries parents should be aware of this summer, and offer a few tips on how to treat them:
Gatherings around pools or at the beach are a valued tradition for many Australian families, but with that tradition comes the very real danger of drowning. Parents can reduce risks by always supervising children. When there are several families in one place, ensure you confirm with other parents who’s supervising. At the beach, ensure you always swim between the red and yellow flags. Finally, brushing up on your CPR skills is important for every parent. You can book yourself into our first-aid course covering CPR by clicking here
In our harsh Australian climate, sunburn is a very real problem. These days, most parents are very aware of the need to slip slop slap to keep the burns at bay – and prevention is the best cure – but sunburns can and do still happen. A 20 minute cool shower will help reduce symptoms and discomfort. Keep the area moisturized. And ensure you keep your child’s fluids up with water and seek medical help if the burn is bad, if there is extensive blistering, or signs of infection.
Bicycle, scooter and skateboard injuries:
Children should always wear the appropriate clothing for the activity they’re undertaking. A helmet is essential, and knee and wrist pads are also advisable for kids heading out on skateboards. When injuries do occur, act quickly to apply cold compresses to swollen areas. If you think your child has sustained a fracture, seek medical assistance.
Stings and Insect Bites:
When an insect bite strikes, there’s often not much that can be done to treat it. However, applying a cold compress can reduce pain and inflammation. For jellyfish stings, call Triple 0 or seek advice from a lifeguard if there’s one nearby. Apply vinegar liberally to the area, or seawater if there’s no vinegar on hand. Don’t use fresh water to clean the sting.
Thankfully this is a less common injury, but it’s most common in the summertime and is an important one to know how to treat. Snakes are active over the warmer months and snake bites can often occur while kids are out exploring, bushwalking or camping. If your child experiences a snakebite, it’s important to keep them calm and call Triple 0 first. Firmly bandage the affected limb (if that’s where the bite was), starting at the foot or hand and working up towards the body.
Seeing Your Child In An Emergency Can Be Horrifying – Feeling Helpless is Worse
With the help of our training at Hot Response First Aid , you’ll sleep easy knowing that you’re prepared for almost every emergency.
- If your child is burnt or scalded, you’ll be prepared.
- If your child eats something and starts choking, you’ll be prepared.
- If your child experiences a sudden seizure, you’ll be prepared.
- If your child has been underwater and drowning, you’ll be prepared.
- If your child is suffering from a super-high fever, you’ll be prepared.
- If your child suffers a severe allergic reaction, you’ll be prepared.
- If your child swallows poison or a household substance, you’ll be prepared.
- If your child has an accident and breaks a bone, you’ll be prepared.
For the Price of a Restaurant Dinner, You Can Know PRECISELY How to Deal with Your Child’s Emergency…
Our most popular course is the First Aid 4 Kids — 3 Hour Course
This engaging and practical course covers the 10 most common emergency situations. At the end of 3 hours, you’ll know precisely how to deal with the emergency situation before the paramedics and first responders arrive.