First Aid for drowning emergencies

Drowning is a common cause of accidental death, especially amongst children and toddlers.  Contrary to popular opinion, a casualty who drowns does not usuallyi inhale large amounts of water into the lungs.

90% of deaths from drowning are caused by a relatively small amount of water entering the lungs, interfering with oxygen exchange in the alveoli (wet drowning). The other 10% are caused by muscle spasm near the epiglottis and larynx blocking the airway (dry drowning). The victim will usually swallow large amounts of water, which might then be vomited as they are rescued or resuscitation takes place.

It should be remembered that other factors may contribute to the cause of drowning – for example, hypothermia, alcohol, or an underlying medical condition such as epilepsy or a heart attack.

Secondary drowning

If a small amount of water enters the lungs, irritation is caused and fluid is drawn from the blood into the alveoli. This reaction could be delayed for several hours, so a casualty who has been resuscitated and apparently recovered might relapse into severe difficulty breathing at a later stage. It is for this reason that any casualty who recovers from ‘near drowning’ should be taken to a hospital immediately.

First aid treatment of drowning
  • Do not put yourself at risk. ‘Reach or throw – don’t GO’.
  • If possible keep the victim horizontal during the rescue as shock can occur.
  • Check Airway and Breathing. – Perform CPR if necessary (if they are not breathing normally)
  • Call for emergency medical help, even if the victim appears to recover initially after the drowning episode

Warmer weather is coming…and so are the snakes!

INTRODUCTION

Australian snakes are some of the most deadly in the world and as such timely first aid treatment for a snake bite is critical in the outcome of a patient.

 

Australian snake venoms are complex mixtures of many toxic substances which can cause a range of effects on humans including death. The neurotoxic effect from a venomous bite can quickly kill by causing breathing failure. Other significant effects include bleeding due to your blood being unable to clot and life threatening muscle damage caused by kidney failure.

 

SNAKE BITE RECOGNITION

Venomous snake bites may be painless and without obvious bite marks. Life threatening effects may appear within minutes in massive envenomation, especially in children. With mild envenomation, life threatening effects may not be seen for hours.

 

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Paired fang marks, but often only a single mark or scratch mark may be present
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blurred/double vision, or drooping eyelids
  • Initial collapse or confusion followed by partial or complete recovery
  • Difficulty speaking, swallowing or breathing
  • Swollen tender glands in the groin or armpit of the bitten limb
  • Limb weakness or paralysis
  • Respiratory weakness or respiratory arrest.

 

SNAKE BITE MANAGEMENT

  1. Commence resuscitation if needed prior to any other treatment.
  2. Keep the patient at rest, reassured and under constant observation
  3. Apply Pressure Immobilisation Technique (see below for details)
  4. Call 000 and request Ambulance for transport to a medical facility

 

NOTE:
  • DO NOT cut or incise the bite
  • DO NOT use an arterial tourniquet
  • DO NOT wash or suck the bite
  • DO NOT kill the snake for identification purposes. This increases the risk of becoming an additional patient and identification of venomous snakes can be made from venom present on clothing or skin using a Venom Detection Kit.
  • Antivenom is available for all venomous Australian snake bites.

 

PRESSURE IMMOBILISATION TECHNIQUE (PIT)

PIT is recommended for the treatment of Australian snake bites. It is also recommended for envenomation from Funnel Web Spider, Blue-ringed Octopus and Cone Shell.

 

PIT is NOTrecommended for the first aid treatment of:

  • Other spiders(inc redback)
  • Jellyfish stings
  • Fish stings (inc Stonefish)
  • Scorpions, Centrepedes or Beetles

 

STEP 1.

Apply bandage over the bite site immediately. Mark the bandage over bite site with a pen.

 

STEP 2.

Apply the second bandage starting at fingers/toes of bitten limb and extend bandaging upward covering as much limb as possible. The bandage should be applied over existing clothing. Mark the bandage over the bite site with the pen. Mark on the bandage the time of application. Ensure bandage isn’t too tight. Your finger should be able to easily slide between skin and bandage.

 

STEP 3.

Splint the limb with the triangular bandage to restrict limb movement. A) Apply figure 8 to ankles for leg Immobilisation B) Apply sling to arm for arm bites.

 

STEP 4.

Keep the patient and limb completely still. Bring transport to patient if possible.

 

NOTE.

If the bite is not on a limb, firm direct pressure on the bite site may be useful. Do not restrict breathing or chest movement. Do not apply firm pressure to the neck.

Why you need to learn first aid and CPR this summer!

Why you need to learn first aid and CPR this summer!

Why You Need To Know First Aid This Summer

If one thing’s for certain, it’s this: Albury / Wodonga can be positively scorching during the summer. In response, many people in the region head for the water. Whether it’s in the form of a pool or the river, getting wet is one of the best ways to stay cool during the hot summer months. However, along with all of the fun of swimming come many dangers. In fact, drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for Australian children aged 0 to 5 years. This sobering statistic highlights the importance of being as safe as possible when by the water this summer – and is a serious reminder of the benefits of taking a first aid course with Hot Response First Aid Training & Consultancy, as well.

Know What To Do At The Pool This Summer

Whether you’re at your own pool, the pool of a friend or neighbour or a public pool, knowing first aid strategies can save a life this summer. When you attend our first aid courses, you gain the ability to keep an accident from becoming truly tragic. If a child slips and falls into deep water in your presence – or if a kid that knows how to swim randomly begins struggling to stay afloat – you will know just what to do to help them. In the end, knowing these techniques can save the life of a child – maybe even your own.

Handle Emergencies At The Beach

Although many beaches have lifeguards on duty, just as many do not. On top of that, just because a beach has a lifeguard doesn’t mean that he or she will be able to handle every possible scenario. By learning important first aid techniques, you can be the person who gets a grip in an emergency. You’ll be able to assist a lifeguard if necessary; if no lifeguard is on duty, you’ll be able to help the victim out until professional assistance arrives. No matter what, knowing first aid certainly can’t hurt – in most cases, it is positively priceless.

Don’t Downplay The Importance Of First Aid Know-How

Accidents happen in and around the water all the time. Many times, the big difference between a tragedy and a small accident depends on whether or not someone who’s trained in first aid is available. You can be that very important person in such an event, and you can help keep a needless and senseless tragedy from being added to the already disturbing statistics. It only takes a few hours of your time, and you’ll be able to help your own children, other people’s children – and countless others – if the need should arise. Have fun this summer, but stay safe too by receiving first aid training with Hot Response First Aid Training & Consultancy.