The main goal of our safety programs is to prevent injury and illness. Despite our best efforts, sometimes medical emergencies occur. Good emergency planning and first aid facilities are vital for these situations.
Most workplaces have first aid kits and trained first aid officers. But a trained first aider is not always the first to attend, or available, to tend to an ill or injured person. Ensuring that all persons at the workplace (not just first aid officers) are aware of basic first aid skills will help in these circumstances.
Below are some tips that everyone should know. Untrained persons can be invaluable in saving a life and getting assistance and comfort to a person in critical need.
Note: these tips are not intended to replace your trained first aid personnel.
Common knowledge for trained first aid personnel is the “DRS ABCD” Action Plan. This acronym is a primary aid in assessing whether a patient has any life-
threatening conditions. The first part (the DRS) can be
done by any untrained person.
TIPS FOR WHEN CALLING FOR AN AMBULANCE (per Ambulance Victoria):
In the case of an emergency dial 000 [triple zero] and ask for an ambulance.
When dialling 000 be ready to answer the following questions:
- What is the exact location of the emergency?
- What is the phone number you are calling from?
- What is the problem, what exactly happened?
- How many people are hurt?
- How old is the person?
- Is the person conscious (awake)?
- Is the person breathing?
Do not hang up. Follow the instructions given by the emergency services while waiting for the ambulance to respond. These will help the patient and the ambulance paramedics.
Medical experts advise that if a person is treated with defibrillation within 3 minutes of a ‘heart stop event’ they have a much better chance of surviving than if they were treated with conventional Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) alone.
The provision of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) in the workplace can allow the patient to be treated by first aid personnel or other persons with minimal or no training in the critical time immediately following collapse.
Many modern AEDs are designed to be used by persons with limited or no training and have in-built safety devices to ensure they cannot be used on a person who has a pulse, and will not cause harm to the user or patients.
USEFUL FIRST AID RESOURCES:
First Aid Phone App: Get basic first aid information on how to treat bleeding, bites, asthma attacks etc… on your iPhone or Android phone.
First Aid basics – toolbox package:
Downloadable video featuring a real ambulance paramedic, shows how untrained people can stop bleeding.