Biz Extra

Published: January 12, 2022 | Updated: January 13, 2022

Simon Cassin, Director, Ouch Training Team,on how first aid matters and is a skill we all need

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Knowing how to respond to a first aid emergency is a skill that we may all need one day.

But unfortunately, there are still many who are yet to acquire those skills, writes Simon Cassin, Director, Ouch Training Team.

Accidents and ill-health incidents rarely happen when a medical expert is instantly available to help.

Workplaces and organised activities require an appropriate level of first aid cover. To find out how many first aiders you need, check out the HSE web page for details by clicking here.

Ouch are proud to say 2022 is our 23rd year of delivering first aid training.

We believe the need to provide excellent first aid training is as essential now, as the day we began our journey.

Research carried out by Marijon et al. (2020) suggests that the number and speed of people reacting to an out of hospital cardiac arrest have been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

If the research is correct, we can see how stepping up and helping has never been more critical.

Sometimes people worry about doing the wrong thing and making things worse but remember that you don’t need to be a medical expert to make a difference.

If someone collapses, or you find an unconscious casualty, it’s essential to act quickly.

Research has shown that the quicker we act, the more likely we can help the casualty.

A good way of ordering our response is by following the acronym DRABC.

DANGER: Before you approach a casualty, make sure nothing in the vicinity can harm you.

RESPONSE: As you approach the casualty, call out and see if they respond. If there is no response, kneel alongside the casualty, and shake their shoulders. Ask them ‘are you okay’ or say something like ‘can you hear me?’.

  • If they respond, you can find out how they are and help them accordingly.
  • If there is no response from the casualty, shout out for help and move on to the next step. If anyone comes to help, ask them to wait until you know more about the casualty’s condition.

AIRWAY: Now it’s time to open the casualty’s airway by placing one hand on their forehead and the other on their chin. Gently tilt their head back to open their airway. Doing this helps prevent the tongue from blocking the airway and reduces the likelihood of choking.

BREATHING: This step enables us to check if the casualty is breathing normally.

This is done by placing your cheek close to the casualty’s mouth whilst looking down towards their chest.

You may be able to feel their breath on your cheek, see their chest rise and fall or hear them breathing.

Do this for ten seconds. Some might be worried about placing their face close to a casualty’s face, so please see our video showing Covid-19 protocols by clicking here.

IF THEY ARE NOT BREATHING NORMALLY IMMEDIATELY TELEPHONE 999 (NB: if possible, ask someone to fetch the nearest automated external defibrillator).

After calling 999, immediately start Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

If the casualty is breathing, move on to the next step.

CIRCULATION: Now it’s time to check for severe bleeding or any life-threatening circulation problems.

  • If they are bleeding severely, apply direct pressure on the wound and call 999 for help.
  • If there is no sign of severe bleeding, or any life threatening problems, place the casualty in the recovery position and monitor their condition.

Our brief explanation of what to do in a first aid emergency may have left many of you with more questions than answers.

But don’t worry, there are some excellent resources to help you feel more confident, step up and make a difference if ever needed.

I can thoroughly recommend the Resuscitation Council’s online Lifesaver learning videos.

Their interactive videos cover areas such as CPR, Recovery position and the use of an AED.

Alternatively, why not attend a practical course delivered by a suitably qualified and experienced trainer?

To find out about Ouch and the different training we deliver, at customer’s premises or from our venues in Wimborne and Manchester, please get in touch.