Earlier in March I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a First Aid course run by Vanessa Pickford from Safe-Med at Constantiaberg Medi-clinic.
Now I have had some very basic First Aid training in the past (think Brownies and Ante-natal classes) so I figured I had some idea of what to do in an emergency… but the proof was in the pudding when the very Saturday before the course I found myself dealing with a First-Aid crises of my very own….
My daughter fell off a rope on a jungle gym at a birthday party, and ultimately we discovered, broke her arm! Fortunately there was a doctor at the party as well as quite a few other moms that were able to keep calm and do the necessary splinting etc but I do wonder if I would have managed the situation had I been on my own!!
So fast forward a few days and I found myself BACK at the hospital, but for a very different reason… To find out what the correct procedure is when dealing with a First Aid Emergency!!
Vanessa kindly offered for me to bring along a friend, but most of my friends are part-time working moms so I was racking my brains to think of who to take when it suddenly dawned on me that in the very best person I could empower with this knowledge was actually my domestic worker and part-time nanny! And she was thrilled to be invited.
During the course of the morning we learned and re-learned so much. Vanessa is an excellent, patient and thorough teacher and covered all the essentials – How to give effective CPR as well as how to deal with Choking, Burns, Drowning, Bleeding, Seizures, Shock, Poisoning, Allergic Reactions and Broken Limbs!
Here are a few photos of our experience…
It was invaluable and I’m so very pleased to have educated myself and my domestic on these topics. I feel far more confident knowing how to handle one of these situations with my own kids or others! Obviously I’m praying hard I don’t have to use this info but knowledge is power!
So, why do a First Aid Course you might be asking?
Here are my Top 10 Reasons why you should do a First Aid Course!
1. First aid has been proven to save lives. Learning basic first aid will help anyone save a life in an emergency.
2. Knowing what action needs to be taken to control an emergency can make the difference between life and death. Ambulances don’t arrive immediately (I learnt that the average time in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town is 7 – 10mins!) and first aid makes all the difference in the time it takes the ambulance to arrive.
3. Being prepared in advance is crucial as emergencies occur at any time. Someone may be injured at work, school or at home (or a party!) As I found out they always happen when you least expect it and when they do knowing the first aid basics will equip you to assist the injured person and reduce the danger posed by the accident.
4. Knowing a few First Aid basics is important for everyone and it is especially necessary for people dealing with children to know basic first aid. This includes parents, teachers, and nannies. It is the responsibility of parents and childminders to equip themselves with the relevant knowledge and skill in order to respond appropriately to a medical or trauma emergency involving a child.
5. The most important lesson is when to call emergency services and which numbers to contact in South Africa for the fastest response time in your area. Being able to describe the emergency scene to an operator is NB. The more details they have, the better prepared medical emergency teams are when they arrive on the scene. For example, a description of the victim’s wounds, their ability to respond and the extent of damage.
6. Knowing how to make an initial assessment of a victim, how to detect an emergency, how to protect yourself from any infections, effective control of bleeding wounds, dealing with broken bones, head and neck injuries, heart attacks, strokes, heat exhaustion, shortness of breath, and hypothermia. A quick and accurate response is required and knowledge of First Aid can limit the extent of the injury.
7. Being empowered to help amid a crisis will result in the assurance of competence to the injured person or family member of the injured person, which will reduce the likelihood of panic setting in and may help prolong a life until help arrives.
8. Learning how to do CPR on a child and adult is an essential life skill that everyone should be prepared to perform should the need arise – you may be the only person on hand during an emergency!
9. Your First Aid training may be out of date so it’s always advisable to keep yourself abreast of current techniques. Plus you can earn points for Discovery or other medial aid reward schemes!
10. Doing a First Aid course will clarify and correct any common incorrect responses and myths around the management of certain medical and trauma emergencies, which could negatively impact the victims prognosis (such as putting butter on a burn – the worst idea ever!!)
So I hope I’ve convinced you now that you NEED to sign up for a First Aid course today! My biggest regret is that I didn’t do it sooner!
The good news is that Safe-Med have kindly offered to sponsor 2 x First Aid courses for 2 people each. That’s 4 people in total who will walk away feeling empowered with knowledge on how to deal with a First Aid crises.
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED
Contact Safe-Med today to sign up for their next course. See the list of available First Aid courses here: http://safe-med.co.za/courses-2/
Terms & Conditions
Competition starts on Friday 10 April.
Winner will be announced on Monday 13 April 2015.
Images: Kathryn Rossiter