Blog

Bee, wasp and ant stings - Vital Signs and First Aid

Posted by Johanna Verheijen on May 29, 2020

Single stings from a bee, wasp or ant, while painful, seldom cause serious problems except for persons who have an allergy to the venom. Multiple insect stings can cause severe pain and widespread skin reaction. Stings around the face can cause breathing difficulty even if the person is not known to be allergic.

It is important to remember that bee stings with the venom sac attached

continue to inject venom into the skin, so remove immediately, whilst a single wasp or ant may sting multiple times.

In susceptible people, bites or stings may cause a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening. This can also occur in victims with no previous exposure or apparent susceptibility.

Signs and symptoms:

Minor

• Immediate and intense local pain

• Local redness and swelling

 

Major/serious

• Allergic reaction/anaphylaxis

• Abdominal pain and vomiting in the case of allergic reaction

 

If severe call 111

Treatment

• If the victim is unresponsive and not breathing normally follow the basic life support assessment (DRSABCD)

• If the victim has signs of anaphylaxis, treat for anaphylaxis

• If there is no history of tick allergy, immediately remove the sting

• If in a remote location, consultation with healthcare professionals is recommended

• Move patient as little as possible

• Apply a cold compress to help reduce pain and swelling

• Monitor the patient for signs of allergic reaction (difficulty speaking, breathing difficulties, collapse and generalised rash).

• Refer the patient to A&E or hospital if sting is to the face or tongue

 

 

Urgent medical help is needed when:

• Airway obstruction results from swelling of the face and tongue due to anaphylaxis, or from insect stings in or around the mouth. This may occur immediately or over several hours and always requires urgent medical care.

 

More information

• Allergy New Zealand (http://www.allergy.org.nz/A-Z+Allergies/Anaphylaxis.html)

Minimum Hygiene Requirements for Resuscitation and First Aid Training

Posted by Johanna Verheijen on May 20, 2020

 

 

Minimum Hygiene Requirements for Resuscitation and First Aid Training

Resuscitation and First Aid training involves physical and social interaction. Maintaining strict hygiene practices ensures the safety of both learners and instructors.

Any workplace-based training must comply with the health and safety requirements of the workplace. Where infection control restrictions are in place, such as requirements for physical distancing, training providers may need to consider class size. This may require small classes and workshops of 10 people or less.

The majority of resuscitation training manikins have features that help prevent the spread of infection (including respiratory infections). Manufacturers should provide cleaning instructions specific to their manikins and these should be adhered to. Instructors and Learners • The main infection risk in a classroom full of learners is contact with other people and/or surfaces, rather than the manikin itself.

 

Learners always need to observe a high standard of handwashing, with alcohol gel (or wipes if gel is unavailable) provided in addition to handwashing facilities.

• Learners should be reminded to cough/sneeze into a tissue and dispose of this into a bin immediately, washing hands afterwards. Alternatively, coughing/sneezing into the bent elbow if no tissue available.

• Vulnerable people or those caring for or living with vulnerable people should not participate in a course.

• Pre-course information should include advice that individuals exhibiting symptoms typical of flu, a cold or have been in close contact with someone who has an infection, must exclude themselves from the course. This process may also include the use of precourse screening questionnaires.

• Should an instructor or learner become unwell during a course, they should exclude themselves and notification should occur in accordance with organisational health and safety processes. Remember: To protect yourself

• Frequently wash your hands or use a sanitiser gel. Do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes unless you have just washed your hands. To protect others

• Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with either a tissue or a bent elbow – but never with a bare hand! If you use a tissue or a bare hand, IMMEDIATELY wash your hands or use an alcohol hand sanitiser. Dispose of the tissue straight away.

 

Manikins

Ideally learners should have an individual manikin to use on a course. Where this is not possible during a training session, the face, forehead and chest of the manikin must be wiped with 70% alcohol wipes after each learner uses it and the surface allowed to dry naturally before the next learner takes their turn.

• Learners should use individual face shields and they should be disposed of safely after use. The manikin face, forehead and chest should still be wiped to reduce the likelihood of hand to hand contamination.

• Where appropriate, learners can use a pocket mask for ventilation practice which must be fully cleaned or discarded after the session (one - way valves may be removed. If kept in place, it must be discarded at the end of the session). If using pocket masks, these must be for individual use only.

• At the completion of every training session manikin lungs and airways must be replaced and disposed of. All manikin surfaces must be cleaned by scrubbing with a nylon brush and using an appropriate surfactant/disinfectant solution.

 

Remember:

To protect yourself

• Frequently wash your hands or use a sanitiser gel. Do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes unless you have just washed your hands.

To protect others

• Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with either a tissue or a bent elbow – but never with a bare hand! If you use a tissue or a bare hand, IMMEDIATELY wash your hands or use an alcohol hand sanitiser. Dispose of the tissue straight away.

 

New Zealand Resuscitation Council

Level 4, 69-71 The Terrace,

Wellington 6011 PO Box 10443,

The Terrace,

Wellington 6143

 P: +64 4 499 6625 E: [email protected] W: www.nzrc.org.nz

 

Heart Attack – Vital Signs and First Aid

Posted by Johanna Verheijen on April 09, 2020

A person experiences a heart attack when there is a sudden partial or complete blockage of one of the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle. As a result of the interruption to the blood supply, there is an immediate risk of life-threatening changes to the heart rhythm. If not corrected quickly there is also a risk of serious, permanent heart muscle damage.

To reduce the chance of sudden death from heart attack, urgent medical care is required – “every minute counts”.

Heart attack is different from, but may lead to, cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest usually results from an electrical disturbance in the heart. For some victims, sudden cardiac arrest may occur as the first sign of heart attack – however most experience some warning signs. It is important to note:

•         a heart attack can occur in a patient without chest pain or discomfort as one of their symptoms

•         the most common symptom of heart attack in a victim without chest pain

•         is shortness of breath

•         a victim who experiences a heart attack may pass off their symptoms as ‘just indigestion’

        

Some people are more likely to describe unusual or minimal symptoms and may include:

• the elderly;

• women;

• persons with diabetes;

• Māori and Pacific Island people.

These people should seek urgent assessment by a health care professional if they have any warning signs of heart attack, no matter how mild.

 

Sign sand symptoms: Questions to ask

Do they feel any :

Pain pressure heaviness or tightness?

In one or more of their:

chest, neck, jaw, arms back or shoulders?

Do they feel:

Nauseous, cold sand sweaty, dizzy, or short of breath?

Treatment

• STOP the patient from doing what they are doing and tell them to rest

• ASK them what they are feeling? 

If they take angina medicine:

• Take a dose of medicine

• Wait 5 minutes. Still has symptoms?

Take another dose of angina medicine

• Wait 5 minutes.

 

Still has symptoms?

 

If not • Are symptoms severe? • Getting worse quickly? • Have lasted for 10 minutes?

 

CALL 111

 

Administer aspirin (300 mg) if available

• Reassure patient

• Sit up if breathless

• Lie down if feeling dizzy

 

And stay with the person until the paramedics have arrived.

 

More information

 

• Heart Foundation (http://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/know-the-

facts/conditions/heart-attack)

Head Injury - Vital Signs and First Aid

Posted by Tomahawk on April 09, 2020

Head injury may be caused by a number of mechanisms including, falls, assaults, motor vehicle crashes and sporting injuries.

Signs and symptoms:

• Pain (head, neck)

• Bleeding, bruising

• Confusion, loss of memory, irritability

• Dizziness, loss of coordination, blurred vision

• Nausea

Note: There may be no immediate symptoms

Call 111 if patient has lost or altered consciousness at any time, no matter how brief.

Treatment

• A patient who has sustained a head injury, whether or not there has been

loss of consciousness or altered consciousness, should be assessed by a

health care professional

• Ensure that the airway is clear

• Protect the neck whilst maintaining a clear airway

• Identify and control any significant bleeding with direct pressure if possible

All patients who appear to have suffered a head injury (including minor) should

be assessed by a health care professional before continuing with sport.

 

Concussion

• Concussion is a very common head injury. It occurs from a blow to the head or violent shaking.

• If somebody has a concussion, or thinks they have a concussion encourage them to TAKE IT SERIOUSLY and see a doctor. Problems could arise over 24 hours.

The patient must go to hospital if:

o Their headache gets worse

o They are very drowsy or can’t be woken up

o They can’t recognise people or places

o They pass out or have a blackout

o They vomit more than 3 times or more

o Behave unusually or seem confused

o They have seizures

o They have weak arms or legs, or are unsteady on their feet

o They have slurred speech

 

• Ministry of Health (http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/accidents-and-injuries/head-injury)

 

• Brain injury support (http://www.brain-injury.org.nz/html/concussion.html)

Restart A Heart day

Posted by Johanna Verheijen on September 19, 2018

Restart a Heart Day - Together we can save lives

Only one in ten survive a cardiac arrest. We can beat that, and that's what World Restart a Heart Day is all about.

I'd like to make sure you know how you can help make the day successful this year.

On October 16th, thousands of resuscitation trainers around the world will take part in a coordinated effort to teach life-saving cardiopulmonary skills to as many people as we can.

As always with these international calendar events, we here in New Zealand have the privilege of being first in line.

Restart a Heart Day was first observed in Aotearoa last year, with events taking place in such places as Auckland, Wellington, Masterton, Christchurch. 

 

Thankful mum

Posted by Johanna Verheijen on July 06, 2018


I received this from one of my daughters antenatal group friends, who attended a baby CPR /choking course she arranged.

Hi Jo,

hope you are well! Just needed to flick you a message and thank you for your time last year (and Rebecca for organising) for the first aid course! Unfortunately I had to use those skills today, as Eddie was choking on a piece of apple and I was only seconds from calling an ambulance as he couldn't breathe or hold himself up at all as he gasped etc, it was the most horrible and frightening thing to go through. I do first aid every two years with work, but it was great having it really specific on babies / toddlers with you. I had given Eddie a few back blows and nothing was changing, and then remembered you saying that you really have to give them a good thump, much harder than you think you need to, and so I did, and after a few big ones, he thankfully started vomiting and then crying and came right! It was horrendous, but im so very grateful for your time, wise words and what you taught us, and to Rebecca for organising! Just wanted to pass that on! Lots of love, Annalies & Eddie xxx
Sent from my iPhone

Yeah it was horrible, i was so scared to give him dinner, but he was fine and straight back to normal after it all happened, and we had both come right again! Thanks again!! Xx

Personal Locator Beacons

Posted by Johanna Verheijen on December 05, 2017

 

 
sing or Activating a Distress Beacon

 

Why use a distress beacon?

Distress beacons save lives - they are designed to provide your approximate location to the appropriate Rescue Coordination Centre so rescuers can be sent to assist people in distress.

In some cases the carrying of a distress beacon can be mandated under law e.g. Aircraft registered in NZ are required by the Civil Aviation Authority to carry an ELT.

Top


When should I use a distress beacon?

Distress beacons should only be used when there is a threat of grave an imminent danger.  In the event of an emergency, communication should first be attempted with others using radios and other signaling devices.  

Mobile phones can also be used, but should not be relied on as an emergency communication device as they may be out of range, have limited battery life, or not be suited to the environment.

A distress beacon is an emergency device to be used when assistance is required to ensure the safety of lives e.g. any life threatening situation or when a serious injury has occurred - it is not a taxi service!

Situations can deteriorate rapidly, however, if you are unsure about when to activate the beacon, it is better to activate it and get help - don't wait until it's too late!

When considering activating your beacon please remember that carrying out a rescue can be extremely dangerous not just for the casualty but for the rescuers as well, particularly if the rescue is carried out at night or in poor weather conditions.  If your situation is not life threatening and you are in a safe and secure position it may be prudent to delay activation of the beacon until daylight or the weather conditions improve.

 

Once an approximate position for the distress beacon has been established then the RCC will locate and task the closest and most suitable rescue asset to render you assistance.  

This may take the form of a LandSAR team, a rescue helicopter, a coastguard unit, a Defence Force asset or in some cases the closest vessel of opportunity.

 
 
What happens when I activate the beacon? 

On activation, your distress beacon will try to locate one of the Cospas-Sarsat satellites.  Once the satellite detects the beacon's signal it will transmit this information to the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) responsible for the region the beacon has been detected in.  The RCC will then try to establish the exact location of the distress beacon using information from the beacon registration.  They will also phone the contact people you have listed when the beacon was registered.

It is vitally important that the beacon owner keeps the contact details they have listed on their registration up to date as the information these people can provide on your whereabouts can prove vital in establishing your position.

 

Once an approximate position for the distress beacon has been established then the RCC will locate and task the closest and most suitable rescue asset to render you assistance.  

This may take the form of a LandSAR team, a rescue helicopter, a coastguard unit, a Defence Force asset or in some cases the closest vessel of opportunity.

 

What happens when I activate the beacon? 

On activation, your distress beacon will try to locate one of the Cospas-Sarsat satellites.  Once the satellite detects the beacon's signal it will transmit this information to the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) responsible for the region the beacon has been detected in.  The RCC will then try to establish the exact location of the distress beacon using information from the beacon registration.  They will also phone the contact people you have listed when the beacon was registered.

It is vitally important that the beacon owner keeps the contact details they have listed on their registration up to date as the information these people can provide on your whereabouts can prove vital in establishing your position.

 

It is really important is to stay where you are once you set off your beacon.

 

Part 2: Reasons why you should attend Outdoor First Aid training

Posted by on November 14, 2017

Part 2: Reasons why you should attend Outdoor First Aid Training- Getting prepared

So, you're heading for the hills with a group and the boss has assigned you to be this "First-aider." You've done a specialised outdoor first aid course and recall the opening lesson on the importance of preparation. Time to get ready. But where to start?

In this article we provide some guidance on the preparatory phase of providing medical care in a remote environment. While many organisations such as schools and sports clubs have formalised risk assessment procedures, we are frequently asked: "What should be in my kit," and "how do I plan for disaster?" Time spent preparing is time seldom wasted, even if the risks seem minimal. Remember, relatively small, insignificant injuries or illness can become a big deal when you're far from home and help. Taking the time to get your head around the medical status of those in your party and adopting a mind-set of "plan for the worst...hope for the best," might mean the difference between a well managed incident and chaos.  

Pre-Trip Medical Screening

The extent to which you screen party members for medical conditions is largely governed by the environment you're heading into, the trip duration and the proximity to medical care. For example: a weekend trip across the Tongariro Crossing versus a 7 day trip to Borneo we would recommend a more thorough screening process for a trip to Borneo. It might for example include screening for potential dental issues and immunisation status, whereas this level of screening maybe overkill for a trip across Mt. Tongariro.

Here are some things to consider:

   
   
   
   

  

When my new skills were needed...

Posted by Tomahawk on November 07, 2017

When my new skills were needed...

We often receive great feedback from our course participants. This week we received an account from a recent course graduate that highlights how our courses make a difference in the real-world and have a tremendous impact on people's lives. Catherine from Auckland recently attended one of our first-aid courses. Little did she know her knowledge and skills would soon be put to the test.


"I'm writing to you to share my experience with you and couldn't thank first-training enough for making the training not only informative but very interesting.  The enthusiasm really built up my confidence to jump in and assist others without hesitation when an emergency arises...."

Catherine writes: "I had witnessed a child being struck by a vehicle while crossing the road during rush hour traffic.  Thankfully the young child [we will call Katie] had minor injuries, but this could have easily been a fatal accident."

Sadly, too many pedestrians are struck by cars. In the twelve month period between August 2016 ending August  2017 there were 37 deaths and 843 injuries involving pedestrians. This equates to approximately 10% of the over-all road toll. LTSA statistics. 

Children are at greater risk of being struck by a motor vehicle and the injuries are often very severe, particularly when the vehicle is traveling at speeds greater than 30km/hr.

"Upon arriving at the scene I met up with four other bystanders who stopped to assist.  I was the only one who had first aid training.  I delegated and got two people to call for Ambulance and Police....We made the decision to move Katie as she was responsive and was in immediate danger, it was unsafe for us to attended to her injuries...We found a safe and secure spot for Katie so that I could administer my first aid skills.  I introduced myself to the distraught mother."

Volunteering to help out at an incident like this is admirable and necessary. Training gives you the knowledge and skills to take those first steps to take control of a situation and make sure the scene is safe, prevent further injury and calling the professionals to do their job. Catherine kept her nerve, took control and made the right call to move her patient to safety. Well done. 

Catherine wasted no time taking further action. "I advised [the mother] my name was Catherine and I can help while we wait for [the ambulance]..I have attended a first-aid course."

This must have been tremendously reassuring for a distraught parent. Catherine was aware of this and handled the highly emotional situation well. "I had to get Katie's mother moved away as she was making her child anxious creating her to move.  We needed to get the bleeding under control.  Its so important to reassure the patient at all times."   

Its hard to prepare for these events. Reading a textbook or taking a class is a start but its for this reason First Training spends much of its course time presenting scenarios where participants can put into practice their skills and rehearse for the real thing. 

"I asked a bystander to assist me by supporting and immobilizing Katie's broken leg as there were obvious signs of deformity and some bluish discolouration.  I asked if she could elevate the leg slightly to try and reduce the swelling....I applied direct pressure to the wounds on Katie's face as she had two large lacerations to her face.  Applied a cold wet cloth to her chin as it had doubled in size from swelling and bruising."      

Catherine continued providing care and asking everyday questions to settle, reassure and distract Katie until St. John Paramedics arrived. "Once the paramedics arrived, we stepped aside to allow them to continue medical treatment.  I got together with our team (The bystanders) and thanked them for the assistance.  The Katie's mother came up to us, hugged us and thanked us for taking over the situation and looking out for the well-being of her daughter.  It was a positive outcome."

We agree

Catherine finished her story by praising the training she received from First Training, for this we are grateful our training prepared Catherine for the day her new skills were needed.


"...I'm a volunteer for Botany Crime Watch and having this training is beneficial for what I do as I'm able to assist our community.
Very happy and thankful to have attended your training and would highly recommend it to businesses and to anyone who is interested in learning first aid.
"

Catherine, Auckland

Check out our course options below

 

NZQA
“Stan was fabulous. He had such a pleasant manner. He was informative but also humorous. It was the first time I had been on a course where I could actually remember most of it. Usually the instructors just go through and they seem bored, but Stan was lively. He got everyone engaged - which is what you want on a course like this. The CPR training was excellent - hands on. The first response outside was also excellent.”
- Woodlands Park Primary School - September 2019, Auckland
More Reviews