About the author:

First Aid Safety Training, is an Australian Registered Training Organisation (RTO 32085).  Their team is heavily involved in experience transferring their life saving knowledge and skills to the community and their corporate clients.

Key terms and phrases;

Cycle of Life; community education program; emergency; access; AED; Trauma Centre; local emergency numbers; ALS: Golden Hour, CCA; minor head injury, retrieval system.

Fig 1.

First Aid Safety Training uses the above slide depicting the “Cycle of Life in all their first aid and CPR courses.

Much of what is contained in our diagram is based on a well marketed, coordinated and monitored community education program.

The diagram forms the basis of how emergencies are best managed and provides an invaluable insight into the complexities of emergency management from a civilians’ perspective.

1. Recognition: Civilian Combat Agencies (CCA) i.e.,  paramedics; fire and police services are totally reliant on the community to report an emergency whether it’s actual or perceived.

It’s always better to make a call to your emergency services personnel and ask for advice or just to give them a “heads up” on an issue that you may think is developing.

What appears to be a minor medical issue to a civilian can be a different matter to a paramedic. For example, a patient suffering  from a “minor head injury” who is conversing sensibly one minute and who within ten minutes is sleeping peacefully and snoring away on their back is quite another matter.

When travelling in a foreign country it makes good sense to learn the local emergency numbers.

2. Access: This is an area of concern as some scenes shouldn’t be accessed by well meaning but ill trained or equipped civilians.

“I can see the car over the cliff and I can hear people calling for help. I’m not confident about going down there, so what should I do?” Is a common question asked by pumped up witnesses to an emergency.

3. CPR. Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation saves lives. There’s no doubt about. New guidelines have encouraged greater community access to quality education services to learn and perform this lifesaving procedure by dispelling the myths.

No need to search for a pulse; just place the heel of your hands in the centre of the chest; 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths for adults (rescue breaths are optional) children or babies; if they look dead, then immediately start your CPR; you can’t hurt the patient if they aren’t in arrest; breaking ribs early on is normal; it’s better to have a go than to standby and do nothing, poorly performed CPR is better than death – are all major changes in performing CPR.

CPR keeps the patient’s brain flushed and alive with blood until the paramedics arrive.

4. Defibrillation: Defibrillators (AED) are common place. They are easy to use with little or no training and provide easy to follow diagrams and voice prompts.

Out Of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OOHCA) has a significantly higher survival rate due to these reasonably priced and easy to use AED’s. They are often located in workplaces, shopping centres and places where large crowds congregate.

5. ALS: Advanced Life Support (paramedics). These skills were learned by military paramedics during the Vietnam conflict. They formed the basis of the complex emergency medical system that now proudly serves the community while saving countless lives. Portable and durable equipment with an adequate stand alone power system allowed the proliferation of such skills that were normally the prevue of “in hospital” clinicians.

6. Definitive Care: This can only be provided within a hospital setting. Having written that, some hospitals are known as tertiary hospitals; teaching hospitals or trauma hospitals provide specialist care that others are unable to.

These hospitals will have  a road or aero-medical retrieval system to provide advice or even access ill patients in smaller hospitals before stabilising them for transport back to the trauma hospital.

7. Golden Clock: Depicts the famed Golden Hour which stated that if a patient reached definitive care within sixty minutes from the time of injury, then their chances of recovery increased.

First aid training; first aid kits; AED’s; clinics; paramedics; community health; clinical leadership; mentoring and coaching; audits; O&S professionals.

(C) Kiah Health Pty Ltd Medical Publications.

www.firstaidsafetytraining.com.au; 1300 518 355 +61 407 281 425

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