Port de Plaisance is a location with different businesses – marina, security, spa, fitness, offices, etc. Together they decided that they wanted to do the Emergency First Response course to be ready in case a medical emergency occurs in Port de Plaisance. We choose to split the course up in 4 days and 2 groups. Like this it was possible for more people to join with all the different schedules they’re working with.
On the first day of each group we focused on Primary Care – how to deal with life threatening emergencies.
The subjects we discussed were: heart attack, cardiac arrest, airway obstruction and stroke. How do you recognize these emergencies and what can you do? CPR or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, which is a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths was demonstrated and practiced. Bob and John, our manikins, are equipped with CPR monitoring – like this each participant can see directly if their chest compressions and rescue breaths are performed correctly. All participants practised CPR a couple of times until it was done according to the standards. An introduction to the AED or Automated External Defribrillator was part of Primary Care – an important life saving device in case of a sudden cardiac arrest. On the 2nd day of the course we would practise the use of the AED with all participants more extensively.
We also discussed how to assess the scene when you approach a victim, and how to protect yourself from blood-born pathogens by using different barriers that are available on the market. Other possible life threatening emergencies that we spoke about were spinal injury, serious bleeding and shock. How do you recognize these emergencies, and what kind of action is required to assist a victim who suffers from it. We finished with the multiple choice test covering Primary Care.
The second day for each group was dedicated to Secondary Care or First Aid. Here we looked at the not immediately life threatening emergencies.
We spoke about how to do an injury or illness assessment. Asthma, diabetes and epilepsy are some of the most common illnesses and we took time to have a closer look at each one of them – how do you recognize it, and what can you eventually do? Or not do, also important… We practiced different bandages for different injuries, and also splinting was practiced – immobilizing joints to relieve pain and reduce further harm. Applying a triangular bandage in case of a shoulder or arm injury is always a nice puzzle, but at the end everyone managed to get it done.
The AED or Automated External Defibrillator
When Secondary Care was done, we went back to CPR and introduced the AED, or Automated External Defibrillator to the participants. CPR is very important, but the AED is the lifesaving device. The AED delivers a shock to a heart that is fibrillating or ‘twitching’ – with the shock you can bring the heart back to a normal heartbeat. An AED is easy-to-use, just listen to the prompts and do what it tells you to do. After an extensive demonstration, all participants put it in practice in combination with CPR. First as a sole responder, and later we practiced in teams of 2 responders. It was clear that you can save a lot of time if you work together. Teamwork makes a dream work!