Just completed a St John Senior First Aid refresher course and thought you might be interested in some of the changes that have occurred since I last did one 3 years ago.
- CPR: changes to rate 2 breaths to every 30 compressions repeated, and the adoption of the same for children; no longer check pulse
- Snake Bite: new bandages and bandaging techniques
UPDATE (December 2010): from Bushwalk Australia Forum
Disclaimer: the advice below should be checked with a medical authority before use. I have no medical training.
- don’t wash (or cut) the wound
- apply a firm heavy crepe bandage over a broad pressure bandage (crepe) applied to the site of the puncture wound as quickly as possible
- bandage from the extremities (distal to proximal) towards the trunk
- apply a splint to the limb
- don’t remove the pressure bandage to check for the location of the puncture wound
- ask the patient, if conscious, where they were bitten
- venom is identified by taking a swab either from the fabric above the wound, or by cutting a window in the bandage above the pressure pad, not by removing the bandage
- make sure expert assistance is at hand with the correct anti-venom, which has been identified with a venom test kit, before allowing the pressure bandage to be removed.
- venom is absorbed and transport through the lymphatic system not blood system
- bandaging towards the extremities may cause patient discomfortShould be obvious, but don’t run for help or chase the snake! Lay still.
One other piece of advice I was given at the course, was that if you have mobile phone reception and are in the metro area and are alone, it may be better to wait for the ambulance to attend rather than try to bandage and splint yourself. The activity involved in doing this may circulate the venom. Better to lay perfectly still and wait for help! Any comment
- Splints and Slings: less emphasis on use in metropolitan areas
St John have provided an excellent Senior First Aid online refresher course
- MediProfiles: keeps emergency medical information at your fingertips
- Resuscitate: focuses on the importance of the St John DRABCD plan and helps you locate a public access defibrillator
- First Aid: presents easy-to-read and step-by-step emergency first aid information
I have more first aid and emergency information in my companion bushwalking skills library but please read the disclaimer first
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