Be confident in times of emergency
Do you have the skills to deal with a medical emergency? Would you know what to do in an emergency situation? Could you save the life of a loved one, a friend or even a stranger?
These are questions that we should all be asking ourselves, as in many cases serious incidents can occur a significant distance from emergency services and, very often, the first on the scene tend to be family members or passersby with little or no first aid training.
Survival in many cases is sometimes just a question of luck that someone with the necessary first aid skills arrives on the scene before it is too late.
Red Cross training co-ordinator for Manawatu/Whanganui, Miki Clarke says for anyone living in New Zealand she believes it is essential that they have a basic knowledge of first aid.
‘‘The ability to provide the essentials in a medical emergency can mean the difference between life and death.’’
Miki is a Japanese trained paediatric nurse and has been with Red Cross since 2014 and took over as training co-ordinator last October. It is Miki’s job to oversee the various first aid courses that the Red Cross provides across our region including first aid for young children and the basic ‘Save a Life’ courses up to comprehensive courses, which provide the skills to manage a wide range of injuries
At the very least, a person should have a basic understanding of first aid and the ‘Save a Life’ course covers the essentials of securing the area, sending for help and checking the casualty’s ABC’s, which includes making sure their airway is clear and checking their breathing. People who have attended this course will have the confidence to administer CPR until further help arrives.
The First Aid for Young Children is a four-hour long course and runs once every month in Palmerston North and covers such things as choking and providing CPR to young children as well as how to manage fevers, allergic reactions and head knocks.
Miki says that by gaining these skills parents and caregivers will have the confidence to deal with different types of injuries and it also helps alleviate the natural emotional response to seeing your child hurt in some way and enables a person to respond more calmly in an emergency situation. The course is also Unit Standard credited so a number of ECE students also attend this course as part of their qualifications.
The Comprehensive First Aid courses generally run over two consecutive days and provides training in many types of injuries including fractures and heavy bleeding as well as how to manage medical emergencies such as strokes, heart attacks, asthma and epilepsy.
All the Red Cross First Aid courses are available to the general public and they are also able to put together tailored courses to suit a particular work site or activity. Bookings for all courses can be made either through their website: www.redcross.org.nz or by calling into the Red Cross Service Centre at 245 Main Street, Palmerston North.
As Miki says being prepared is the best position to be in when faced with a medical emergency.
Red Cross Training Coordinator Miki Clarke (right) teaches Dax Ngaha left valuable CPR skills.