Be con­fi­dent in times of emer­gency

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR BODY -

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.

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