ST JOHN AM­BU­LANCE

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THE Manch­ester Weekly News has teamed up with St John Am­bu­lance, the na­tion’s lead­ing first aid charity to bring you some sim­ple, but life­sav­ing, first aid tips – this week: elec­tro­cu­tion. DO­MES­TIC current, as used in homes and work­places, can cause se­ri­ous in­jury or even death.

In­ci­dents are usu­ally due to faulty switches, frayed flexes or de­fec­tive ap­pli­ances.

Young chil­dren are at risk since they are nat­u­rally cu­ri­ous and may put fin­gers, or other ob­jects, into wall sock­ets.

Wa­ter is also a very ef­fi­cient con­duc­tor of elec­tric­ity so presents an ad­di­tional risk.

Han­dling an oth­er­wise safe elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ance with wet hands, or when stand­ing on a wet floor, in­creases the risk of an elec­tric shock.

Fol­low these sim­ple steps to help some­one who has had an elec­tric shock:

l Be­fore be­gin­ning any treat­ment, look first, do not touch. If the ca­su­alty is still in con­tact with the elec­tri­cal source, she will still be ‘live’ and you risk elec­tro­cu­tion

l Turn off the source of elec­tric­ity, if pos­si­ble, to break the con­tact be­tween the ca­su­alty and the elec­tri­cal sup­ply.

Switch off the current at the mains or me­ter point if pos­si­ble.

Oth­er­wise re­move the plug or wrench the ca­ble free

l Al­ter­na­tively, move the source away from both you and the ca­su­alty.

Stand on some dry in­su­lat­ing ma­te­rial such as a wooden box, plas­tic mat or tele­phone direc­tory.

Us­ing a wooden pole or broom, push the ca­su­alty’s limb away from the elec­tri­cal source or push the source away from her

l If it is not pos­si­ble to break the con­tact us­ing a wooden ob­ject, loop a length of rope around the ca­su­alty’s an­kles or under the arms, tak­ing great care not to touch her, and pull her away from the source of elec­tric­ity

l Once you are sure that the con­tact be­tween the ca­su­alty and the elec­tric­ity has been bro­ken, per­form a pri­mary sur­vey and treat any con­di­tion found l Call 999/112 for emer­gency help.

For those look­ing for quick, eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble first aid in­for­ma­tion, the St John Am­bu­lance app is avail­able free on smart­phones.

And the web­site (www. sja.org.uk) of­fers demo videos, an in­ter­ac­tive game, and lots of free ad­vice.

For more in­for­ma­tion about first aid cour­ses please call 0844 770 4800.

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