This past Saturday we had our First Aid Refresher Course organized by Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital. As part of the Cradles and Crayons Daycare emergency procedures, First Aid plays a huge very important role.
A few of the things we learnt put lots of perspective over how easy it is to lose a life based on the myths and beliefs we have and unfortunately blindly practice.
For instance, did you know that a newborn baby has ONLY 300mls of blood running through their little body? This quantity of course increases as they grow and gets to approximately 6 liters when they get to adulthood. This therefore means that even a simple cut can drain a young child off all of their blood within minutes!! Now think about this. What do you usually do when a child gets hurt and starts bleeding? If you are like me (before this First Aid course) you would be busy looking for some form of antiseptic to clean the wound instead of first and foremost applying pressure to the wound to stop the blood from flowing further! Stop the blood flow first Daktari says. Cleaning of the wound will be done by a health facility. You aren’t helping anyone by getting to the hospital with a clean wound and no blood!
Also, did you know that it takes just FIVE (5) to TEN (10) minutes for one to be declared brain dead due to oxygen rich blood failing to reach the brain! Think about it… 5 to 10 minutes for your life to be turned upside down for something that could easily have been prevented.
Also, did you know that use of methylated spirit to clean a sterile of wound is not advised for either children or adults? This is because the pain caused by the spirit application is actually torturous and could lead to even more harm due to increased blood flow. Due to this, hospitals have introduced much milder and effective antiseptics.
Did you know that when you get a burn, the use of ice / icecubes / an icepack / frozen githeri etc to sooth the burn are is a huge no-no? This is because even though the use of the frozen object makes the affected area feel better, you actually are giving yourself another burn. A cold burn. Instead run room temperature water over the burn then seek medical advice.
Did you know that tying off an insect bite or snake bite wound will in most cases lead to an amputation? Daktari advised that when this happens, clean the wound with soap and water, ensure that the affected area is lower than the heart as gravity will help reduce the speed at which the blood with venom will reach the heart. Carry the victim to hospital as walking, running or any strenuous activity by the victim will mean that the blood with venom will flow faster hereby causing harm faster. The hospital will sort out the rest. The issue with tying off a limb is that all blood (both good and with venom) wont reach the limb therefore leading to it to start rotting hence amputation.
Did you know that if your child has a fever it is NOT advisable to wipe them with a damp cloth or wash them in any temperature water. Instead, remove some (not all) of the clothes they have on, give fever reducing medication and observe. If the fever persists, remove some more clothes and rush them to hospital immediately. Immersing the child in water or wiping them with a damp cloth will cause the child’s body to try and adjust itself to the newly introduced temperature. In most instances, increasing the fever.
Did you know that when a child or an adult swallows poison, DO NOT under any circumstances induce vomiting? The best remedy is to give them water or cold milk. This is because vomiting will cause the poison to burn and harm the digestive tract TWICE. Water or cold milk will act as a neutralizer as you rush the person to hospital.
Did you know that when a child or an adult is choking, it is advised NOT to stick your fingers into their mouth to try and remove the foreign object? This is unless the object clearly visible and not too far into their throat. This is because use of your fingers may end up pushing the object further in. Instead if the child understands, ask them to cough to get the object out. If this doesn’t help, the use of 5 back blows between the shoulder blades and 5 chest thrusts above the sternum is advised.
Did you know that for a child under one year, the area under the bicep is the best area to check for a pulse? While for a child over 1 year or an adult, the carotid artery (area just under the jaw, on the left or right side of the neck) is a strong point to check for a pulse.
On a lighter note, have you attended a funeral then seen those fake dramatic ‘fainters’? Well, Daktari says that a sniff of some methylated spirit instantly ‘revives’ them. 🙂
At the end of the training Daktari asked us a simple question. Would you rather you or anyone you cared about died due to lack of First Aid being administered to them or would you rather be saved by First Aid?!