Kayla Shepherd30 Aug 2019

Emergencies in the real world !!

The Importance of First Aid




We all know how important being trained in vital lifesaving skills and basic First Aid are, but have you ever had to put your knowledge and skills into practice?

What would you do if faced with an emergency situation? Would adrenaline kick in and you’d know what to do in an instant or would you freeze?

What if you have no choice and you are the only person who can control and take the necessary action in an emergency?

This is exactly what happened to me recently; I was involved in a road traffic collision (RTC) and was the first person on the scene with any First Aid training until the paramedics arrived. Naturally my knowledge kicked in and I was quick to act and take control of the situation.

Emergency situations like this are highly charged and many people will instantly panic and struggle to remember any First Aid they may know, and so if you are a First Aider in these situations it is essential that you take control of the situation until emergency services arrive.

In this instance, other members of the public who were present at the time of the collision were all clearly in such a state of panic that this clouded their common sense and knowledge of basic First Aid; the casualty was conscious on the floor at the time but nobody was talking to them in order to try and locate the damaged areas, how the patient was and any other vital information.

If this incident taught me anything, it is that we must re-iterate to everyone who learns/knows First Aid that they have a duty to remain calm and take control in these emergency situations otherwise this could potentially put  the safety of the patient at further risk  and actually cause further damage to their injuries, which could be catastrophic.


If you feel like you are not as confident as you would like to be in an emergency situation, despite being First Aid trained, please contact me to discuss my refresher courses.





Detailed account of the incident mentioned above:


A couple of weeks ago, I was coming home from the school pick up and seconds in front of me a motor bike collided with a car, I didn’t witness it but quickly put all the pieces together. 

Cars in front of me were moving to the sides of the road which was strange to me, once they had moved I could see a motor bike on its side and the rider was laying on their side at the edge of the road, the rider was completely still. 

I parked my car safely on the side of the road so not to block the road especially for ambulance access, I safely crossed the road with my emergency First Aid bag. I could instantly see a woman close by was calling for an ambulance, so that was in hand. On approaching the rider, they started to move slightly and was obvious in quite a bit of pain. 

At this point no one was trying to engage with the casualty so that was my first port of call, I got on my hands and knees, introduced myself and started to ask questions to build a picture of what happened, find out where they were in pain and to just try and comfort the casualty. In a matter of seconds, I knew the casualties name, what potential injuries they might potentially have, how the accident happened, if they were in any medication and that they were on their way home from work. 

The casualty was wearing leather gloves and a leather jacket but wasn’t wearing leather trousers or boots. If the casualty had been wearing leather trousers and suitable boots their injuries may not have been so bad. 

Once I assessed the casualty, I went over to the other people involved in the accident and again gained as much information I could, checking as well for injuries and checking they were not in shock, all was ok. 

At that point the ambulance arrived, and I handed over all the information I had to the attending paramedic. I explained to the casualty that I was leaving them in the capable hands of the paramedics, and I left the scene as I had not witnessed the accident. 


Points to think about: 


>Don’t forget about the casualty, they are a human being and if responsive they can help you make an injury assessment and calm communication can give comfort. 


>when riding a motorbike always wear appropriate protective clothing (in this case the casualty had severe road rash because they didn’t)


>your safety!! This incident was in a very busy road and where I parked my car on the side of the road, and I crossed to road to get to the casualty was my initial priority. 


> Debrief- if you ever deal with an Emergency incident/ accident it is important you talk over what happened and how you dealt with it to someone. 



Kayla Shepherd19 Jul 2019

AED’s - Automated external Defibrillators

LIFE SAVING EQUIPMENT !! 



When we hear the word ‘defibrillator’ what do we think of? Life-saving equipment used to save lives in critical cases by trained medical professionals right? Right. 

But, over the past 5 years, defibs have been placed in locations in and around your local and wider communities and are accessible to the public in critical medical situations. 

But what is a ‘defibrillator’? 

“A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.” (www.bhf.org.uk)

The high energy shock that is administered is the ‘defibrillation’ and this is a key component of saving the life of someone in cardiac arrest. 

A common misconception is that you need to be a trained medical professional to use and administer a defib, however, this is not the case. A defibrillator can be used by anyone in an emergency situation. 

Thankfully, Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) can be found in various public spaces and so it’s always helpful to know and locate where the nearest one is to your home/work/school in the event of an emergency. However, in an emergency situation adrenalin may mean you forget the location, however when calling 999 your call handler will be able to locate one for you and so you can ask someone nearby to get it for you. 

Using a defib along with CPR gives someone the best chance of survival but it is also important to remember that there may not always be one nearby in the event of an emergency so don't waste time finding one as there will be one onboard an ambulance.

Some towns and villages however are currently undertaking fund raising events in order to place a defib in their local area. For example, Beth Chesney-Evans’ son sadly died of sudden heart failure and Beth has raised money to get a defibrillator installed in her village’s old telephone box in order for the public in their locality to have access to one in the event of an emergency.

To help someone who is in cardiac arrest effectively, a defibrillator needs to be found as quickly as possible. For every minute it takes for the defibrillator to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival reduces by up to 10%.” (www.bhf.org.uk)


We can run stand alone AED and CPR courses, if you would like to learn more about AED’s or any other First Aid skills please get in touch.



To find out more about defibrillators, what they do, how you can get one in your workplace or local area then visit:


https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/how-to-save-a-life/defibrillators


https://www.resus.org.uk/defibrillators/






Kayla Shepherd31 May 2019

'First Aid for Mental Health'





As Mental Health Awareness Week comes to a close, this has led us to reflect on recent training we have undertaken and how essential this training is for every work place and school.

Mental Health is at the forefront of the society’s current issues; around 1 in 2 people will experience mental illness in some way, of varying levels of severity at some point in their lifetime.

Those statistics are staggering and something that all workplaces, teachers and people who work directly with other people should have not only basic knowledge and understanding of, but also adequate training in to prevent the UK’s mental health crisis reaching it’s peak.


Here at Safety Mode, we are with the countless other businesses and professionals that recognise the significant rise in mental health issues in the UK and are keen to do something about it.

As a result, we have undertaken our ‘First Aid for Mental Health’ training which enables us to be able to adequately identify those in need or suffering and be equipped with ways in which to reach out, talk and support people who may need it.

Many Mental Health Advocates believe and are campaigning for at least one person in the workplace or within a school team to be adequately trained in First Aid for Mental health to enable more people to get the support, advice and understanding they need, before it’s too late.


Our training taught us some incredibly valuable skills, information and techniques and we whole-heartedly believe that if there was to be one or more people adequately trained in First Aid for Mental Health, then so many more people would be supported in time before their mental health and wellbeing deteriorates further.


When we think of it like this; every workplace/school, by law has people within their company or setting that is adequately trained in physical First Aid, and so why should our Mental Health be any different or neglected? Just because we can’t physically see the suffering a person is going through, does not mean it isn’t there and that they don’t need our help.


Having been privileged enough to under-take First Aid Mental Health training we have witnessed first-hand how invaluable these skills are and how by having Mental Health First Aiders available in the workplace and in schools is a huge step in the right direction for supporting the UK’s mental health crisis.

So we urge you, as a business owner, an employee, or someone who wants to learn an incredible skill that essentially means you could help save someone’s life; contact us for a list of our First Aid for Mental Health training courses or workshops.  kayla@safetymode.co.uk


For more information on Mental Health First Aid, follow these useful link:


https://www.mind.org.uk/              


Kayla Shepherd31 Mar 2019

SEPSIS


Sepsis is best described as a serious complication as a result of an infection and without quick diagnosis and treatment, sepsis can in turn lead to multiple organ failure and even death.


The symptoms of sepsis are also commonly associated with the first signs and symptoms of meningitis, including fever, vomiting, generally feeling unwell and a headache. Signs of sepsis can also include the chills and shivering and a fast heartbeat and breathing.


There are others signs and symptoms to look out for in children under five and these can include; a bulging ‘soft spot’ on a baby’s head, sunken eyes, floppiness, stiff neck, not drinking for more than 8 hours when awake, green, bloody or black vomit, grunting noises or pauses in breathing.


If you notice anyone with any of these symptoms you should seek medical advice immediately.


Sepsis is often mis-diagnosed as a generic infection or something less sinister and that seems to be the case for many stories reported in the media of late. Most recently, This Morning featured a story of a mother of twins who had repeatedly taken her 18 month old child to the doctors/hospitals due to concerns as she displayed many of the above symptoms. She was constantly told that her daughter was suffering from a urine infection and she would get better over time, still the mother was unsure until one morning her husband got up early for work and turned on the light and the child was tinged blue. Only upon another emergency trip to hospital was sepsis finally diagnosed and the child treated. Luckily, she made a full recovery.


This seems to be the case for many stories of sepsis reported in the media, so many patients are mis-diagnosed with an infection and sent home until they later returned critically ill.

But the over-arching message that each one of these stories stresses the most is to always ask your health professional ‘Is it sepsis?’ ‘Could it be sepsis?’ to encourage them to explore other avenues and potentially diagnose it within the critical period. Not all patients will display all of the symptoms so even if your loved one or child is only displaying a few, ask the question and demand more thorough tests, even if just to rule out sepsis.


Sepsis seems to be on the rise in the UK, but is this because we are now all so much more aware of it and are fighting for a correct diagnosis. Sepsis is incredibly serious and should be treated as so. Each year in the UK, a staggering 25,000 children are affected by sepsis with 5 people every hour being killed by sepsis and so we need to be aware of all of the facts, signs and symptoms so we can confidently fight for a proper diagnosis.



If you need any more information on sepsis please visit:


https://sepsistrust.org/about/about-sepsis/



https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/clinical-policy/sepsis/






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Kayla Shepherd31 Mar 2019

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis can be defined as a severe and sudden reaction that occurs as a result of someone who suffers from allergies being exposed to a particular allergen.

But do we truly understand the severity of anaphylaxis and it’s potentially fatal results?

 

The media has recently reported various tragic stories involving anaphylaxis that has highlighted how serious allergic reactions can be; the most recent being involving large consumer chain ‘Pret A Manger’ whereby not all of the ingredients and potential allergens were highlighted and as a result someone sadly died. There have also been similar instances on aeroplanes in recent years.

Despite significant media coverage of the ‘Pret A Manger’ incident, a fact that many are still unaware of is the occurrence of biphasic anaphylaxis; this secondary reaction is a recurrence after anaphylaxis and after appropriate treatment is given to the initial anaphylactic reaction, this can happen with no additional exposure to the allergen and can occur anywhere from 1-72 hours after the initial reaction but commonly between 8 and 10 hours.

 

An allergic reaction is the immune system’s way of reacting inappropriately to a threat; a food or substance, this causes histamines to be released from cells in a person’s blood and tissues; resulting in swelling of the lips, mouth and lower airway which can cause breathing difficulties.

 

In terms of onset, reactions usually occur within in minutes, but they can however occur up to 2-3 hours later and increase in severity rapidly.

 

It is important to note that not all anaphylaxis causes are related to food, non-food related causes can include wasp and bee stings, penicllin or latex to name but a few.

In some very rare instances, there is no actual cause identified and this is called ‘idiopathic anaphylaxis’.

 

Symptoms of anaphylaxis are often referred to as ABC symptoms; Airway, Breathing and Conciousness/Circulation.

Anaphylaxis can result in a significant fall in blood pressure which is often referred to as ‘anaphylactic shock.; if a person becomes floppy and weak this can lead to collapse and as a result they slip into unconsciousness, in some incredibly severe cases, even resulting in death.



Society as a whole seems to underestimate the potentially fatal dangers of anaphylaxis; when on aircrafts or at public events where service announcements informs us that somebody in the vicinity has a severe allergy, we must heed these warnings and avoid exposing them to these foods or substances.

Reactions will differ in severity, as will triggers, some sufferers will have to actively ingest a substance in order to trigger a reaction, whereas other sufferers may begin to react as soon as they are exposed to an airborne trigger and so we must not underestimate the fatal implications anaphylaxis can have.


If you suspect someone is going into anaphylactic shock in your presence, seek medical help immediately. Time is of the essence for anaphylaxis and the person will need treating; either with their own epi-pen or other medications as soon as possible in order to reduce the risk of fatality.


If you would like more information on anaphylaxis, please visit the following websites:


https://www.allergyuk.org


https://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk




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