Work sent me and two others on a First Aid course, so in case of the Zombie Apocalypse (or your garden variety work place equivalent) we have three persons qualified in preserving life. They say that, because our job (as heavily, in bold and underlined, mentioned on our one day course) is not to save lives by radical means, but to keep people alive until the life-saving paramedics show up.
It was pretty fun, actually. It was a day out of work, and was pretty interactive so yeah, I enjoyed it. We covered all sorts. The basics of DR ABC (Danger, Response, (Get Help) Airway, Breathing (call an ambulance) and Circulation). Basically, what to do if you come across someone whose fallen over and is unconscious (that’s the response bit, as in, there is none) and what to do if they are breathing (put them in the recovery position) or not breathing (CPR etc etc). It was pretty ridiculous, because apart from the CPR where they use Annie the Mannequin, the rest of it was done on your fellow course attendees. Pretty good way of getting all up close and personal with strangers, which was unexpected.
Also, turns out that CPR? Harder than I thought. To compress the heart (which is mostly under your sternum in the middle, not way off to the left like I thought. In Braveheart, when they put their hands over their hearts? Yeah, they missed) you have to push down 5-6 centimetres. That’s a lot more than I thought! It’s also really hard work, so I’m hoping that I fingers crossed, am never in a situation when I have to give CPR to someone. Also, apparently you’re not to worry if their bones start making cracking noises, because they might. It might also be an indication that you’re breaking their ribs, but as bones are on the bottom of your priority list, and breathing is that the top, it’s better to do CPR bad and break ribs than not do it.
The best bit I thought was the afternoon, when we covered blood + bandages (well more fun than the burns + seizure sections). There’s a whole list of things you’re meant to go ask as you’re bandaging someone up (AMPLE – Allergies, Medical History, Prescriptions, Last food/liquid, Event History) and that last one, Event History, is where you ask them how they hurt themselves. When you’re all hyped up on a Friday afternoon, you can come up with some pretty mad explanations. How’d I get this glass shard in my forehead? Well I’m a Pirate Captain, and some swashbangling boot-bucket from another ship stabbed me as I swiped his booty! Oh, this bite mark right here? I’m an underwater explorer and this great white didn’t like it when I was trying to explore his mouth. Yeah, you can see how ridiculous it got. Fun, though.
So yes, qualified to preserve lives! Like a boss!