Scotland's leading First Aid charity
In a crisis it's vital that First Aid is delivered with confidence. We provide Scotland with the highest standards in First Aid skills, services, and volunteering opportunities. Together we save lives.
In this month’s blog, Operations Director Jim Dorman, is discussing AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) in wet environments. Some people may have concerns about using AEDs in wet or damp environments, however as Jim explains, these worries are misplaced.
At St Andrew’s First Aid, we always promote the message that there should be as many public access AEDs available as possible because you just don’t know where and when a cardiac emergency will occur.
However, there have been some concerns from people that AEDs might not be safe to use in a wet environment. When you’ve got a piece of electrical equipment and you expose it to water then it can be a recipe for disaster. But AEDs are self-grounding which means they can be safely used in wet conditions. The only thing you have to remember about AEDs and wet environments is that if the casualty is wet because they have been swimming; then you must dry the chest of the casualty. This is purely to ensure the pads of the AED to adhere to the casualty. If an AED prompts a shock to be given then as in normal circumstances, the AED operator must not touch the casualty as the shock is being applied.
There have been tests carried out on AEDs, especially in wet environments, to measure the voltage near a casualty to check if it would cause any problems for the AED operator or bystanders. Overall the results show the voltage levels are negligible so it is very safe to use AEDs in wet environments. However it is important to reiterate that anybody operating an AED who has to administer a shock; must not touch the casualty under any circumstances, in any environment, whether wet or dry.
There are many other damp environments such as ice rinks where AEDs are also safe to use. Also if the casualty has been sweating profusely, you may need to dry them before attaching an AED.
Some businesses may be considering purchasing an AED but are concerned about the price and the maintenance costs. I’d like them to know that AEDs are coming down in price all the time. They are very affordable and fail safe. The machine cannot shock someone who doesn’t need a shock. You really can’t go wrong with a defibrillator and some of the battery life on these machines can extend to up to 10 years. Of course that all depends on how often the machine is being used. In terms of maintenance, most AEDS are self checking and will give you a visual or audible prompt if something is wrong.
It would be absolutely fantastic if there were more public access defibrillators and specifying the location they had to be in. But until that happens all we can do is keep on campaigning and raising awareness. We need to make sure that everybody has the same desire as us to have as many public access AEDs available as possible. If I had my way, there would be one on every street corner. You really can’t put a price on life so I would encourage any organisation to invest in an AED.
If you would like to find out more about AEDs then please contact us on 0141 332 4031 and we will be happy to help you. You can also purchase AEDs from our supplies website
With winter fast approaching it is important that motorists start checking if they have the right equipment to cope with bad weather. If your car was to break down in a remote location on a cold night, would you have a blanket to keep you warm whilst you waited for help? Or if you witnessed an accident; would you have a first aid kit at hand to help someone when they needed it most?
When bad weather strikes, emergency services are often stretched to their limit so having the right equipment is vital and could help relieve the pressure on our public services. At St Andrew’s First Aid, we have some excellent products to help individuals and businesses become more resilient.
Our Motoring Kits come in a range of sizes to suit any vehicle, from a motorcycle to a double decker bus. All our kits come with foil blankets and a wide range of first aid supplies such as burn and adhesive dressings, cleansing wipes, plasters and bandages. The components of each kit have been specifically chosen for their ease of use and for their ability to cope with both major and minor road traffic accidents without the user requiring any specialised training.
The MotoKit Winter Care First Aid Kit not only has first aid supplies but also includes useful winter car care items such as a de-icer spray, ice scraper and wind up torch. The kit is ideal for the changeable Scottish weather and solves the age old problem of not being able to find the de-icer when you’re running late for work. The product offers excellence value for money and is available to buy on our website for less than £20.
Having an up to date Motoring or First Aid Kit in your vehicle should be as commonplace as carrying a spare tyre. In fact in some European countries it is a legal requirement for motorists to carry a first aid kit in their vehicles. For as little as £20 you can purchase a Motoring Kit, which could have the potential to save someone’s life; maybe even your own. Being able to stem a heavy bleed in an emergency situation is critical as it can take only minutes for someone to fall seriously ill from loss of blood. Many of our Motoring Kits include at least one trauma dressing (depending on the size of the kit), which can be used to help slow down bleeding from serious wounds.
Our Operations Director, Jim Dorman, has a top tip on where to store your Motoring or First Aid kit in your vehicle. Whilst many people would automatically store their kit in the boot of their vehicle, Jim would advise against this. He explains:
“Most boots self lock if the vehicle is involved in a collision. So I would recommend buying a soft bag to put your Motoring Kit in then store it under the passenger seat of your vehicle. This allows for easy and quick access.”
Inexpensive and easy to use, there really is no excuse not to carry a Motoring Kit in your vehicle and to celebrate Scottish First Aid Week (24 th -30th November), we’re offering an amazing 10% discount on all supplies ordered through our website. Simply enter storelauch10 at the checkout to redeem your discount.
To take advantage of this fantastic offer, follow the link to our online shop http://shop.firstaid.org.uk/motoring-kits/
If you would like to find out more about first aid training or are unsure which products are best suited to your needs, then please call us on 0141 332 4031 and we’ll be happy to help you.
Created in 1954, St Andrew’s First Aid Cadets are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. The original idea for forming the Cadets came from Mr. D T Mullholland who was Assistant Commandant of the Eastwood Section Corps. Mr Mullholland saw that lots of young people from the area had obtained their First Aid certificate attending classes ran by the Eastwood Section and he thought it would be a good idea if a Cadet group for young people aged 10-16 years old was formed. From the success of this one group, it was decided that Cadet Groups should officially be formed across Scotland and be associated with Sections of St. Andrew’s Ambulance Corps. The Cadets Corps was officially instituted in 1954 and a Cadet Officer appointed to the Headquarters staff to promote this part of the organisation.
From the very beginning the Cadets flourished; in the first year alone nearly 1000 children and young adults enrolled. As well as learning First Aid skills the Cadets also took part in a variety of activities aimed at young people. In the early years, all the Cadets would come together for a party at Christmas time. They would meet in the organisations Headquarters for dancing and entertainment which was often provided by the stars from the Christmas shows in the Glasgow theatres. However as the Cadets grew in numbers the annual Christmas gatherings became a thing of the past as many of the Cadet groups preferred to celebrate closer to home.
The Cadets have come a long way since its formation in 1954. It has gone from strength to strength with numbers continuing to increase every year. St Andrew’s First Aid currently has groups in Ayrshire, Dundee, Fife, Glasgow, South Lanarkshire and the Highlands.
Whilst First Aid is still very much a priority for the Cadets; they also engage in many other activities which are aimed at helping Cadets realise their full potential and develop new skills that may even help to improve their school grades or job prospects. Whilst attending Cadets, recruits can participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, Cadet Award scheme and many other exciting projects. And of course they continue to learn life saving First Aid skills.
Becoming a Cadet with St Andrew’s First Aid gives young people the chance to belong to a national Scottish youth organisation. It is also a great way to meet new friends and learn new skills. Cadets are also given plenty of opportunity to volunteer at events and work alongside our adult volunteers. Once Cadets reach 16, they can then go on to become a member of an adult volunteer group and become a First Aider at major events across Scotland.
Former Cadet Rachel Cameron says:
“I have been with St. Andrews First Aid since I was 8 years old. I started as a Badger and worked my way right up to Cadets and Adults. I loved being a Cadet because I was learning such a useful skill and was able to go out on duty and see what the First Aiders do so that when I became adult I could go out and do it as well. I loved knowing that I was learning amazing life saving skills as my dream is to become a paramedic so this was a good step on the way to my career. I also loved the Cadet challenge every year; the exams and the learning and practising meant I was always able to help others when needed.”
Rachel was a Cadet at the Dundee Central group and is now a Cadet leader herself. She thoroughly enjoys teaching a new generation of Cadet’s life saving skills and even brings her three year old son along to meetings sometimes to help with her duties.
The future looks bright for all our St Andrew’s First Aid Cadet Groups with membership continuing to grow every year. So happy birthday Cadets; you’re looking good for 60!
If you would like to find out how to become a St Andrew’s First Aid Cadet then have a look at our website for more details http://www.firstaid.org.uk/youth-join-the-cadets