Changes to the Resuscitation Guidlines have been published by both the UK and the European Resusciation Council. Read about it here:
The UK Resuscitation Council (UKRC) have recently issued changes to their guidelines on first aid. This happens every five years and is based on available scientific evidence. There are a number of subtle changes, which aim partly to reflect the way that methods of communication have changed over recent years.
With the prevalence of mobile phones, the guidelines have been adjusted to encourage the first aiders to where possible, alert the emergency services without leaving the victim. The resuscitation council would like all first aiders to learn how to use the speaker phone setting on their mobile so that they can communicate with the emergency services while continuing resuscitation. It is crucial to start CPR as soon as possible and so it is important not to leave the victim in order to call an ambulance. The UKRC highlight the importance of the medical dispatcher in helping the first aider and bringing an AED to the scene.
Any victim who is unresponsive and not breathing properly is in cardiac arrest and requires CPR. The blood flow to their brain will be reduced to almost zero and this may cause seizure like symptoms. First Aiders should be suspicious of seizure like symptoms and carefully assess whether the patient is breathing normally to ensure that CPR starts promptly.
The European Resuscitation Council have, for the first time, produced guidance on other aspects of first aid, here is a summary of some of their findings:
- They have found no evidence that elevation and indirect pressure is effective when treating bleeding and they recommend using only direct pressure.
- They suggest that first aiders are taught how to help to administer an inhaler to an asthmatic.
- Sucking chest wounds should no longer be dressed, as the dressing may become occlusive.
- The have clarified first aid treatment for Hypoglycaemia – first aiders should give 15-20g of glucose.
- They have suggested the use of haemostatic dressings and tourniquets for catastrophic bleeding. The guidelines emphasise that “training is required to ensure application is safe and effective”. This is not something taught in the FAW or EFAW courses – the First Aid Industry Body (FAIB) has asked for clarification from the HSE on this issue. Previously this has only been used by medics in the forces etc and is a complicated procedure. In the mean time we sell trauma dressings for large bleeds. These are very effective and easy to use.