February 18, 2015 – The Canadian Red Cross invests very heavily to provide us with the most up-to-date, evidence-based knowledge and skills, which in turn, allows you, the trained person, the ability and confidence to administer preventative care faster and with fewer injuries.
“This is a life skill that you are going to need – the occasion will present itself,” says Carolyn Tees, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Prevention and Safety with the Canadian Red Cross.
Should a member of your family, friend, or even a stranger, suffer a medical emergency, it would be unrealistic to assume that someone with medical knowledge and experience would appear just around the corner. I wonder. Is this what the majority of people think?
“When you give birth to children, they don’t come out with handbooks that tell you what to do in case of a medical emergency; they come out screaming and crying.”
Carolyn Tees, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Prevention and Safety for the Canadian Red Cross
“Whether you are at home or walking on the street – it’s you – you have to be the hero. It’s about having the feeling that I am as prepared as I can be. I have the skills and the confidence. I know what to do and I can be the hero in this situation,” says Tees.
“When you give birth to children, they don’t come out with handbooks that tell you what to do in case of a medical emergency; they come out screaming and crying. Children have needs that you have to address on a daily basis – emotional as well as physical. They are going to fall down, get scrapes - and some will suffer broken bones. As children become more mobile and move faster, their injuries become more interesting. So, being prepared and having [those course skills] is very necessary,” says Tees.
“The First Aid knowledge that our mothers and grandparents received is quite different from what is available today. Way back when, people would put butter on burns but medical science has jumped leaps and bounds providing us with the best and most up-to-date skills. Cold water is what we use now to treat a burn.”
In the past, an abdominal thrust would have been administered to treat a child who was choking, but science has proven that the most effective treatment is alternating methods of back blows and abdominal thrusts.
The First Aid course is quite instrumental in dispelling old methods of care and introducing new methods of care based on solid medical evidence.
Many of the people who sign up to take a course are about to have a baby. The Emergency Child Care First Aid & CPR course includes everything from changing diapers to assisting a child who has put a pea in his ear, which begs the question; would you know how to remove a pea from a child’s ear? Knowing what to do in these situations without panicking is essential.
Instructors present scenarios and teach you how to handle each situation through practice.
“For instance”, says Tees, “a child has swallowed a marble. What do you do? Instead of freaking out you respond because the training course provides you with the experience. The object of the training course is to provide you with confidence and a ‘sense of calm’ in what can be a very scary situation.”
Emergency Child Care First Aid & CPR Course
The Canadian Red Cross provides a one-day (8 hours) ‘Emergency Child Care’ course that includes the latest First Aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines with a focus on childhood injuries and illnesses as well as training with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). This course also includes the items listed in the checklist below and is designed for people in the Early Childhood Education industry as well as parents and caregivers.
üPreparing to respond
üThe EMS system
üCheck, Call, Care
üBreathing and circulation emergencies
üFirst aid for respiratory and cardiac arrest
üHead and spine injuries
üBone, muscle and joint injuries
üSudden medical emergencies
üKeeping children safe
The First Aid app, available at www.redcross.ca/apps is an invaluable tool because you have your phone with you all the time. Should you find yourself in a medical emergency, the necessary steps are right at your fingertips.
“The official Canadian Red Cross first aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Available for Apple and Android mobile devices, the free app offers videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice. It’s never been easier to keep your skills up to date, or to help someone in need.”
If you are interested in attending a course with your family, neighbourhood friends or school parents, the Canadian Red Cross offers group bookings and workplace courses.
If you think you are too busy to attend any of these life saving programs – think again. The next life that is saved - could be yours.
“First Aid Training reveals the secret hero in everybody,” says Tees.
AEDs SAVE Lives!
Someone is having a heart attack. You have four minutes to save his life. Every second counts. Would you know what to do? Do you know how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)? Do you know how to perform CPR?
“Too often, people realize the value of taking First Aid, CPR and AED training when it is too late. Having knowledge, skills, and confidence to step up in a critical situation… can save the life of someone close to you.”
Frank May, Paramedic Educator for the Ontario Ministry of Health, Regional Training Network
The scenario presented can be quite intimidating because a person’s life is at stake – and not just any person – more than likely someone you know and love.
“The importance of people knowing what to do in the event of a medical emergency cannot be overemphasized,” says Frank May, a paramedic educator for the Ontario Ministry of Health, Regional Training Network.
“Too often, people realize the value of taking First Aid, CPR and AED training when it is too late. Having knowledge, skills and confidence to step up in a critical situation and provide life saving care to a person who is experiencing an unexpected emergency can save the life of someone close to you - it could be a child choking, a diabetic person with an emergency or a friend or family member having a heart attack.”
The skills you receive in a First Aid course will teach you to recognize an emergency exists and A-C-T:
Assess the situation for safety hazards,
Call for help and report the emergency, and
Treat the casualty.
"If CPR can be administered quickly and continually until the arrival of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), the ill or injured person’s chance of survival improves dramatically,” says May.
“For each minute that passes without emergency assistance, the ill or injured person’s chance of survival drops 7 to 10%.” For this reason, it is imperative that each action you take in an emergency is well ingrained - seeming almost rehearsed. Each second is detrimental to not only survival but also to the overall outcome of the ill or injured person. In some circumstances when CPR is combined with an AED, the chances of survival increase from less than 10% to up to 70%.”
“Of all the skills taught in a First Aid course, none has more dramatic affect on peoples’ lives than defibrillator training,” added May.
“It certainly gets our attention when we see a professional athlete whose level of fitness is higher than most of us could ever attain, collapse in cardiac arrest. More and more athletes’ lives are being saved by defibrillators, so if we can increase the number of defibrillators in our communities and train more people on how to use an AED and perform CPR, we can surely increase the odds for those that suffer a sudden cardiac arrest,” said May.
We highly recommend that you take either a full First Aid course that teaches you how to handle emergencies including sudden cardiac arrest and the use of a defibrillator or a CPR course, which teaches breathing emergencies, choking and the use of a defibrillator.
“One of the greatest pleasures I have had over the course of my career has been talking to people whose lives have been saved because of a defibrillator,” says May with an evident sense of joy.
“Be prepared not scared.”
Frank May, an Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant, has been a paramedic for more than 30 years with the Parry Sound District EMS, a paramedic educator for the Ontario Ministry of Health Regional Training Network and continues to teach First Aid and CPR to the public.
Facts and Stats
- Even if you do not have a medical background, AEDs are easy to use.
- AEDs are safe! An AED will not shock until it has analyzed the heart rhythm and determined if a shock is appropriate. After this diagnostic, it will only shock when the operator presses the ‘shock button’ to discharge the electricity to the person’s heart.
- Science and positive results have propelled the placement of AEDs in public places such as community centres, casinos, airport terminals, airplanes, shopping malls, office buildings, sports arenas, fitness facilities and doctors’ offices.
- The Heart and Stroke Foundation, with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, is offering AEDs to sports facilities. The program also provides free CPR training to facility staff to ensure they’re prepared for a cardiac emergency. Here’s the application form!
- Cardiac arrest does not just happen to older people or people in poor health; it can happen to anyone with any level of physical fitness. Children, teenagers and even athletes can experience Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Although the risk of SCA increases with age and in people with heart problems, a large percentage of the victims are people with no known risk factors.
- Nearly 60% of Canadians who have had to perform ‘First Aid’ did so to help a family member.
- People who have taken a first aid course are considerably more confident in applying their skills during a medical emergency.
- Although the majority of Canadians say they would recognize the signs of a heart attack, fewer than 50% say they have the skills to help in this common and life-threatening emergency.
- Effective bystander CPR, when used in conjunction with an AED and administered immediately following cardiac arrest, can double a person’s chance of survival.
Emergency Child Care First Aid and CPR – Canadian Red Cross