First aid in the workplace is governed by the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 to ensure that employers make appropriate first aid arrangements for their workplace. They must assess needs, hazards and risks and select a suitable person(s) to be first aiders. Based on the assessment and the potential injuries that could happen, appropriate training should be given and refreshed as necessary.
First aid training should not be undertaken for compliance reasons alone. It is vital anyone trained is competent to deal with a medical emergency should it arise, not only at work but for the workers to use, if necessary, at home and in their personal lives. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents states that 5,000 people die because of accidents in the home and 2.7 million attend hospital every year.
What is Advanced First Aid Training?
There are some great companies providing first aid training – most often either a one-day emergency first aid or a fuller 3-day first aid course - to ensure sufficient knowledge and competency.
However, in some situations, more advanced specialist first aid training is necessary to ensure first aiders have capabilities in pre-hospital care to improve patient outcomes if an emergency were to occur and thus save lives. For example, modern industrial sites are massively diverse and often remote, so you never know what sort of issues you may encounter, and it may take the emergency services much longer to get to you in the event of an emergency. Also some workplaces are higher risk and so additional more specialist first aid equipment may be provided for use to support treatment of a casualty.
Advanced First Aid Training will help provide skills, knowledge and understanding to provide appropriate care and manage life threatening conditions. It covers theoretical and practical sessions on:
- Managing the incident
- Clinical observations
- Correct use of appropriate equipment during a resuscitation attempt
- How to manage catastrophic bleeding
- Knowledge and use of medical gases
- Knowledge and use of equipment to immobilise and transport a casualty
For each of the above we’ve provided a short introduction as to what is covered in the training:
1. Managing the incident
- Undertake an initial scene assessment - The hazard(s) involved could still be a danger to the casualty, other people nearby, and even yourself. Make sure the area is safe before you administer first aid.
- Communicate this information to control – This is particularly important in remote areas where notifying / mobilising emergency services to come may be critical to saving casualties life.
- Summon appropriate help - Don't try to deal with accident alone; the outcome is far more likely to be positive if you can get help i.e., contacting emergency services; getting additional first aid / other equipment to place of need,
- Handover - When handing over to the emergency services it is important to communicate high quality clinical information at any time when the responsibility for patient care is transferred. The quality of this handover can have an impact on patient care.
2. Clinical Observations
As well as the 5 basic vital signs to be monitored by first aiders.
- Capillary Refill
- Level of response
There are additional advanced casualty monitoring skills.
- Pulse Oximetry
- Blood Pressure
3. Correct use of appropriate equipment during a resuscitation attempt
- Primary Survey
- Positive pressure ventilation
- Airway adjuncts
- Suction and postural drainage
- CPR and airway management
4. Catastrophic (critical) bleeding
Bleeding can be internal and / or external and can be arterial, venous, or capillary.
Bleeding that is likely to cause death in minutes is referred to as catastrophic or critical haemorrhage.
This bleeding needs to be stopped, even before assessing the airway, to prevent the casualty from bleeding to death. Advanced first aid training includes information and practical sessions on:
- The Haemostasis escalator model
5. Use of medical gases to ease pain
Pain is the most common symptom causing patients to seek medical attention yet most training is primarily concerned with treating injuries and illness with little time spent on how to manage or assess the pain itself.
In many instances correct treatment of the injury or illness will reduce pain as a consequence; cooling a burn, stabilising a joint injury, or correctly positioning a casualty with chest pain, for example, will in effect reduce pain as well as correcting the cause for concern.
Sometimes the cause is not obvious. Sometimes the casualty just presents with ‘pain’. No apparent injury, no history of illness. How do you treat that? What if definitive care is over 12 hours away, what do we do then?
Advanced First Aid training provides information and practical skills to understand how to assess a casualty’s pain level to determine a detailed and relevant diagnosis of what the cause may be.
- Subjective pain models
- Nitrous oxide indications and contraindications
- Administering nitrous oxide
- Oxygen indications and contraindications
- Administering oxygen
6. Immobilise and transport the casualty
- Use of splints
- Pelvic binder
- Cervical spine collars
- Stretchers – loading and transporting casualties
Attending an Advanced First Aid Training Course
Effective and calm emergency response is challenging to execute. At MRS Training & Rescue our Advanced First Aid training includes emergency exercises to ensure if the worst happened, delegates are prepared and able to perform in a wide range of emergency scenarios.
All MRS Training & Rescues operations staff are trained in advanced first aid, oxygen resuscitation, use of automatic external defibrillators and basic patient assessment and can provide lifesaving intervention until paramedics arrive. And we also train all mines rescue operatives in this essential skill – and they all wear a unique badge to ensure they can easily be identified in the event of an emergency underground.