Canoeists First Aid Course Notes

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I went on a first aid course held by Leo Hoare of Getafix, the course had an ourdoor activities theme and included plenty of scenarios to get into practice should a problem ever happen. Here are my notes for my own purposes and incase anyone finds them useful.

The definitive first aid manual is the one by St Andrew’s Ambulance. Everyone should have it. Sp Services good place to buy equipment.

Strong waterproof boxes for first aid are from Pelicase.

Items to carry:

  • Asprin, for heart attacks
  • Phone
  • Asthma inhailer, blue (prescription only, find a friendly doctor)
  • bandages
  • wound dressing
  • sterile water and/or wipes
  • scissors
  • dermabond glue (alternatives to stitches, only if far away from help, very expensive)
  • plasters, waterproof
  • paper stitches/steripads
  • torch
  • triangular bandages, preferably made of canvas and oversized for canoeing
  • disposable gloves, for hygene
  • glucagel for hypo-diabetic fits (or sugar)
  • duct tape, useful for everything

When dealing with an incident remember priority: Self, Team, Public, Casualty

Check vital (life) signs.

  • Level of counciousness – alert, vocal, pain (pinch ear hard), unresponsive
  • Breathing – ear to mouth, hand on tummy for 10 seconds. Gurgling not good, put on side. Rasping, side, clear mouth. Panting, could be shock, check for bleeding
  • Pulse, check for 15 seconds and x4. Typical resting pulse is 60-80, children/fat people 90+, athelites down to 30. Hard to find and fast suggests blood loss. Slow and easy to find suggests head injury.
  • Temperature, check under arm
  • Colour. blotchy suggests alergy. grey or white not good. too red could be CO poisoning, asphyxiation, sunburn. Check inside lip on dark skin.

When attending a casulty the ABCs are:

  • A: Alert, Airway, Assess, Ambulance
  • B: Breathing
  • C: Circulation, Catastrophic bleeding, Cold, Colour, Capillary Refill
  • D: Deformity
  • E: Evaluation, Emotion/TLC, Environment

For chocking: 5 back slaps, 5 abdonimal thrusts

CPR: 30 chest compresses @ 100/minute, 2 breaths

broken rib, tape fro spine to check to hold a bit. Flail broken rib, nasty

Puncture wound – stop air getting in, duct tape it.

Protruding object, leave it in, pad round it and bandage.

Heart attack, get them sitting up, give asprin.

Sprains need Rest, Ice (cover in tea towel to stop frost burns), Elevation, Compression.

There is no way to tell between a sprain and a break except an x-ray.

For broken/sprained arm: lower arm, sling infront of shoulder; higher arm, sling behind shoulder.

Broken colar bone use figure of 8 sling.

Don’t put a dislocated shoulder back in. You can put back in a dislocated finger but you have to be confident when doing it, pull hard.

Diabetics can be high or low on sugar. Hypo (low) acts slow, drunk, give them sugar. Hyper (high) jump around, give them insulin injection. For an unconcious diabetic where it’s unknown if too high or low smell their breath, if pungent and sweet then too high, else too low.

Epileptics, don’t go in a closed canoe.

Allergic anaphylactic shock has a closed airway and dilated bloodvesels. Give adrenaline injection, gives about 45 minutes of recovery time. Put their feet up,

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1 Comment

  1. wrt Dermabond glue. Is there not a cheaper option? I was given a bottle
    of medical superglue a while back by a friendly colleague. I’m sure it
    wasn’t terribly expensive (he had several at his dental surgery), but it
    was medically approved. It’s just a variant of normal superglue really.

    One thing to watch out for is that CA glue reacts exothermically (ie,
    gets very hot) with cotton. Let me know if you want more info about the
    stuff 🙂

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