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Can you guess which of Australia’s many venomous animal species is the most threatening to humans? If you guessed snakes, then you’d be off the mark. If you guessed spiders, then you’d be close; the culprit is also an invertebrate and similar in size.

The correct answer to this question is bees and wasps. According to a study on envenomation conducted by the University of Melbourne’s Australian venom unit—a work that spanned 13 years and analyzed almost 42,000 hospital admissions—a solid 33% of the victims were admitted for bee or wasp stings. These stings accounted for more than twice the number of hospital admissions for snake bites, and caused almost the same number of deaths.

This is to say that insect bites are no laughing matter, especially if they can trigger deadly allergies. The Journal of Asthma and Allergy estimates that 5% to 7.5% of people will incur a severe allergic reaction to an insect sting in their lifetime. The reaction is known familiarly as anaphylaxis, an allergic response to an antigen that can cause the body to flood its own immune system with chemicals and go into a state of anaphylactic shock.

Today, the spotlight is on the European wasp, an invasive species and pest in Australia whose presence is felt the most in the autumn season. In this feature, we’ll look into the following subject matters: the European wasp’s physical characteristics and behaviours; the risks arising from their stings; advice on how to identify and treat symptoms of stings; and further suggestions for careful intervention, such as contacting wildlife or pest control experts and enrolling in first aid training for anaphylaxis management. Read on for the “buzz” on all things related to the European wasp.

Fast Facts on the European Wasp

The European wasp, whose scientific name is Vespula germanica, is native to areas in the northern hemisphere, such as the United Kingdom, northern Europe, and northern Africa. This species arrived in the Australasian region via trans-oceanic freight activities and settled in New Zealand in 1945 before nesting in Tasmania in 1959. By the 1970s, the European wasp had thrived in Australian conditions enough to become a full-fledged pest in the country.

These wasps are not to be mistaken for their lookalikes, particularly the paper wasps. One can identify the European wasp by its distinctive anatomical features, as well as some notable behaviours. This species stands out for its long black antennae, stout body, yellow-and-black banded abdomen, double set of clear wings (with the first pair being larger than the second), and its tendency to fly with its legs raised and close to the body.

European wasps come out of hiding in the fall, as this is the season when the queen wasp and her workers emerge for hibernation and seek out new nesting grounds. The nests themselves are tricky territory, as they can be built underground, inside logs or trees, in a structure’s walls, or inside the ceiling—and the only entryways to such nests are  small entrance holes. Unbeknown to many, a single nest can host a population of between 3,000 and 10,000 workers (the size of a soccer ball or bigger). These nests typically reach full size during the months of March and April.

European wasps prove a threat because they like to establish their nests in areas occupied by humans. They like to chew cavities in the wood of both outdoor and indoor structures, and they are especially attracted to meaty and sugary foods. Examples of such items are exposed meat dishes on plates or on the barbecue grill, compostable garbage, fruit ripening on fruit trees, pet food, and so on. Worse yet, they are quite aggressive when disturbed, and unlike bees, wasps can sting a pertson several times without dying.

What Symptoms Will You Incur after a Wasp Sting, and How Do You Treat Them?

Wasps, bees, and yellow jackets all carry the same family of venom called apitoxin. If you’re stung, this venom can cause a burning sensation and a swelling pain on your skin. These pains may increase depending on the number of times that you are stung, your general health disposition, and whether you have an allergy to the venom (being stung is an unpleasant way to find out).

If there’s evidence of an allergic reaction, or if the victim has been stung in a vital area like the neck or the head, it’s best to call Triple Zero (000) or to take them to the nearest emergency room. In the absence of medical personnel, someone who is witness to the situation can apply proper first aid. They can administer the swallowing of an antihistamine, an epinephrine injection, or cold compress while help is on the way.

Prevention is Still Better than Cure

Armed with the knowledge that it’s wasp season, what should be your next move? What are the best ways to prepare for an envenomation incident—and to protect your family from this species? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Don’t disturb the nest. If you see a suspicious hole peering out of your wall or ceiling, do not touch it by any means. Warn your children to stay away from it, and do not try to block the hole or attempt to spray any chemicals directly into the nest lest you incur the rage of the swarm.
  • Contact a pest expert. Call your local pest control to oversee the problem, or report the site of the nest to the European Wasp Hotline at 02-6258-5551.The latter will take the opportunity to monitor and control the wasp population in your location.
  • Learn about how to deal with the worst-case scenario. Mitigate the risk of experiencing anaphylactic shock or other side effects of insect stings by learning what exactly to during an envenomation situation. This is where first aid training comes into play. You can build your knowledge on anaphylaxis management, as well as other first aid techniques, by signing up for first aid training in a Western Australia location, such as Belmont or Joondalup.
  • Keep your home in a safe and orderly state. Aside from asking for external intervention, do your part in keeping the European wasp population at bay. Dispose of your garbage or refuse properly, always clean your kitchen and grill areas, and encourage your children to be neat around the house. Tell all members of your family to let you know if they’ve spotted the telltale black-and-yellow colorway in your house or around your neighborhood.

This concludes our brief backgrounder on European wasps, sting treatment, and preventive action. May you have a safe and prosperous autumn!

The post It’s Autumn—Possibly the Worst Time for European Wasp Attacks appeared first on Australia Wide First Aid.

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Our local electricians are tasked to tend to the “spark” that lights up homes, offices, and establishments across Australia. It’s quite humbling when one realises that these folks continue to work in the profession despite the risks, knowing how vital a resource electricity is to other people and to the economy in general. The fact remains, however, that electricians’ work in environments that can be hazardous to their lives and well-being.

On a daily basis, electricians are exposed to high-voltage scenarios and often deal with powerful and complex equipment, thus encountering myriad safety hazards in the workplace. A survey conducted by Safe Work Australia cited that coming in contact with electricity was the sixth most frequent cause of workplace-related fatalities in the years 2012 to 2016.

Thus, a truly responsible electrician would know the importance of upholding electrical safety practices. They would armour themselves with knowledge of electrical safety standards, acquire skills and training to protect themselves on the job, and adopt a common-sense approach to all electrical operations. This is a mindset that can not only prevent the occurrence of a serious workplace accident but also save lives.

If you are an electrician, what are the best practices that you follow when doing your work? What are some constant reminders that you can pass on for the safety of your fellow tradesmen? We’ve compiled our own set of safety tips that we hope can be a good reference to Australian electricians everywhere.

Be well-versed in Australia’s electrical safety codes

The Electrical Safety Act of 2002 was signed into law with the intention of lessening the deaths, injuries, and destruction caused by electrical accidents. But other national and state bodies also issue regular memoranda governing the obligations of electricians. Revisit these codes in order to familiarise yourself with national and local electrical standards and regulations. The profession is always evolving, and so it follows that the safety standards evolve as well.

Get better at assessing risks in electrically hazardous situations, and be prepared to act in case of emergency

Electricians typically undergo advanced first aid training in performing CPR and low-voltage rescue procedures, as the risks in the profession call for knowledge beyond general first aid techniques. Electrical workers are in danger of being exposed to 50 volts of electricity or more, i.e. electrical levels that are strong enough to cause cardiac arrest. When it’s time to renew your first aid training credentials with a training organisation, be astute and refine both your technique and your risk assessment skills.

Observe the rule of working in pairs

If it is possible, complete any dangerous electrical projects with the help of a partner. This won’t only help in distributing the workload, it also ensures that at least one other person will be on the site, ready to administer first aid or ask for help in case one of you gets into an accident.

Wear protective gear

Wearing personal protective equipment or PPE is of utmost importance when you’re on the job. An electrician should have the following on their person: a hard helmet, shatter-proof eye protection, electrical gloves, and dielectric/non-conductive boots. Protective clothing also addresses the issue of excessive sweat, which can be dangerous if the sweat comes in contact with live electrical current.

Never mix electricity and water

Water increases conductivity, and every electrician knows that exposing electrical equipment to even just a little bit of water can increase the chances of an accident occurring. By no means should you approach an electrical circuit if your hands are wet, if you’re perspiring, or if you’re standing on a wet floor.

Keep a common-sense approach when it comes to tools, devices, and your work environment

Some practices to keep in mind are the following: treat every device as if it is energised (better safe than sorry); immediately report any damage you see on cords, installation, or plugs; refrain from using any other electrician’s gear or devices without their consent; and clean up any mess on your work site as you go. By doing these, you can actively reduce the risk of careless contact, trip-ups, or accidental shocks.

To those standing on the sidelines, these tips may be quite a lot to take in. However, a responsible electrician will understand that it’s all in a day’s work. They know that such conscientiousness with safety will only increase the value of their service to their clients, organisation, or local community.

The post 6 Electrical Safety Tips All Responsible Electricians Know About appeared first on Australia Wide First Aid.

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Welcome to Australia Wide First Aid. Partly an occupational hazard, we spend a fair amount of time on the internet exploring health and wellness topics. We decided to scour the web for top Australian health blogs, and hand-picked 10 of the best that we follow, and believe offer some of the best health information available to Australians. We invite you to go through the list, check out each blog, and vote for your favorite. We’ll post the results right here!

Soul Sessions

Founder Eloise King has compiled a unique and distinctive collective of blog writers to create “Soul Sessions.” The blog focuses on conscious living, and its writers tackle issues as broad ranging as the election of a new Pope, the path to enlightenment and the pursuit of truth. There is something for everyone, and the tone and topics feed and renew the spirit.

The Wellness Warrior

Jessica Ainscough is a writer, holistic health coach, and self-proclaimed Wellness Warrior, which also happens to be the name of her blog.

According to Jessica, she’s “living proof that doctors aren’t always right, that wellness starts in your mind, and that YOU are the most important authority on your own health & body.”

After being diagnosed with a rare cancer called epitheloid sarcoma in her left arm, her doctor told her the only option was to amputate her arm.

Jessica decided against the amputation, took her health into her own hands and today shares her story and perspective with as many people as possible through her blog.

Over the past two years, Jessica has shared her wellness story with hundreds of thousands of online readers with daily blog posts, recipes, checklists, and inspiring interviews.

Wholesome Cook

Polish-born Australian blogger Martyna loves food. That’s why she launched the blog Wholesome Cook, a portfolio of sorts for her recipe development and testing business, and a place where she explores natural and mostly additive-free, sometimes vegan and allergy-friendly recipe ideas.

Martyna is based in Sydney, Australia, but often ventures out into the world of culinary delights in her own backyard, and abroad.

Her passions include photography, food styling, and food. “They became my second passion by default,” Martyna says. Martyna also spends a lot of time taking photos of her creations, as she believes “a cookbook without relevant emotive food photography is just a collection of notes that can never truly ‘speak’ to my desire to cook good food, because food is a sensory experience It’s impossible to convey many of the wonderful aromas of cooking on paper so photography tends to be an important aspect of what I do.”

Impacted Nurse

Author of the blog Impacted Nurse, Ian Miller is a registered nurse (RN) with nearly 23 years experience working in the Emergency Department of a major teaching hospital in Canberra, Australia.

Miller offers up an eclectic mix of reflections, tutorials and articles. They are intended to educate, inform and amuse-even inspire. We think you’ll agree Miller fulfills his blogging goals beautifully.

Last Chance Training

Liz Nelson is a forty-something exercise physiologist who loves nothing more than inspiring the world to fitness.

Nelson received her pharmacy degree, became a pharmacist, then quickly realized that she preferred a career focused on preventative health and disease management through simple lifestyle changes.

In the mid-90s she married and established a personal training business on the Sunshine Coast called “Living Fit Exercise Management.”

Her blog was borne out of her desire to share her knowledge with others, after having faced her own personal weight gain post-pregnancy. You can read her advice, tips and stories on her blog, Last Chance Training.

StarLoz

Laura is a 24-year-old blogger based in Sydney, Australia.

Laura’s blog has become the place for her to “share my life with the world in whatever way I feel like at the time.” She splits her time between blogging and university.

Her interests in nutrition lead her into university where she is currently studying for her bachelor’s degree.

On November 11th, 2000 Laura was seriously injured at a swim meet. She fell face first and hit her chin on the bottom of the shallow end of the pool. She is now paralyzed from the neck down.

Laura shares all of her life’s stories through her blog. She hopes everyone will enjoy the ride!

Vegan Sparkles

Vegan Sparkles is the creation of a vegan named Rebecca who lives in Perth, Western Australia.

Rebecca had been semi-vegetarian since she was a teenager, and made the transition to becoming a vegan at the beginning of 2011.

Rebecca’s goal is to make her blog largely uplifting and inspirational because “there’s more than enough negativity in this world, but also to help my friends and family to understand why I’m now choosing Vegan.”

Co-inside

Co-inside Wellbeing was created by Curtis and Candice Aiken, who began making fundamental changes to their lifestyle following a serious health scare, with the intention of sharing what they’ve learned. Based in Melbourne, they share their personal health stories, inspiration and philosophy with the world.

In 2010, Curtis was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and Candice was battling health issues of her own. Some time later he learned he no longer had multiple sclerosis, but the two of them wanted to continue to share their experiences, ideas and Candice’s healthy recipes.

Eat Run Write

Eat, Run, Write is a blog authored by a twenty-something girl named Erin, who lives in South Australia. Erin moved from Canada to Australia about five years ago, and currently works in communications and marketing in the public health sector.

She admits she does a “lot of eating,” which she shares on her blog. She eats a mostly plant-based diet, and loves to cook and try out new recipes. Her blog is fun, visually appealing and written with a healthcare twist.

Run With Kate

If you love running, then “Run with Kate” is a health blog that shares the trials and challenges of training for a marathon, dealing with “disordered eating” and basically life in general with running as the centerpiece. The blog’s author, 24-year-old Kate, lives in Sydney, Australia, and, as Kate says, she doesn’t run professionally, she just started jogging, grew more serious about it, and now can’t “imagine a life without some kind of training.” It’s a really fun, conversational blog loaded with running tips, observations and honesty.

Sally Symonds

Having transformed her own life totally – twice – Sally Symonds helps individuals and corporations re-invent themselves and change their own lives for the better. As Brisbane’s leading health, fitness and weight loss mentor, she will arm you with whatever it takes to inspire you and instill you with the confidence you’ll need to continue your own weight loss journey. And lucky for us, she blogs about weight loss, dieting and food, offering great advice at every turn.

Did You Know?

Australia Wide First Aid offers a range of first aid and CPR courses. Our key locations include:

The post Australia’s Top Health Bloggers appeared first on Australia Wide First Aid.

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If one thing’s for certain, it’s this: Brisbane can be positively scorching during the summer. In response, many people in the region head for the water. Whether it’s in the form of a pool or a beach, getting wet is one of the best ways to stay cool during the hot summer months. However, along with all of the fun of swimming come many dangers. In fact, drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for Australian children aged 0 to 5 years. This sobering statistic highlights the importance of being as safe as possible when by the water this summer – and is a serious reminder of the benefits of taking Brisbane first aid courses, as well.

Know What To Do At The Pool This Summer

Whether you’re at your own pool, the pool of a friend or neighbour or a public pool, knowing first aid strategies can save a life this summer. When you attend a Brisbane first aid course, you gain the ability to keep an accident from becoming truly tragic. If a child slips and falls into deep water in your presence – or if a kid that knows how to swim randomly begins struggling to stay afloat – you will know just what to do to help them. In the end, knowing these techniques can save the life of a child – maybe even your own.

Handle Emergencies At The Beach

Although many beaches have lifeguards on duty, just as many do not. On top of that, just because a beach has a lifeguard doesn’t mean that he or she will be able to handle every possible scenario. By learning important first aid techniques, you can be the person who gets a grip in an emergency. You’ll be able to assist a lifeguard if necessary; if no lifeguard is on duty, you’ll be able to help the victim out until professional assistance arrives. No matter what, knowing first aid certainly can’t hurt – in most cases, it is positively priceless.

Don’t Downplay The Importance Of First Aid Know-How

Accidents happen in and around the water all the time. Many times, the big difference between a tragedy and a small accident depends on whether or not someone who’s trained in first aid is available. You can be that very important person in such an event, and you can help keep a needless and senseless tragedy from being added to the already disturbing statistics. It only takes a few hours of your time, and you’ll be able to help your own children, other people’s children – and countless others – if the need should arise. Have fun this summer, but stay safe too by receiving first aid training.

The post Why You Need To Know First Aid This Summer appeared first on Australia Wide First Aid.

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Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is something we teach every day at Australia Wide First Aid. No matter what you do or where you are located, we believe anyone over the age of 14 can benefit from learning CPR. You never know when it could mean the difference between life and death. Emergencies happen every day, everywhere.

This is why we offer our CPR training services in various locations throughout Australia, including all capital cities, regional centres and remote areas on special request.

What’s the point of learning CPR? Three words: it saves lives. In the case of an emergency, CPR can help buy time until medical professionals arrive. While paramedics strive to get to the scene of an emergency as quickly as possible, sometimes a patient needs instant assistance – particularly if they stop breathing.

One reason CPR is important is that many cardiac arrest cases happen at home or in a recreational setting. Places generally ill-equipped to deal with emergencies. The first five minutes of a cardiac arrest episode are the most critical, so anyone trained in CPR is a good person to have around.

When would you use CPR? There are many situations where this technique can make a difference. The whole point is to keep oxygen flowing in the injured party’s body long enough for them to get to a hospital. Some common examples include:

  • near drowning
  • suspected heart attack
  • drug overdose

Certain people are in the high-risk category for cardiac arrest, depending on how healthy their lifestyle is. There are certain factors that increase one’s susceptibility. Elderly males with underlying conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and chronic kidney disease are the most vulnerable. People with a personal history of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) are also more likely to suffer from a cardiac arrest, as well as those with a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Not every case has to be a tragedy. People can survive a cardiac arrest with prompt, appropriate medical care. At Australia Wide First Aid, we know how valuable and reassuring CPR training can be in these types of situations. There’s nothing worse than feeling helpless. Being alert and properly trained can save countless lives. Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about our CPR courses.

The post Why you should learn CPR appeared first on Australia Wide First Aid.

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You’ve probably heard of using a paper bag as a First Aid technique. When people hyperventilate, they’re often directed to breathe into a paper bag for a short while. This is to help regain any lost carbon dioxide. If you think such a remedy can help relieve asthma attacks, stop right there.

Why the two should never be confused

Hyperventilation and asthma are two very different medical conditions. It’s easy to mistake one for the other because both result in breathlessness. Hyperventilation causes the body to take in more oxygen than it can handle. Asthma, on the other hand, causes breathlessness due to obstruction of airways caused by inflammation.

Treating asthma can involve clearing the airways with a prescribed inhaler (or by calling 000 if the person is not a known asthmatic), and dealing with the former requires ‘balancing out’ oxygen levels in the body.

Paper bag breathing is not recommended as First Aid for asthma because it defeats the purpose of first aid entirely. The method is used for hyperventilation because the person has to breathe exhaled carbon dioxide in order to prevent respiratory alkalosis. It’s a condition characterised by the body having high pH levels due to excess oxygen. Inhaling carbon dioxide balances things out, bringing the body to a normal pH level.

Paper bag breathing doesn’t help clear asthmatic airways, mainly because the air being inhaled is warmer. While this is actually less irritating to inflamed airways, it doesn’t replace the effects of prescribed medication.

First Aid training for asthma

Treating asthma requires proper First Aid knowledge. It’s extremely important to differentiate between hyperventilation and asthma. To do so, a proper diagnosis is critical when administering First Aid.

We at Australia Wide First Aid believe in spreading awareness and knowledge about specialised first aid.

Respiratory-related courses offered by Australia Wide First Aid include:

  • (22282VIC) Management of Asthma Risks and Emergencies in the Workplace
  • (22300VIC) First Aid Management of Anaphylaxis
  • (HLTAID003) Provide First Aid
  • (HLTAID004) Provide an Emergency First Aid Response in an Education and Care Setting

Paper bags shouldn’t be used by First Aiders in the treatment of Hypoventilation as per Australian Resuscitation Council guideline 9.2.8

The post Why you should bin the ‘paper bag’ technique in asthma cases appeared first on Australia Wide First Aid.

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While far less common than movies like Jaws would have us believe, the reality is shark attacks do happen. Most Australians accept the inherent risks of ocean swimming or surfing: you’re essentially venturing into the shark’s natural habitat – particularly in areas unmanned by lifesavers, at dusk or when the water is murky.

We don’t need to tell you these are extremely dangerous animals. Three people die from shark attacks on average in Australia each year, according to SBS*.

But what if it happened to you or someone you were with? Would you know what to do? Is there anything you could do? It turns out that yes, there are First Aid measures you can take to increase the victim’s chance of survival.

After losing his friend, Geoffrey Brazier, to a shark attack in 2005, WA filmmaker Ryan Chatfield was shocked by a separate fatal incident that occurred in May 2016. Friends of Mr Chatfield’s were on the scene when surfer Ben Gerring was attacked off Mandurah in WA and tried in vain to perform CPR on him. The incident highlighted the importance of first aid knowledge – even (and especially) in such traumatic circumstances.

Making sense of tragedy striking twice

There were two reasons why it was impossible for Mr Chatfield to save Mr Brazier in 2005: his fear and panic during the incident and his lack of First Aid knowledge.

These tragic experiences inspired him to create an educational video about what you can do in the vital moments after a shark attack, including how to minimise blood loss and the safest way to transport the victim back to shore. So far, the video has been viewed over 100,000 times. You can watch it here: https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/33099681/shark-attacks-inspires-ryan-chatfield-to-make-life-saving-video/#page1

Useful First Aid courses

Here at Australia Wide First Aid, we provide a range of courses that educate our clients about the most important first aid procedures. These include:

  • CPR: Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to respond to respiratory and cardiac emergencies.
  • Provide CPR: This is the first segment of Provide First Aid which forms part of your first aid qualification.
  • Low-Voltage Rescue (LVR) and CPR: This provides basic knowledge of performing low-voltage rescue using a live LV panel and CPR in line with the Australian Resuscitation Council Guidelines.
  • Provide First Aid and Provide an Emergency First Aid Response in an Education and Care Setting: These courses cover the use of tourniquets for heavy bleeding from a limb and many more.

The post In case of a shark attack, know your First Aid appeared first on Australia Wide First Aid.

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A Sting in the Tale

‘Ouch! What was that? Nothing dampens a day at the beach like a tentacle wrapped around a limb. With so many creatures lurking close to shore in summer, it’s tough to know which ones are downright dangerous (Box Jellyfish) as opposed to just mildly irritating (sea lice – which BTW are actually the microscopic larvae of jellyfish and other ocean stingers).

In any case, always present to a lifesaver as your first port of call. If you happen to be at an unmanned beach, here we explain the most common stingers and their corresponding First Aid treatment.

MOST IMPORTANT: You know how a lot of people are allergic to shellfish? Well, sea-creature stings can also trigger a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) in certain individuals.

3 Stingers to Watch Out for and What to Do

1.) Box Jellyfish, Irukandji and Any Unidentified Tropical Stingers.

Where: In the waters of northern Australia (north of Bundaberg over to Darwin and down to Geraldton in WA).

When: November-March

Scary: The box jellyfish has caused 60+ recorded deaths in Australia over the past 100 years.

First Aid:

● Follow DRSABCD and ensure help is on the way. You may need to provide emergency assistance including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Keep the person calm.
● Flood area with vinegar for at least 30 seconds. If you don’t have vinegar, flick tentacles off using stick or similar. Do not touch tentacles with bare hands.

2.) Bluebottle (Pacific Man-O-War)

Where: Bluebottles travel where the wind takes them and can turn up anywhere. They are most plentiful in sub-tropical areas and large armadas tend to make their way to the Gold Coast, Sydney, Perth and Tasmania.

When: November-March

Scary: Around 10,000 painful brushes with Bluebottles are reported each year, but in most cases the pain fades after 30 minutes.

First Aid:

● Follow DRSABCD and ensure help is on the way.
● Submerge affected limb in hot water (as hot as is bearable)*

Follow this same treatment for stonefish, stingray and non-tropical minor jellyfish stings.

3.) Blue-ringed Octopus

Where: They love tide pools and coral reefs. In Australia, their primary habitat is around southern New South Wales, South Australia and northern Western Australia.

When: November-March

Scary: Their venom is most deadly, but these are shy, retiring creatures and there have been just 2-3 recorded fatalities in the past century.

First Aid*:

*Follow same procedure for sea snake or coneshell injuries

● Follow DRSABCD and ensure help is on the way. You may need to provide emergency assistance including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Keep the person calm.
● Apply a crepe bandage over site, then firmly apply a heavy crepe pressure bandage from fingers/toes upwards on affected limb.
● Immobilise bandaged limb with splints.

Would a First Aid Course Help?

Knowing how to treat wounds, apply bandages and create splints can save a life – at the beach and elsewhere.

Browse our First Aid training services and supplies at Australiawidefirstaid.com.au

The post As If, Jellyfish! First Aid on the Beach appeared first on Australia Wide First Aid.

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We’ve only just recovered from magpie season and now this! Summer is on its way and the creepy-crawlies are coming out of hiding to scare the bejesus out of us. But how scared do we really need to be? And what action should we take in the case of a bite?

Now there’s some good news and some very sad news when it comes to spider bites in Australia. It may come as a surprise that, for 37 years (from 1979 until 2016), there were no spider-bite deaths in this country. Zero. This has a lot to do with the effective antivenom for redback spiders that was introduced in 1956, followed by the one for funnel-web spiders in 1980.

Let’s put the ‘zero fatalities’ record in perspective. Snakes are far more dangerous, far more often. Every year, there are 4 to 6 deaths from snake bites in Australia. Most often from brown snakes or tiger snakes.

While death caused by spider bites is very rare, spider bites can still be extremely dangerous and we all need to be aware.

SPIDER FACTS

There are 2900 species in Australia (650 in UK) Only 3 are in the ‘highly dangerous’ category:

● Sydney funnel-web Spider (NSW)
● Other funnel web spiders (northern NSW and southern QLD)
● Redback spider (Australia-wide)

Seven others, including the mouse spider, trapdoor spider, white tailed spider, Australian tarantula spider, recluse spider, huntsman spider and golden orb spider, are also considered dangerous but rarely cause serious harm.

Huntsman spiders, for example, are reluctant to bite and their venom isn’t considered dangerous for humans. But they are still dangerous. Why? Because they give people a huge fright and cause accidents – like when they dangle down from the sun visor in the car. Eek! Check under visors and behind rearview mirrors before you start the ignition.

Did You Know?

Australia Wide First Aid provides first aid and CPR training around Australia. Some of the places you can join one of our courses include:

Funnel-web Spider Bite Treatment:

Apply Pressure Immobilisation Technique: The purpose of the pressure immobilisation technique is to restrain the movement of venom from the bite site into the circulation, thus “buying time” for the patient to reach medical care. Apply a bandage over the bitten area as tightly as you would for a sprained ankle and immobilise the limb. Extend the bandage up the limb. Only use the pressure immobilisation technique for funnel web spider and snake bites.

Do not use a tourniquet OR cut, suck or wash the bite site. Call 000/112

Keep the casualty at rest, reassured and under observation Follow the basic life support guidelines (DRSABCD).

Redback and other spider bite treatment:

● Keep casualty under constant observation
● Apply an ice pack or a cold compress to lessen the pain
● If the casualty is a young child, if collapse occurs or pain is severe follow the basic life support flow chart, call 000/112 or transport the casualty to medical assistance as soon as possible.
● Do not use a pressure immobilisation bandage

The following informational blog, researched and created by Australia Wide First Aid, is not to be taken as medical advice. If you have been bitten by a spider, please contact your closest medical professional for treatment.

If you wish to be educated on how to treat a spider bite while waiting for emergency services, we encourage you to book a Provide First Aid course, which includes CPR to confirm all correct precautions are taken to ensure you make a full and safe recovery after being bitten by a spider.

The post Once Bitten, Twice Shy: A Timely Look at Australia’s Spider Threat appeared first on Australia Wide First Aid.

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Would you know what to do if someone in your home suffered a cardiac arrest? An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in every home just makes sense.

Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have been diagnosed with heart disease. Cardiac arrest and “heart attack” are different. A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, it is a “circulation” problem. This can lead to a cardiac arrest, which is referred to as an “electrical” problem where the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly.

In Australia, Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the leading cause of death. Around 30,000 people suffer a sudden cardiac arrest each year. After collapsing from a cardiac arrest, it is vital for a bystander to commence CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) as every minute that passes without CPR or use of a defibrillator seriously diminishes a person’s chance of survival.

  • Within 4 minutes of a cardiac arrest, a person can become brain dead without CPR
  • CPR buys the patient time whilst waiting for an ambulance
  • The average response time for an ambulance is 11 minutes

The very best chance of survival for a person suffering from cardiac arrest is immediate access to a defibrillator (AED). The risk of death increases by 10% for every minute defibrillation is delayed – the ambulance takes on average 11 minutes! Studies have shown that the use of a defibrillator as quickly as possible after the heart has stopped beating can increase survival rates by as much as 75%.

For the price of a personal computer, you can invest in the well-being of your family and friends by purchasing an AED for your home.

Not all cardiac arrest sufferers have predisposed heart conditions or show signs of a cardiac arrest being imminent. Cardiac arrest is non-discriminatory and can affect healthy, active people without notice. If you are a regular traveller, boatie or 4WD enthusiast why not have a second one where you might need it most and be able to assist fellow community members as well if needed.

Remember to call 000 immediately in the event of a cardiac arrest.

Any clients purchasing an AED for residential purposes, are encouraged and welcome to attend one of our public training locations to complete a complimentary full CPR training course with us to give you extra peace of mind and confidence. 

This article is marketing & promotional information only, not intended for educational purposes. Please attend one of our first aid courses to receive educational  information.

The post Defibrillator (AED) for your home – why you need one. appeared first on Australia Wide First Aid.

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