Basic first aid kit – What should you include?

This article looks at what a business should include in a basic first aid kit, along with a list of injuries each item addresses.

Continue reading “Basic first aid kit – What should you include?”

How to treat burns – First Aid

Burns are the most common household injury and unfortunately a regular occurrence in certain work environments.  This article discusses how to treat burns.

More than 1 million people in the UK seek medical treatment for burn-related injuries each year.  50,000 people are hospitalised due to burn-related injuries.  4,500 people die from burn related injuries.

Burns should always be treated as serious regardless of severity.  Before treating a burn-related injury however, it is important to first determine the type and degree of the burn. Continue reading “How to treat burns – First Aid”

The Difference Between Sprains, Strains and Breaks

In the workplace accidents, can happen at any time. Continuing our recent articles on health and safety this article covers some basic observations to help identify the differences between sprains, strains and breaks.

Any injury in the workplace can be costly If you cannot identify the problem, then getting the solution becomes even more daunting and hectic. Sprains, strains and breaks are all related and if you have experienced either of them, then you know what severe pain is. The three conditions are musculoskeletal disorders that normally affect the body’s musculoskeletal system or movement. In most cases, this disorder affects the tendons, nerves, ligaments, muscles, blood vessels among other body organs.

 

Musculoskeletal Injuries: The differences between Sprains, Strains and Breaks

Sprains

• A sprain happens as a tear or a stretch of a ligament which is the tissue connecting 2 bones. They support and stabilize the body’s joints enabling them to be flexible. A good example is the knee ligament connecting the two bones on the upper and lower side.

• Sprains happen following a fall, blow or twist on your body. They cause the affected joint to overstretch injuring or even rupturing the supporting ligaments.

• A mild sprain takes place when the ligament overstretch, but a severe sprain is where the ligament tears completely separating from the bone.

 

Strain

• A strain is a tear, twist or pull of a tendon and/or a muscle in the body. Tendons are defined as the cords of tissues that normally connect bones and muscles.

• Strains are caused by prolonged overuse of tendons and muscles without enough rest. Some of the signs of strains include; swelling, pain, inflammation, cramping muscle spasm and muscle weakness.

• Mild strains are rarely noticed, but severe ones can result to serious injuries following a complete rapture of the tendon and the muscles. Some of the common strains include back strain and hamstring muscle strain

 

Breaks

• Just like the name suggests, a break is a split, fracture or a complete break in the bone. Such injuries are caused by accidents, bone weakness or sports injuries.

• Unlike strains and sprains, breaks require immediate attention from a qualified doctor to ensure fast and proper healing.

 

In all cases if these injuries happen in the workplace you need to make sure it is noted in the company accident log and more importantly that the employee or visitor affected is taken to hospital where the injury causes pain.
TutorCare offer a wide range of training course that covers first aid in the workplace.  As well as identifying and offering advice on the above our courses discuss treatment for unconsciousness, shock, bleeding, burns and scalds.

 

The following is a list of currently available courses through TutorCare.

How To Properly Care For A Minor Workplace Injury

Minor cuts, scrapes, bruises and burns… they’re a part of daily life with most of them taking place in the home. However, it’s not uncommon for them to occur in a place of employment. A majority of companies have some type of accident policy (with risk assessment) that dictates what happens in these types of cases. This article looks at dealing with a minor workplace injury. Continue reading “How To Properly Care For A Minor Workplace Injury”

Choking

A foreign object that is stuck at the back of the throat may block the throat or cause muscular spasm.

Young children especially are prone to choking. A child may choke on food, or may put small objects into their mouth and cause a blockage of the airway.

If the blockage of the area airway is mild, the casualty should be able to clear it; if it is severe they will be not be able to speak, cough or breathe and will eventually lose consciousness.

How to Recognise a:

Mild Obstruction:

  • Casualty will be able to breathe, speak, cry or cough
  • Severe obstruction

Severe Obstruction:

  • Casualty will be unable to breathe, speak, cry or cough
  • Casualty will eventually lose consciousness unless they are given assistance

Treatment for adult or child

Your aims are to remove the obstruction and to arrange urgent removal to hospital if necessary.

If the obstruction is mild:

  • Encourage them to continue coughing
  • Remove anything that is an obvious obstruction from the mouth

If the obstruction is severe:

Give up to 5 back blows

  • Look inside the mouth and remove anything causing an obvious obstruction

If the obstruction has not moved:

  • Give up to 5 abdominal thrusts
  • Look inside the mouth and remove anything causing an obvious obstruction

If the obstruction has not been cleared after repeating the cycle of back blows and abdominal thrusts three times

Call an ambulance by dialling 999 or 112

Keep repeating the pattern until help arrives

To see images and a video of actions that can be performed by a trained adult go here – What to do when a baby or infant chokes (For trained professionals)

SB (07/17)

Treating minor cuts and scrapes in the workplace

Unfortunately minor cuts and scrapes are a part of everyday life.  While these are more common around the home, they do from time to time happen in the workplace.  If a wound is deep, has something embedded in it or bleeds heavily you should seek immediate medical attention.  Most businesses have a policy regarding accidents in the workplace and while there are legal obligations for the employer regarding health and safety, including a responsible dedicated first aider (ideally trained) there are instances where simple steps can help minimise even the smallest of injuries to prevent infection.

Clean the wounded area

If you are treating someone, where possible clean your hands with soap and water first.  If that isn’t possible use some kind of antibacterial wash or wipe.  If you have clean hands you will minimise any additional contamination.

Clean the cut or scrape with cool water to remove dirt and debris. Hold the wound under running water or pour clean water over it from a cup. Use soap to clean the wound or again antibacterial wipes.

You don’t need to use stronger cleaning solutions to treat minor cuts and scrapes, water or wipes will suffice. Cool clean water should be fine for cleaning the wound.  Anything stronger than that may further irate the injury.

Stop any bleeding

Smaller lacerations, cuts or abrasions usually stop bleeding on their own. A small amount of blood in some cases can help clean out the wound. Certain areas, such as the hands or head may bleed more than other areas due to the number of blood vessels.  Don’t panic, just try and clean the area and then gently apply firm, direct pressure using a clean cloth or gauze – any clean dressing will do.

Continue to hold the pressure steadily. If blood seeps through the dressing, just put more on top and keep applying pressure. Resist the urge to check on the wound by lifting the cloth; any movement may cause the wound to start bleeding again.

If the cut is on their arm or hand, it may help slow the bleeding by raising it above their head. If however the cut begins to spurt blood or the area doesn’t stop bleeding after 3 minutes, seek medical advice.   Most of the time it will slow down and stop as the body reacts to the injury.  Remain calm at all times.  While you need to ensure the bleeding stops with a certain level of pressure you also need to make sure the injured person doesn’t panic and risk further injury to themselves or others.  Make them as comfortable as possible.

Cover the injury

In the work environment it is best to cover any cuts or scrapes to help prevent infection, once the bleeding has stopped.  Check that the wound is clean and then if available apply antibiotic ointment or cream (eg – Savlon) –  thinly over the area to help keep the area moist and prevent scarring.  Cover it with a sterile bandage or a gauze pad and some tape.  Most businesses have a first aid kit readily available at a central point and it is in everyone’s best interests to cover the wound as soon as possible.  If the area is small and unlikely to get dirty or rubbed by clothing, the injured person may wish to leave it uncovered.  While this may be ok in some cases it would be wise to remind them that they risk reopening the wound if it gets knocked.  Depending upon the size and area of the wound they may need to change the dressing or bandage once a day if it gets dirty, remind them that they would be wise to do so to minimise risk of infection.

Make sure you report this to a supervisor or the designated first aider on site.  You should also make a note of it in the accident book.  As an employee you have a responsibility to the company to report any accidents regardless of outcome or presumed risk.

Medical help

Most minor cuts and abrasions don’t need consultation.  They do need to be reported though in the work environment.  If you can’t find the dedicated first aider, you will need to seek medical support if:

  • The edges of the cut are jagged or gape open, the cut is deep (1/4 inch or more), or you can see fat or muscle. These are signs that they may need stitches.
  • The wound is on their face.
  • If the wound was caused by something rusty or very dirty.
  • If you can’t get all of the dirt or debris out of the wound.
  •  The wound is from an animal or human bite.
  • The injured area feels numb and seems to be spreading.
  • They have a puncture wound or a cut and haven’t had a tetanus jab in the past 5 years.

Keep an eye out for Infection

Any wound that doesn’t heal normally should be reported to the doctor as soon as possible.  Symptoms can include;

  • Redness, swelling or extreme warmth
  • Pus or leaked fluids from the cut
  • Fever
  • An increase in pain
  • Red streaks around the wound

The healing process

Typically scrapes and small cuts should heal within a few days.  This normally happens as a scab forms over the area.  This scab protects the wound from germs and dirt while new skin grows underneath.  Once the scab has formed, they may not need the bandage or dressing any more.  Although the wound will itch over the days that follow, it is best to recommend that they not scratch or pick at the scab. The scab will fall off of its own accord when the skin is replaced.

First aid qualifications are essential for any organisation.  They may also be extremely useful at home, especially when you have young or elderly relatives.  TutorCare offer a wide range of courses that cover the above and much more.  With accreditation from awarding bodies such as QUALSAFE and CIEH employees and employers would both benefit from attending any of the following courses;

First Aid and accidents in the Workplace

Accidents in the workplace although rare do unfortunately happen. While you can take precautions to minimise occurrences of such accidents when they do take place you may need to act quickly to avoid further injury or in the worst case save a life. In addition any accidents no matter how serious can also have a negative impact on productivity and output for the organisation itself.

Making your workplace safer can involve training, raising awareness regarding potential risks and installing safety equipment on site. Any workplace injury must be addressed no matter how minor. The types of injury will vary depending upon the environment and in particular the industry but common ones include; fractures, cuts, burns and bleeding as well as pulled muscles. Any incident within the workplace must be logged and reported following the legislation set out by the Health & Safety Executive body for the UK. Known as the “Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations” or (RIDDOR), the HSE have set out a guide to employees and employers regarding their responsibilities for any accident that occurs as a direct result of activity in the workplace.

No matter how small your workforce is, it is important to have one or more staff members trained in at least the basics of First aid. TutorCare offer a wide range of training options, onsite or online that can help ensure your staff know what to do in case of an emergency.

Below are a list of 5 tips on how to deal with common accidents within your workplace and are covered in our First Aid at Work Training (HSE) coursePlease note where you are in doubt always call 999 for further assistance. These tips are aimed at helping those with low level injury and ideally should only be done by those that have been suitably trained. You should always seek assistance from a qualified first aider or the medical services with anything more life threatening.

1) When an injured person is discovered, ensure both the victim and the first aider are clear of further danger or hazards. There should be no risks of further injury to either party whilst treatment is undertaken. Switch off machinery and clear space if necessary. If they need to be moved due to further threat being imminent do so providing the casualty isn’t suffering from a spinal or head injury.

2) If a casualty appears to have potential head or spinal injuries, stay with them and raise the alarm for others to contact the ambulance service on 999. Moving the injured person may result in further damage and needs to be done by those that are trained to do so. The same applies to anyone with a broken leg or damaged foot.

3) If the employee suffers from a burn (none hazardous), cool the area as soon as possible with cold water. If deemed serious get them to hospital as quickly as possible.

4) If the casualty is bleeding, raise the injured area above the heart (if possible) and immediately apply some pressure on or near the wound to reduce bleeding. Once the bleeding eases, clean the area ideally with antiseptic and fit a dressing or bandage on the area. Again if the injury is serious either call 999 or take them directly to hospital for further medical attention.

5) Any eye injury will require cleaning as soon as possible. Ensure only clean water is used and attempt (where possible and safe) to get any alien object or substances out of the eye. If this proves difficult and symptoms do not improve seek medical assistance at hospital as they may need specialist treatment to avoid serious damage to the eye.

All of our first aid courses cover the above in much more detail and are designed to benefit not only your business but the individuals that take part. Nothing is more important than ensuring an employee is treated quickly should an accident occur. First Aid Training may not be a pre-requisite in some companies but investing in your staff can make the difference between life and death should a serious incident ever occur on site.

Useful link –
www.fih.org.uk/firstaid.htm

First aid training could be life-saving for athletes

Premier League football clubs and other professional sports teams usually have whole teams of medical experts on hand in case of injury or illness during training sessions and matches. However, smaller teams and youth clubs don’t have the money to spend on a full-time medic. This is why these teams should consider first aid training instead.

Everyone from coaches and support staff to sports participants, players and athletes should consider taking a first aid course. A medical emergency can happen at any time, not just on the pitch. Someone could fall ill on the way to a match, in the dressing room or even during post-game celebrations (or commiserations), as well as hurting themselves quite badly during the match.

With the skills and knowledge to act fast and deliver crucial first aid in a medical emergency, lives could potentially be saved. A full first aid course only needs to be taken every few years, with a refresher needed every now and again, but the skills learnt on such a course are for life. What’s more, they can be used to save lives in virtually any part of life, not just on the sports field.