A revised and updated edition of the First Aid manual has been released. The changes affect the way first aid is carried out in the workplace and are not without controversy, by Dave Arnold
The First Aid manual, which is produced by the three voluntary aid societies - St. Andrew's Ambulance Association, the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance, is used both inside and outside the workplace. However, the manual holds particular importance for the former as it defines the course content of the HSE First Aid at Work certificate.
The eighth edition of the First Aid manual has just been released. It has several changes - some minor, some major and some controversial. These changes are important, however, as they affect the way first aid is carried out at work.
The main changes
- The jaw thrust procedure has been added. This is a procedure for opening the casualty's airway in situations where a neck injury is suspected. It may be used when a casualty has fallen from a height or has an impact injury to the head or face, for example
- The mechanism for assessing the injured casualty is now divided into 'primary survey' and 'secondary survey' to assist in giving more appropriate treatment and care to the casualty
- The control of bleeding has changed. Where blood seeps through a second dressing over a wound, both dressings are now removed and a new dressing is applied and positioned to place pressure to the point of bleeding. The rationale for this is that continued bleeding is an indication that the initial dressing is incorrectly positioned
- Although no specific spinal recovery position has been introduced, the recovery position for suspected spinal injuries now includes procedures where multiple helpers are available
- The depth of chest compression for an adult casualty is 4-5cms
- 'Normal colour' as a sign of circulation has been removed, as it is difficult to define
- When seeking a response from a child, you should now tap the child's shoulder rather than shake him or her. This follows the passing of a law in Scotland that makes it illegal to shake a child
- The management of burns has altered. The 'rule of nines' used for the assessing the extent of a burn has been removed and replaced with new guidelines relating to sending a casualty to hospital
- Stings are no longer removed with tweezers, as thi