In Ontario over the past four months we’ve had many incidents that resulted in drowning, heat stroke, falls from height, amputations and lightening strikes. There have been many incidents where a first aider has successfully assisted a casualty. Would you know what to do if you were the first person on the scene of a machine accident or if a coworker was having a heart attack? Once the heart stops beating, seconds count. For every minute that passes without help, a person’s chance of survival drops by about 10%. First aid and CPR is the immediate care given to an injured or suddenly ill person when a medical practitioner’s care is not available. First aid and CPR is used in the interval between the recognition of a medical emergency and the arrival of professional help and can also be used in a setting where medical help is delayed or not available. Properly applied first aid may mean the difference between life and death or between rapid recovery and long hospitalization. Recognizing a medical emergency and knowing how to get medical help may make the difference between life and death.
A first aider is someone who has received formal training and is competent in providing temporary assistance to an injured person until a medical professional arrives. The first aider plays a vital role in ensuring the casualty receives the help they need before the medical professionals arrive. You must always obtain consent before performing first aid, always identify yourself as a first aider and ask, “Can I help you”. If person says “no” you must not attempt to care for injured person. A common question that many first aiders ask is, “Can I be sued?” In Ontario, The Good Samaritan Act (Bill 20) provides protection for the first aider who volunteer’s first aid provided it does not exceed his or her training. This Act limits the possibility of being sued for voluntarily helping someone else. This Act is designed to encourage the common bystander to assist when possible. The three main objectives of first aid are to preserve life and promote recovery, prevent further injury and prevent infection. The first aider plays a vital role in the first few minutes of an emergency. Being able to transition from being a bystander to being a first aider by recognizing an emergency, deciding to act, activating emergency services and rendering care is key to making this transition. The first aider plays a vital role in ensuring the casualty gets the help they need in order to preserve life and promote recovery, prevent further injury and prevent infection. The course modules that a participant in our Standard First Aid and CPR course will receive training on include the following modules: emergency scene management, shock, unconsciousness, fainting, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, adult, child and infant choking, cardiovascular emergencies, severe bleeding, medical conditions, bone and joint injuries, head and spinal, chest injuries, eye and dental injuries, burns, poisons, bites and stings and heat and cold injuries.
Included in our standard first aid and CPR course is a module on Automated External Defibrillation. These devices can be found at many hockey arenas, office buildings, airports, theatres and shopping malls. They are proven to be very effective and in saving lives and today many workplaces have began to purchase defibrillators in the event of a cardiac arrest emergency. Cardiac arrest is the sudden stop of the organized beating of the heart. When the heart stops beating in a coordinated rhythmic way, it’s unable to pump blood around the body. When this occurs the casualty will stop breathing. Within 4-6 minutes of not breathing, brain damage will likely occur. For every one minute of delay a casualty has a 7% – 10% less chance of survival. The most common condition in sudden cardiac arrest is called ventricular fibrillation. This heart rhythm will continue for approximately 10 minutes. Defibrillation must happen while this electrical activity is occurring. Ventricular tachycardia , which simply means that the ventricles are beating so quickly that there isn’t enough time for the heart to refill with the amount of blood necessary to cause a pulse of blood to be circulated around the body. The AED briefly stops the heart and hopefully allows normal electrical impulses to start again
In Ontario, as per WSIB Regulation 1101 the employer is responsible for providing properly stocked first aid kits and ensuring that there are employees certified in first aid and CPR that can respond to an emergency situation. The employer must always be in a position to demonstrate due diligence for taking all reasonable precautions necessary for the protection of the worker. It is not only a legal obligation but also a moral obligation of the employer to provide proper care for employees if required. Workplace Law Consulting Inc. is HRSDC approved and WSIB recognized to teach First aid and CPR for employers at their workplace.