Sunday 21 July 2019

An invaluable lesson in first aid

Siobhan Butler with Darren O’Neill and Alec Moran, learning how to deal with choking using the Heimlich manoeuvre
Siobhan Butler with Darren O’Neill and Alec Moran, learning how to deal with choking using the Heimlich manoeuvre
Siobhan Butler demonstrates First Aid techniques to pupils at Ballymitty NS

Brendan Keane

Ballymitty National School hosted a first aid workshop for its pupils that proved to be of great benefit to the children and staff.

The workshop was facilitated by Siobhan Butler, who is owner of First Aid for Everyone. She outlined some of her experience as an accident and emergency nurse and gave the students a number of different situations to think about.

One of the first things Ms Butler did was go through the routine for helping someone who is choking.

A spokesperson for the school commenting on the initiative said: 'She gave lots of examples of foods that can cause a person to choke and showed the pupils how to administer blows to the back and the Heimlich Manoeuvre.'

Ms Butler highlighted to the pupils that a person only has four minutes before they collapse and said the strategies she was outlining to them should be tried before an ambulance is called.

'She discussed nose bleeds with pupils and told them how an ice pack on the back of your neck can help,' said the school spokesperson.

Ms Butler also highlighted what to do in the event of someone suffering a nose bleed or cut.

She made the pupils aware that people need their [bleeding] to stop by clotting and that sometimes people can wash away the clotting agent when they have a cut; she used the example of someone running a cut under water to highlight her point.

The pupils heard how, in such circumstances, it's better to wipe it [the cut] clear, put pressure on it, and 'leave the fresh air to do the rest'.

When Ms Butler asked the pupils what they knew about CPR they said it meant: 'Cardiac 'something' resuscitation.'

Having pointed out the 'something' was 'pulmonary' Ms Butler showed the children how to perform CPR on a younger person and also on an adult and the differences between the two techniques.

She used the three-step process of ABC to remember how to do CPR: A - Airway (keep the airway open by putting a hand on the forehead and lifting the head back); B - breathing (listen to their breathing or see if their chest is rising and falling) and C - Compression.

Ms Butler said panic can often take over when someone is in an emergency situation and that it's always better to take 10 seconds to look around and assess the situation and remove anything dangerous that's in close proximity to the person.

The school spokesperson also highlighted the benefit the staff members got from the workshop: 'This course was a reminder to the staff of how important it is to look at the person to check their pallor, colour of skin, and see if they are sweating and clammy.'

Ms Butler also went through some health and safety authority guidelines and advised the staff members and parents that when it comes to bumps ice packs should be used.

Staff members were also advised to ensure they know the school's Eircode and their own personal Eircodes which are now used by emergency services.

Ms Butler also told them that all house numbers should be clearly seen.

The school spokesperson said the event was a great success and the staff feel it's something that should be done every two years and is something that should be introduced and funded by the Department of Education and Skills in all schools.

Wexford People

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