On the 8th of March Totally Truro, the City’s Business Improvement District (BID) arranged for the businesses of Truro to have some basic first aid training, to enable them to recognise and use a defibrillator. Cornwall Resus is part of the Truro Safe initiative and they facilitated the training.
Truro Safe is a partnership set up to respond to the need to improve safety in the evening and at night time within the city. It aims to make sure that anyone who visits Truro city centre on a Saturday evening will be looked after, if they find themselves in a vulnerable position. The street teams within Truro Safe each have their own specialisms, skills and training but work closely together to provide people with the best level of support to deal with various situations.
Alun Jones, the Truro BID Manager explained that Truro now holds more than twenty defibrillators, however many people do not know what one looks like or have the confidence in using one.
The three training sessions arranged were well attended. Businesses who came along included employees from Seasalt, Saltrock, Tesco, Merchant House, Bang & Olufsen, New Look, Argos, Debenhams, Truro City Council, Cornish Mutual, Marks and Spencer, Primark, Weird Fish, Illustrated Living, Hendra’s and Hendra’s Hair and Beauty.
Tabitha Fergus and Amanda Seaton, qualified trainers from Cornwall Resus gave the Truro businesses an opportunity to recognise if a person is unconscious, how to administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and how to use a defibrillator. Also, we had a brief look into the difference between coughing and choking and how to dislodge an object blocking the air way.
We were able to practice all the First Aid Steps – assessing the situation, checking if the patient is awake and breathing, telling someone to call an ambulance, locating a defibrillator and quickly applying CPR. Often the defibrillators are locked with a code, and by calling 999, you not only alert the paramedics, but also the access code to unlock and use the defibrillator. In taking control of the situation you need to be assertive in giving instructions to others who are in the scene.
In applying CPR, we were taken through the steps of tilting the head back, chin open and applying thirty compression’s on the chest, followed by two breaths into the mouth, whilst holding the nose and seeing the chest expand with oxygen. In practicing on the CPR models, you can appreciate the strength involved in applying CPR, let alone the adrenaline pumping round your body. Tabitha elaborated that CPR can be quite strenuous and the quality of compression’s is essential in getting oxygen to the brain, to avoid brain damage.
We then had the opportunity to use a simulation defibrillator in following the instructions in exposing the chest, applying the pads in the correct location and staying clear for the shock to be applied.
We ascertained that coughing is different to choking. Tabitha explained that if no air is coming in or out – then that is choking. We practiced on the model with five firm blows to the back, followed by five inwards and upward thrusts to the stomach. Usually this method is effective in dislodging the item making the person choke, however if the person is still unable to breathe and loses conciseness, then CPR must be applied and an ambulance called for.
A big thanks to Cornwall Resus for taking the Truro businesses through their paces on Wednesday, you did a great job. The instructors were excellent. Cornwall Resus is a lifesaving training and event first aid company. They offer first aid training and all of their courses are taught by fully qualified trainers with extensive paediatric nursing experience. They would like everyone to have the knowledge and confidence to be able to save a life. If your business or organisation in Truro would like to receive first aid training, then please contact Cornwall Resus on 07503 834185 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Truro is fortunate to have quite few defibrillators if you would like to know where they are located, have a look at the list here. http://www.enjoytruro.co.uk/assets/Documents/Location_of_Defibrillators_March_2017.pdf