Archive for the ‘skills’ category

CPR Training and Certification

May 6th, 2018

Simple Instruction is a Northern Beaches Training and certification provider for First Aid and CPR. If you are someone who too realizes the importance and benefits of knowing CPR or taking CPR certification, then you too can work your way towards making the Northern Beaches community a safer place.

CPR which stands for Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an emergency process which is performed in order to attempt to preserve brain function until any further medical help can be used or utilized.  A lot of people take special CPR training just to equip themselves with the knowledge so that they can deal with such emergency situations at home or in public. CPR and first aid training is also very important for nursing students or those who are looking for jobs in the field of nursing or medical care. But besides being a part of formal education, taking training in CPR is very beneficial in other ways as well.

The following are some points which will help you realize the benefits and advantages of knowing CPR:

  • The biggest or greatest benefit of knowing CPR is that it gives you the unique and useful gift of being able to save lives. CPR certification gives you the ability to save the lives of those who have just suffered from a heart attack or a sudden cardiac arrest.  It is a fact that cardiac arrests are the leading causes of death in adults and each year, more than 325000 cases of the same are being reported.

  • Those who know CPR can increase the survival rate of victims by more than 40% because each minute that treatment is delayed, the survival chances of the victim gets reduced by 10%.  This means that those who know CPR can cause a great difference between life and death of a person.

  • CPR certification or classes taken to gain a certification provide quality training and not just theoretical knowledge and this training can go a long way for the person and for others who benefit from it.  CPR certification makes people more responsible as they start feeling like they have the power of helping out people in the most difficult times of their life.

  • Those who gain CPR training tend to feel empowered and gain a certain better level of confidence which can be applied in many other fields of life such as at home or at work as well.

  • CPR training adds another feather to the cap of most people who take it and improves their overall knowledge base and experience. This can be impressive for employers especially in the case when a candidate belongs to the field of medical science or nursing. Infact, even other industries and companies can benefit from their employees who know CPR or have a formal CPR certification.

  • CPR certification not only brings knowledge but also a lot of respect. Your friends, family and colleagues start seeing you with an increased level of respect which can make you feel very special and responsible.

Provide First Aid HLTAID003, Provide CPR HLTAID001 and Provide an emergency first aid response in an education or care setting HLTAID004 training courses and certification are available at the Dee Why RSL on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Book online today, Allen’s Training Pty Ltd RTO 90909.

First Aid and CPR Training available on the Northern Beaches

April 3rd, 2018

First aid: Australia has lowest rate of training, says Australian Red Cross
ABC Radio Sydney By Amanda Hoh
Posted 13 Sep 2017, 7:00am

Girls arms doing CPR on man lying on his back
PHOTO: Performing CPR involves repeating 30 chest compressions followed by two breaths. (ABC RN/Cathy Johnson)
RELATED STORY: Firefighters armed with new CPR skills to help save each other’s livesRELATED STORY: Snakes out in Sydney due to warm weather and urban sprawl
Do you know what to do if someone burns themselves with hot water at home?

What about if your child drinks something poisonous or stops breathing?

Australia has the lowest rates of first-aid training in the world, according to the Australian Red Cross, with less than 5 per cent of people trained in how to handle an emergency situation.

Almost 500,000 Australians are admitted to hospitals every year as a result of injury, with around 12,000 dying from their injuries, primarily from falls.

Most injuries occur in the home, followed by the workplace.

“Workplaces offering first aid is low,” Red Cross spokeswoman Amanda Lindsay said.

“They might encourage their staff to do first-aid training, but paying for first-aid training, only 50 per cent of Australian workplaces [do so].

“Giving someone the confidence to perform first-aid duties in the workplace is important.”

Know how to perform CPR
Learning how to tend to someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest is one of the key skills in an emergency situation.

More than 33,000 Australians suffer cardiac arrest each year, and only 5 to 7 per cent survive.

First aid sign
PHOTO: Keep a first-aid kit at home and in the your vehicle and replace expired items. (ABC News: Freya Michie)
The longer you delay cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the less chance of survival.

After 10 minutes, the survival rate drops substantially.

“Keeping the blood flow to the vital organs and the brain is so important,” Ms Lindsay said.

“You’re there as a first responder, you’re not a paramedic, you’re not a doctor, but you’re there to respond to the incident straight away to give them the best chance of survival.”

Not just about treating a person
For ABC Radio Sydney caller Stephen, knowing first aid was a big help when he witnessed a car accident in the 1970s and the skills have stuck with him since.

First-aid training was offered as part of his job.

“There was a pregnant lady sitting on the side of the road. I thought, ‘be calm, assure everyone’. I called the ambulance and got the medics. Calmness was one of the aspects [of first aid].”

For Phil, receiving infant first-aid training when he had his children was invaluable.

“Something that stuck with me was that you may not be able to resuscitate a child or an adult, but it’s about keeping it going until emergency services get there, because you can keep blood flowing to their brain by keeping the oxygen going. You might not see the results but there’s still something going on in there that is saving their life.”

Ms Lindsay encouraged all parents and carers to undertake a first-aid course.

The Red Cross also recommends keeping your first-aid training certificate up to date and to keep a well-stocked first-aid kit at home and in your vehicle and regularly replace expired items.

How do you treat:
Cardiac arrest
If possible use a defibrillator, which many workplaces make available. Otherwise start CPR, which involves 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths. Repeat at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.

Burns
The Red Cross recommends putting the burn area under cool running water for 20 minutes. If there is an open wound, apply a non-adhesive dressing; if it’s larger than the palm of the person’s hand, get them to hospital straight away.

Choking
The Heimlich manoeuvre which thrusts the person from around the abdomen is no longer recommended. Perform five back thrusts in between the shoulder blades. If the item hasn’t been dislodged, five chest thrusts. Encourage the person to cough if they can still breathe.

Poisons
Don’t encourage the person to vomit. Call the poison hotline straight away on 13 11 26. Each poison will have a standard way of proceeding.

Snake bites
Apply the pressure immobilisation technique by bandaging below the snake bite to the top of the snake bite as tight as you can. Keep the affected body part still.

Book a course on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. We can increase the rate of training and keep our Northern Beaches a safe place. Simple Instruction first aid and CPR training is offering Nationally Recognised Training at the Dee Why RSL 10 to 15 times per month at a time that suits you.

Book a First Aid or CPR course on the Northern Beaches to get the accredited training course that suits your needs. HLTAID003 Provide First Aid – for all industries, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation CPR HLTAID001 in high risk industries and Provide an emergency response in an education and care setting HLTAID004 for Child care workers or those studying a Certificate 3 at TAFE.

www.simpleinstruction.com.au

Recognised by Allen’s Training PTY LTD RTO 90909

CPR Performed on Collaroy Beach, Northern Beaches, Sydney.

March 14th, 2018

A sad incident on the Northern Beaches where members of the public have performed CPR on a man who unfortunately has passed away. CPR is crucial life skill to learn and a massive congratulations should go to the people who got involved to help this man. Please remember that doing something is better than nothing when faced with a first aid situation. Follow the DRSABCD guidelines and you might be able to help a family member, friend or another member of the public.

Please get trained in CPR and first aid to help keep the Northern Beaches a safe place – it is a life saving skill that you may need one day.

Manly Daily, Manly Daily
February 20, 2018 6:07pm

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/manly-daily/man-dies-on-sydneys-northern-beaches/news-story/8d92e3880ab6e6b1d41b5dd61192b13e

A man has died at Collaroy Beach, on Sydney’s northern beaches, this afternoon.

Police said emergency services were called to Collaroy, just before 4.30pm, after a man was found unconscious in the water.

Members of the public commenced CPR on the man, aged in his 70s, before surf lifesavers arrived.

NSW Ambulance Paramedics and police attended, but he died at the scene.

Officers from Northern Beaches Police Area Command have commenced investigations into the incident.

Initial inquires suggest there are no suspicious circumstances.

All accredted training courses are held at the Dee Why RSL conducted under the auspices of Allen’s Training RTO 90909.

Northern Beaches First Aid – HLTAID004 – Provide an emergency response in an education and care setting

March 2nd, 2018

The Northern Beaches community should feel very safe with most child care centers meeting the National Quality standard. With the current figure at 77% and growing year on year, we must make sure our children and families feel safe and the staff have the appropriate training.

If you are a current child care educator or TAFE Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care student make sure you book into one of our HLTAID004 Provide an emergency response in an education and care setting training courses today. We are located at the Dee Why RSL, Northern Beaches, Sydney, and conduct courses on a regular basis. We offer a variety of training courses including HLTAID001 Provide CPR – $55, HLTAID003 Provide First Aid – $110 and our tailor HLTAID004 Childcare First Aid training course which includes asthma and anaphylaxis training – $140. Don’t miss out on the cheapest price for first aid training on the Northern Beaches.

https://www.acecqa.gov.au/latest-news/more-three-quarters-education-and-care-services-rated-meeting-national-quality-standard

Thursday, 8 February 2018
ACECQA today announced that 94% of all children’s education and care services approved under the National Quality Framework (NQF) have received a quality rating, with 77% rated at ‘Meeting National Quality Standard’ (NQS) or above (as at 31 December 2017).

“In the last five years, the proportion of services rated at ‘Meeting NQS’ or above has risen from 59% to 65%, 69%, 72% and now 77%”, said ACECQA CEO Gabrielle Sinclair.

“Continuous quality improvement is one of the core objectives of the National Quality Framework. It is very pleasing to see this year-on-year improvement in service quality”, added Ms Sinclair.

Key findings from ACECQA’s NQF Snapshot include:

94% (14,687) of approved education and care services have a quality rating
77% (11,253) of rated services have an overall quality rating of ‘Meeting NQS’ or above
40% (1373) of services rated at ‘Working Towards NQS’ do not meet five or fewer of the 58 elements of quality
3776 quality rating reassessments have been completed
Of the 2700 reassessments of services rated ‘Working Towards NQS’, 68% (1827) resulted in a higher overall quality rating.
The findings are published in full on the ACECQA website: acecqa.gov.au/nqf/snapshots

On 1 February 2018, a revised version of the NQS came into effect, which reduced the number of standards from 18 to 15, and the number of elements from 58 to 40. All education and care services will be quality assessed and rated against the revised NQS from 1 February onwards.

Parents and carers are encouraged to visit Starting Blocks for more information about their local education and care services.

Education and care services approved under the National Quality Framework include long day care, outside school hours care and family day care services, as well as most preschools/kindergartens.

All course offered under the auspices of Allen’s Training RTO 90909.

Free First Aid manual, online First Aid workbook, free CPR chart and free CPR mask

February 24th, 2018

The Northern Beaches most trusted first aid and CPR training provider. Since 2009 Simple Instruction has been providing accredited training courses both public an private to the Northern Beaches community. Our most popular courses being the Provide First Aid course HLTAID003, Provide CPR HLTAID001 and our Child care educators course – Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting HLTAID004.

When booking a course with Simple Instruction you receive a Free First Aid manual, online First Aid workbook, free CPR chart, free CPR mask and a free First App. All courses are held on the Northern Beaches, Sydney at the Dee Why RSL and are conducted by local trainers who know the area.

Book a First Aid or CPR training course with Simple instruction today and you will make the Northern Beaches a safer place for you and your family.

www.simpleinstruction.com.au

All courses are conducted under the Auspices of Allen’s Training RTO 90909

First Aid skills used on Child left in a hot car!

January 7th, 2018

First Aid and CPR Training on the Northern Beaches, Sydney. Training Rooms in the Dee Why RSL. Free Provide First Aid Manual and CPR face Mask. Allen’s Training First Aid online App access.

WOMAN was outraged after finding a baby crying and sweating in a parked car, but the dad’s reaction really made her see red.

Emma Russell, NZ Herald
news.com.auJANUARY 7, 20186:34AM
Have you ever left your child in the car?
A WOMAN is outraged after finding a four-month-old baby “cooking” in a parked car in Whanganui, New Zealand on Wednesday.

Margi Keys said there was something distressing about the baby’s crying that prompted her to investigate, the New Zealand Herald reports.

To her horror she found the crying baby red and sweating in a car she described as a furnace.

“There were heaps of people around but no one took any notice. I started calling out asking whose baby it was and eventually a man in his 20s waved at me but didn’t come over to the car,” she said.

The incident occurred around midday when the outside temperature peaked at 25C and there was no wind.

Ms Keys said the baby looked extremely uncomfortable so she slid open the back door unclipped the seatbelt from his car seat and gently pulled him out.

“As soon as he was out of the car and in my arms, he stopped crying.”

Police say that young children must never be left alone in a house or vehicle and they require constant supervision.

The parent of the child didn’t appear to realise how dangerous leaving a child in a car was, according to Ms Keys. Picture: iStock
The parent of the child didn’t appear to realise how dangerous leaving a child in a car was, according to Ms Keys. Picture: iStockSource:Supplied

It is illegal to leave a child under the age of 14 without reasonable provision for their care.

Ms Keys said she couldn’t believe with all the publicity about the danger of leaving a child in a hot car that it still happens.

“Heatstroke can happen in two minutes. Brain damage can occur. Death is then not far away.”

In 2015 a 16-month-old baby died after being left in a car outside of the mothers Whanganui workplace.

Ms Keys said she approached the man and told him that the baby was very hot and distressed and about the dangers of leaving a baby in a hot car.

“He protested that he’d ‘only been gone two minutes’ and that ‘he was asleep’ when he parked the car.”

She said the man didn’t seem that concerned and told her that the baby usually cries and it was normal.

“I said to him that most babies need to be held a lot, they need to feel secure, and being held and soothed helps them to have that sense of security.”

But Ms Keys said even though the man agreed not to do it again, she was unsure he understood how dangerous it was.

“If you are at the beach and you see a child distressed in the water you go to save them, the same principle should apply to a baby left in a car.”

This article was originally published by the New Zealand Herald and appears here with permission.

2018 First Aid and CPR courses – Northern Beaches, Sydney

January 4th, 2018

Simple Instruction first aid and CPR training courses are back for January and February 2018. With a new year we think its time that we try and get everyone trained in the basics of first aid or CPR. Simple Instruction is a local Northern Beaches, Sydney First Aid provider for all workplaces, industries and safety requirements. Course are available at the Dee Why RSL and caters for people in suburbs across the Manly Warringah region.

Listed below are the 5 top reasons why first aid or CPR training is so important.

• Increases safety: The basis of first aid or CPR training is “prevention”. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry. Knowledge of first aid or CPR promotes the sense of safety and well being amongst people, prompting them to be more alert and safe in the surroundings they dwell in. Awareness and desire to be accident free keeps you more safe and secure, reducing the number of causalities and accidents.

• Helps save lives: If a person who is trained to give first aid administration happens to see any casualty in his vicinity, immediate action can be taken and lives be saved. While it is natural for most of us to rush to support any injured person, a trained person is more reliable, confident and in control of himself and his actions while in trauma situations.

• Helps relieve pain: Some injuries require a very simple solution like applying ice pack or a quick rub. A ride to the emergency room is not necessary, at least not for some time. In such cases, calling a person trained in first aid courses is more reliable. They can help reduce the pain by performing simple procedures and can help relieve pain at least temporarily.

• Makes people more secure: Knowing that you can save your own life when required, or that of the people you know or those in trauma during some emergency helps you relax more and be more secure. The sense of security promotes a healthy and a more confident environment around you where you and the people around you would feel more secure. The presence of such people provides reassurance to the others in the situation.

• Prevents the situation from becoming worse: A trained person would know how to keep the situation from becoming bad to worse. They will provide temporary treatment which will keep the condition of the victim from deteriorating, till professional help arrives. Something is better than nothing!

Knowledge of first aid and CPR training promotes a healthy, secure and a safer environment, and instills confidence amongst people, their families, their colleagues and associates thus making the Northern Beaches, Sydney a safer place. Basic first aid or CPR knowledge is very helpful in dealing with trauma situations. Not just the medical help they provide, but the confidence they exhibit is very helpful during casualties. Being trained to provide first aid is useful to oneself and society.

Training course we have on offer include:
HLTAID001 – Provide CPR
HLTAID003 – Provide First Aid (Senior/Apply First Aid)
HLTAID004 – Provide an emergency response in an education and care setting (Childcare First Aid)
CPCCWHS1001 – (Online White Card) Prepare to work safely in the construction industry with Live Assessment.
www.onlinewhitecardaustralia.com.au

All course are conducted under the auspices of Allen’s Training RTO 90909

Provide CPR instructions on a Rash Vest. Saving lives on the Northern Beaches!

November 28th, 2017
Nothing beats a first aid or CPR course but this goes a long way to helping save kids. Book a First Aid or CPR course with Simple Instruction at the Dee Why RSL on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Get accredited with a HLTAID001 Provide CPR certificate, HLTAID002, HLTAID003 Provide First Aid and HLTAID004 training course.

The Rescue Rashie, printed with CPR instructions, aims to educate parents on resuscitation

MORE than half of Australian parents say they wouldn’t know how to resuscitate their child if they stopped breathing, so action is being taken.

Emma Blake
News Corp Australia NetworkNOVEMBER 25, 20179:17PM

 

Westpac Rescue Rashie

THERE are no more excuses.

More than half of Australian parents say they wouldn’t know how to resuscitate their child if they stopped breathing so Westpac is taking action.

Drowning deaths peaked at 49 nationally last year, so the time is right for the Rescue Rashie, a children’s rash vest printed with step-by-step instructions for how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Almost 56 per cent of parents with kids aged between two and eight said they wouldn’t know how to do CPR in the event of an emergency, a survey has found, despite children under four accounting for 42 per cent of non-fatal drownings.

Developed with the help of paediatric first aid training and awareness organisation CPR Kids, the bright red rash vests provide thorough instructions for how to save a child’s life.

They are also a constant reminder to parents about water safety, said CPR kids founder Sarah Hunstead.

Ky Hurst with Chloe Meredith, Jack Otter, Mitchell Meredith and Taylor Otter promoting swimming safety. Photo Jeremy Piper

Ky Hurst with Chloe Meredith, Jack Otter, Mitchell Meredith and Taylor Otter promoting swimming safety. Photo Jeremy PiperSource:News Corp Australia

“Adults are nervous about what to do (in the event of a child losing consciousness) but the Rescue Rashie puts the instructions right on their child’s chest,” Ms Hunstead said.

“Not only will it give parents more confidence to go straight into CPR but when they are ding the washing or folding it up and putting it away it’s reminding them about the steps for CPR.”

Two thirds of parents did not know the correct compression to breath ratio (30 to 2) for CPR, the survey of 1000 parents also found.

Hunstead said it is important to call an ambulance but, especially in a drowning accident, you cannot wait for help.

“While you wait for the ambulance oxygen is not circulating so you need to give breaths and you’ve got to push hard and fast on their chest as soon as possible,” she said.

Ironman and Olympic swimmer Ky Hurst said water safety is number one when it comes to his kids.

“As much as I love the water and have spent my life around it I know that accidents can happen,” he said.

“The instructions on the front (of the rashie) and the bright red colour serve as a constant reminder of how to keep your children safe.”

Hurst competed in the Men's 10km swimming at the London Olympics. Picture: News Corp

Hurst competed in the Men’s 10km swimming at the London Olympics. Picture: News CorpSource:News Limited

Drowning deaths in children under five jumped by 32 per cent nationally in 2016/17.

Almost 300 people drowned in the 12 months to June 30 — almost 20 per cent of those in December, according to the Royal Lifesaving Society.

While many of our beaches are patrolled with qualified Lifesavers, almost as many people drown in swimming pools (44) as at the beach (50) so it is up to parents to know what to do in the event of an accident.

Westpac, which has sponsored the Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service for 44 years, wanted to take the next step in their commitment to water safety and educate parents about water safety, said Jessica Power, Westpac State General Manager NSW.

The UPF 50+ vests are being sold for $35 with proceeds going to Take Heart Australia to fund CPR training.

Pure Profile conducted the nationwide survey of 1,000 Australian parents who have children between the ages of two and eight years old.

Northern Beaches Hospital – Mona Vale Tick First Aid

November 5th, 2017

IN a world first, a northern beaches hospital has conducted research into the safest way to remove a tick.

First Aid for Tick removal provided in Simple Instruction First Aid training courses at the Dee Why RSL.

Dr Andy Ratchford, emergency director at Mona Vale Hospital who was involved in the study, said results showed killing the tick by freezing it while it was still embedded in the skin was the best course of action and could potentially save a life.

He said the research proves it was safer than using other methods such as pulling it out while still alive with tweezers or your fingertips.

“In general, we found that four out of five people who removed the ticks without killing them first suffered an allergic reaction, mostly it was a local reaction, but in some cases it was life-threatening,” Dr Ratchford said.

He said in comparison, only one out of ten patients who killed ticks in place by freezing them first, suffered a reaction.

“Anaphylaxis is potentially fatal. If you can remove the tick and decrease your chances of getting a reaction then that is important,” Dr Ratchford said.

Dr Ratchford said the advice was critical for those living on the northern beaches which was a known tick hotspot.

He said at Mona Vale Hospital they were seeing a year-on-year rise in tick related emergencies.

As well as dealing with minor reactions to tick bites, they were also seeing patients with cellulitis, tick typhus and those with life-threatening anaphylaxis caused by an allergy to a tick or to meat, brought on by a tick bite.

Allergy expert professor Sheryl van Nunen, who first linked ticks to meat allergies, estimates that more than 1000 people on the northern beaches have developed a meat allergy caused by a tick bite, while others have developed an allergy to ticks themselves.

Last December an Avalon dad told the Manly Daily how he was left fearing for his life when his throat started to close up and his eyes and tongue turned black, after his wife pulled out a tick in his neck with her fingertips.

Mona Vale doctors had to give 53-year-old wool trader Michael Kiernan three emergency shots of adrenaline to help him breathe in the terrifying ordeal. Despite being bitten many times by ticks, he had never had a reaction before. Now he has to carry an lifesaving Epipen in case he gets another tick.

Michael Kiernan was left fearing for his life after a tick bite turned his eyes and tongue black.
Dr Ratchford said they saw most of their tick patients between July and December, as that was when the adult female needs its last blood meal before producing offspring.

He said during this period around two per cent of all cases at Mona Vale’s emergency department were tick-related, which was high.

The study looked at 124 patients between July and December in 2016. He said that didn’t include everyone who came to emergency with a tick bite, but a large sample of patients with tick issues.

Dr Ratchford said those on the frontline of tick emergencies had been advising people to freeze not squeeze ticks for some time.

One of the ticks removed from patients at Mona Vale Hospital. Picture: Adam Yip
However, without research to back it up health authorities have been reluctant to promote the method.

“There’s so much conflicting evidence out there on how to remove ticks, it’s a minefield,” he said.

“This is the first research looking at the best way to remove ticks.”

He said he would be submitting his research to journals in the hope of getting the information out there.

HOW TO REMOVE A TICK:
1. For adult ticks, use a freezing agent, containing ether, such as WART-Off. Apply five presses of the treatment half a centimetre above the tick and wait for the tick to fall off. If it doesn’t, reapply. Seek medical help if a tick, dead or alive, doesn’t drop off.

2. For tiny ticks, such as larvae and nymphs, use a permethrin-based cream such as Lyeclear. Leave on for one to three hours and they should fall off.

3. For more information on how to prevent and remove ticks go to tiara.org.au.

Applying First Aid Care – HLTAID004, HLTAID003, HLTAID001

October 27th, 2017

Simple Instruction offers the best First Aid and CPR training courses on the Northern Beaches and Sydney. Applying your First Aid and CPR knowledge through real life and relevant scenarios. Please book into a public or private first aid or CPR Training course available at the Dee Why RSL.

Scratches, grazes, bumps, bruises, burns, cuts, bites … our skin cops a battering on an almost daily basis, yet most of the time we hardly think anything of it.

For many of us, wound treatment simply involves washing off the dirt or blood, sticking on a plaster, going about our business and leaving our skin to do the rest.

This is often fine; skin is generally pretty good at fixing itself. But sometimes wounds can linger, stubbornly, for weeks, then months, and even years.

The truth is that while medicine has come a long way in the past few centuries, wound care has been left behind a bit, according to wound expert Allison Cowin, from the University of South Australia.

“We’ve been trying to treat wounds from the beginning of time and there have been many different types of things done to them with maggots and honey,” Professor Cowin said.

This is partly because the process of wound healing remains something of a medical mystery, involving many different cells and bodily processes that science is still trying to understand.

“So we just slap a dressing on it, slap a band-aid on, and really all we’re doing is trying to let the body heal itself,” Professor Cowin said.

When to get help

But often we neglect proper wound care. We leave wounds to fester in the hope they’ll eventually be OK, and we rarely seek medical attention even for a persistent wound.

This is an issue especially for the elderly, with Professor Cowin citing data suggesting as many as one in four people in residential aged care have a chronic, non-healing wound.

One of the big questions about wounds is when to seek medical help. Wound specialist Sue Templeton says there isn’t a hard and fast rule, but suggests that if a wound scares you, get a professional to take a look.

“If you look at that and go, ‘Oh my goodness’, then you should consider seeing a GP at the least,” says Ms Templeton, a nurse practitioner with the Royal District Nursing Service in South Australia.

Other red flags might be if the wound is still bleeding after 5 to 10 minutes, or if the laceration or puncture is so deep you can’t see the bottom of it.

With burns, the advice from St John’s NSW is to see a doctor if the burn is deep or if it’s larger than a 20 cent piece, if it involves the airway, face, hands or genitals, or if you’re unsure how severe the burn is.

Wound consultant Wendy White suggests the location and size of wounds are also key factors to consider.

“An abraded [or skinned] knee is very different to the same injury type but affecting, for example, half of your back,” she says.

“In fact, that’s very similar to losing skin from a large burn — there’s going to be a lot more fluid to deal with, and pain and discomfort, and larger wounds take longer to heal and increase the risk of infection.”

Just won’t heal

Another major warning sign that things aren’t going as they should be, is how long a wound has been lingering.

The first four weeks after an injury are what Ms White calls ‘the Golden Four Weeks’, during which the body should proceed through the normal process of healing.

If a wound hasn’t healed or improved by the end of that period, then there is an increased risk of chronic wound developing.

“There’s a transition period after these initial weeks where, by six weeks, if the wound remains open it becomes a different animal,” Ms White says.

“It becomes a bit trapped; the three words they use in the literature is ‘stagnant’, ‘stunned’ and ‘stalled,’ which interrupts the normal process of wound healing”.

Living with delayed healing, chronic wounds can have many consequences, none of them good.

People often isolate themselves when they have very bad wounds. So this increases their chances of depression, anxiety and stress, which in turn negatively impacts on their immune system, general health and their sense of wellbeing.

By that stage, a chronic wound needs medical help to address not only the wound, but also to explore why it’s not healing in the first place.

Clean and protected

But that is worst-case scenario.

For relatively simple wounds — like a cut earned while chopping tomatoes, a grazed knee from a tumble, or a scrape — the aim is to keep it clean and protected, Ms Templeton said.

Covering it with a sticking plaster, or similar, can help keep a wound clean and protect it from more damage in the first few days; but beware, these get soggy when exposed to water.

If there’s likely to be a lot of dirt in the wound, such as might happen with a graze, it’s best to carefully clean it out before covering.

There are also modern topical antiseptic cleansing and dressing products, which should be used for contaminated wounds to reduce the risk of infection, Ms White said.

But she warns against routine and widespread use of topical antibiotics.

“We know now that the microorganisms in the wound can become resistant very quickly to topical antibiotics,” she said.

Honey and saltwater

As for medicinal honey, Ms Templeton says, this could help for minor wounds. A number of studies have found it can be an effective wound dressing.

But she stresses that you need to buy the right type of honey, because regular store-bought honey could do more harm than good.

“Certainly with the designated proprietary wound honeys, each batch of honey is individually tested to ensure it meets a minimum antiseptic standard, which you might not get from a supermarket brand,” she said.

One common misconception about wound care is that salt water baths or seawater are good for healing.

Ms Templeton said someone with a major wound should actually avoid submersing it in seawater, because there’s a risk of contamination that could make things worse.

“There are a couple of specific bacteria that live in the ocean and certainly they can get into wounds from time to time and cause very nasty infections,” she said, stressing this is most relevant to people with large wounds like ulcers.

She also warns against salt baths, pointing out that this can expose the wound to bacteria from other parts of the body, which increases the risk of contamination.

Biggest misconception

But the biggest misconception about wounds is that all wounds heal.

She says if a wound isn’t improving in the first few weeks after an injury, in the sense of getting smaller, not hurting as much, not seeping as much, not as red or inflamed, then that should be a trigger to get medical help.

“The longer you leave it, you’re going to start to have a problem wound that doesn’t quite know what do to with itself, and the long-term consequences are that once a wound fails to heal in those first 30 days, it becomes increasingly difficult for the person that’s living with it.”

 

© 2018 Simple Instruction | Blog RSS | Find us on Facebook