Smartphone apps that will help you remember what to do in an emergency while travelling
April 5, 2016 8:50am
Smartphone apps can help you remember what to do in an emergency.
COULD you save a life? That’s one question John Haines, the Melbourne-based developer of a new first-aid app for travellers, wants you to ask yourself, not just when you’re at home or work but on holiday too, because health emergencies can happen anywhere.
There are precautions you can take before you travel, such as taking out travel insurance (a worldwide annual policy offers the best value if you travel more than a few times a year), and making sure you’re up to date with basic vaccinations, such as tetanus, and medications for travel issues such as seasickness or malaria. See traveldoctor.com.au or visit your GP.
It’s a good idea to check health alerts for your destination; see traveldoctor.com.au, smartraveller.gov.au or cdc.gov (the US Center for Disease Control & Prevention). And a compact travel first-aid kit can be handy even when you’re not travelling off the beaten track.
But what happens when you’re on the road and faced with a situation beyond the reach of a dab of antiseptic and a few Band-Aids? Even if you’ve done a first-aid course recently (St John Ambulance Australia trains nearly half a million people a year), what are the odds you’ll remember what to do, when you need to do it?
Cue the first-aid app, which gives you access to expert knowledge when you need it.
Two of the most-downloaded first-aid apps are those developed by Australian Red Cross (redcross.org.au, free) and St John Ambulance Australia (stjohn.org.au/apps, $5.99). Both cover more than a dozen health emergencies, from heatstroke to heart attacks, how to perform CPR (30 chest compressions and two breaths until emergency help arrives), and how to determine if someone is, say, having an allergic reaction or has broken a bone.
Be prepared when packing for a holiday.
There’s also Haines’ new travel-specific First Aid Fast app ($2.99 on iTunes or Android), launched in January, which automatically adjusts to your destination. This means that whether you’re in Thailand or Tuscany (or Tamworth), you can use it to call an ambulance, give the operator your exact location and get directions to the nearest medical centre or hospital, as well as for step-by-step first-aid instructions and video clips for various emergencies. The app also works offline, although some features such as the emergency-call function require mobile reception.
“People die for ridiculous reasons,” says Haines, a former flight paramedic and author of numerous first-aid books, who runs first-aid courses through his family business, Australian First Aid (australianfirstaid.com.au).
“But the two main causes of needless deaths and injuries are delays in getting professional help and a lack of basic first aid, and that’s what motivated me to develop this app. It’s an easy, affordable way to help people save each other’s lives, no matter where in the world they are.”
The Scouts were right. It’s always good to “be prepared”.
And for situations you can’t foresee, the next best thing is to be first-aid aware: by familiarising yourself with basic first aid and getting a first-aid app on your smartphone.
Hopefully, you’ll never need to use it, but having first aid at your fingertips will have one important side effect: peace of mind, wherever you are in the world.
What a great idea! The HLTAID001, HLTAID003 and HLTAID004 First Aid and CPR courses are so easy to complete on the Northern Beaches of Sydney at the Dee Why RSL (DYRSL). We want all out Northern Beaches community to be safe while travelling overseas and while at home. I am happy to say I have completed Provide First Aid courses HLTAID003 in Manly, Palm Beach, Chatswood, Narrabeen, Davidson, Brookvale, Belrose and Beaconhill in the month of May and provided various public courses at the Dee Why RSL. We have had over 200 people trained in the month of May and this is only a good thing for the Northern beaches community as it makes me feel safe in emergency situations.
Please book in online with Simple Instruction today. We are the easiest, cheapest and friendliest First Aid provider on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Allen’s Training is our co-provider RTO 90909
Need a white card online? See www.onlinewhitecardaustralia.com.au