Meeting Newz September / October 2021

A common clinical presentation from events can be injuries causing bleeding – this is often distressing to the injured person as well as those around them. Bleeding is classed as either capillary, venous, or arterial depending on which vessel is ruptured. Arteries are vessels which leave the heart and blood is pumped under high pressure. Capillaries are low pressure vessels which carry blood to skin, organs and tissues, and veins carry blood back to the heart. What bleeds are dangerous? • Arterial bleeds are dangerous and can be life-threatening as they have high pressure and result in a lot of blood being lost in a short amount of time. Areas of concern for arterial bleeds include a deep laceration and evidence of large blood loss from the neck, armpit, upper arm or groin. If an arterial bleed is not controlled the person is at risk of death from blood loss. • Venous bleeds can cause dangerous blood loss if they are a large vein and not stopped, or if the person is taking blood thinners such as Warfarin meaning that their blood will not clot and stop bleeding as easily. • Capillary bleeds will ooze blood and are generally self-limiting and easy to control with basic dressings. First Aid – managing bleeding If you come across a person who is bleeding, follow the below steps to keep the person safe: • Perform a primary survey, make sure the person is awake, breathing and speaking normally to you. • Locate the exact area of the bleeding and apply firm pressure directly to the bleeding location using your hand(s) and a dressing/cloth. If there is a penetrating object, do not remove this, apply direct pressure to either side of the object. • Arterial bleeds: If there is severe bleeding which will not stop despite firm and direct pressure, call 111 immediately for an ambulance and follow instructions of the call handler (unless you have medical care on-site). This may include application of an arterial tourniquet if available. • Venous/capillary bleeds: If the bleeding stops or is not soaking through dressings, dress the wound with basic wound dressing such as gauze and bandage, and refer them to an accident and medical clinic. • Check the person for other injuries. Increase chance of survival by up to 44% at your event with a St John AED Rental Package. Pricing from $130 for a 3 day rental (excludes GST and postage). Option to extend rental period, and to include a Tear Drop Flag and First Aid Kit. Contact us on 0800 4EVENTS or stjohn.org.nz/AEDrental St John AED Rental • Ask if the person is on any blood thinners such as Warfarin, Dabigatran. • Review if they have a medic alert bracelet and follow specific instructions. These are usually on a necklace or bracelet or can be a card in their wallet. Recommendations for event organisers: If your event is large or complex, ensure you have adequate event medical cover. If you are managing a very small low risk community event, ensure you have a comprehensive First Aid Kit visible on site. St John does have an event rental package of a First Aid Kit, AED and Tear Drop Flag available via its website. If you would like to discuss an upcoming event please feel free to reach out to me personally – simon.barnett@stjohn.org.nz Simon Barnett has 15 years’ experience as a frontline intensive care paramedic and is head of Event Health Services at St John By Simon Barnett First Aid top tips: bleeding ST J OHN COLUMN ] meeting newz [sept oct] 2021 [17]

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