Page 7 - inPRINT Issue 63
P. 7


                        First aid is in place to preserve life or to prevent
                        the worsening of the condition

               FIRST AID FOR                                                                                           health & safety

               FIRST AIDERS

                  oncerns have been raised
               Cabout first aid coverage                                                » Be aware of the risks to
               during the COVID-19                                                        themselves and others
               pandemic, including worries                                                when carrying out first aid
               that those who provide first                                               duties
               aid assistance are at greater                                            » Keep safe by following
               risk of being exposed to the                                               Government guidelines
               virus.                                                                   » Continue to ensure that
                 For employers, this                                                      early treatment is given
               increases the chance that                                                » Remain informed and
               a first aider may refuse to                                                updated
               provide assistance, which                                                » Remember that your own
               could lead to a minor injury                                               needs and those of your
               becoming a major concern.                                                  staff remain paramount
               There is also a risk of liability
               if a first aider contracts                                                 Following any contact with
               the virus following their                                                an individual, first aiders
               assistance with a person                                                 should:
               with symptoms or who is   » Before CPR starts, so as   into close contact with
               asymptomatic.             to minimise transmission   individuals.        » Wash your hands
                 First aid is in place to   risk, a cloth or towel   The guidance states,   thoroughly using soap
               preserve life or to prevent   can be used to cover the   ‘the use of a fluid repellent   and water; alcohol-based
               the worsening of the      patient’s nose and mouth,   surgical face mask   hand gel is a convenient
               condition. Currently, the   permitting breathing   is recommended and      alternative
               HSE guidance states first   to restart following a   additional use of disposable   » Avoid touching your
               aiders shall ‘try to assist   successful resuscitation   eye protection (face visor   mouth, eyes and/or nose,
               at a safe distance from the   » Only deliver CPR by   or goggles) should be   unless you have recently
               casualty, minimising time   chest compressions or   risk assessed when there   cleaned your hands after
               in a shared breathing zone’.   a defibrillator – don’t   is an anticipated risk   having contact with the
               But this can be dependent   conduct mouth to mouth   of contamination from   individual
               on whether the injured or   breaths              splashes, droplets of blood   » No additional precautions
               unwell persons are able to   » Don’t listen or feel for   or body fluids.’  are required regarding
               assist the first aider by doing   breathing by placing your   PPE should be used with   cleaning your clothing/
               things for themselves. The   ear and cheek close to the   good hygiene procedures   uniform other than what
               HSE maintains that ‘treating   patient’s mouth   in terms of putting on,   is usual practice
               the casualty properly must                       removal and safe disposal
               be your first concern’.   This advice reflects   following any treatment   For further information,
                 If a first aider is required to   guidance from the   provided.        please contact Tom Rayer,
               undertake cardiopulmonary   Resuscitation Council UK   For your first aiders to   HS&E Adviser, at
               resuscitation (CPR), HSE   for situations where first   remain effective, they need   [email protected]
               guidance is as follows:  responders have come    to:

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