I am having a short break from Painting and Decorating stories so we step into my time machine and travel 15-20 years into the future. I had just joined a private ambulance company as an ACA/driver which did very nicely for me as a run up to my retirement. Before any of us can be let loose with patients in any way whatsoever the basic requirement is a four day intensive First Aid course, and that is for starters, even to allow us to undertake routine patient transport. After that we progress to more in house courses like the First Responder Course and if anyone wants to progress in the A and E area the training is very intensive, culminating with a Paramedic qualification. I was a 'oldie' and there was no point in me having aspirations which were unrealistic, considering I was nearing retirement, so I struck with First Aid and First Responder courses plus any relevant in house course the company considered necessary. I attended a four day residential Drive 1 course in Cornwall which qualified me to drive any ambulance up to police driving standards, but not using Blue Flashing Lights and Sirens for A and E work. That required additional training as a Drive 2 Emergency Driver for Accidents and Emergency driving. I remember teasing someone who had just passed her Drive 2 and said that she would do in an emergency if they couldn't find anyone else! She loved it and laughed her head off.
Here is a manikin just like the ones we used:
This guy is applying 30 firm chest compressions
During the second day, Dianne was dealing with eye injuries and the requirement to apply an antiseptic solution to wash any harmful grit or similar intrusions away from the affected eye. We were asked if we could suggest appropriate solutions which may be available in a First Aid situation. Various suggestions were made, all of which were entirely acceptable and then I put up my hand and was invited to offer my idea. I said, jokingly, "This morning you said, 'Never knock urine, it is a powerful and effective anti-septic' , so why not urine?". The whole class, including Dianne, went into hysterics with Dianne acting, "Excuse me patient, do you mind if I pee into your eye?".
Next day we progressed to shock and why it is necessary for a shocked patient to always lie down. Shock simply is lack of oxygen to the brain, which normally takes 30% of all oxygen in our bodies. This explains why invariably we feel sick when in shock. The stomach hates not having an adequate blood supply and if that falls short it's contents are rapidly expelled in vomit. And vomitting is so dangerous for any breathing unconsious person and there is a vital reason why they have to be put in a recovery position. There is a real possibility if they are left on their backs they may vomit and this may be inhaled. Vomit is very acidic and corrosive and would certaining dissolve lung tissue and causae death - even in small quantities. By placing patients on their side all vomit can drain out of their mouths. During shock a lot of blood is diverted to the greedy brain. Nature's way of dealing with this is to fall down and lie down and that is the correct First Aid procedure. To assist further more blood is diverted to the brain if the feet are elevated. Gosh! haven't I remembered it all well? Hope you are interested!
Anyway with all that on board the following afternoon we were taught about head injuries and if the patient is in shock as well, then it is more difficult to stop bleeding from the head injury - it's a swings and rounabouts situation. The solution is to raise the head slightly and rest it on the First Aider's knees whilst squatting. This was ably demonstrated by Dianne and a lady pretend patient.
And then Eddie drops an unbelievable unintentional clanger. In front of the entire class, with a girl as the patient lying on the floor with her head on Dianne's folded legs in a sitting position and supporting her head these immortal words gushed from Eddie's mouth:
"It's surprising what difference an extra 6 inches makes!"
Oh! to find a big hole to fall into. The whole place errupted into a sea of laughter! The patient's shoulders immediately started to shake as she laughed. Dianne roared uncontrollably. All the men were splitting their sides and the ladies shrieked. OMG how embarrassing!! I even thought I saw a manikin have a little giggle. The whole class was ruined for at least five minutes and Dianne was not able to resume her teaching without breaking into laughter yet again. Eventually she said she was going to include this in her future classes as an aid to make it more interesting. I quickly requested royalty payments which caused another universal laugh.
Anyway we all passed our course and three years later when I was required to renew my First Aid qualification I attended a refresher course, not run by Dianne, but I saw her and we had a good laugh about the event which caused such hilarity three years previous.
I am reminded that my certificate is about to expire but I do not think I shall renew it because my ambulance days are well and truly over. Oh! Happy memories! LOL