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The STS blog

12 Jul 2018

Common summer incidents and how to deal with them

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With the lovely summer weather upon us we’re sure your minds are wandering to that picnic you’ve got this weekend or that barbecue your mate’s throwing for their birthday.

We all love an impromptu summer get together but would you be prepared to handle a first aid situation should it arise? We’re not talking about anything too serious here. We’re hoping that your picnics aren’t that catastrophic that they result in you having to commence CPR!

We’ve pulled together a few examples of what to look out for whilst dining alfresco style this summer.

 

Bee and wasp stings

You’ve got a plastic beaker full of Pimms and unfortunately it’s not just you who finds this delicious. It’s attracted the wasps and they’re circling you like a pack of hyenas around a carcass. You start swotting them away, naturally, but you’ve angered one and it’s stung you on the arm. Now, depending on the person this could go one of two ways. It will either be very sore, pretty red and a little swollen or unfortunately it may have triggered a severe allergic reaction.

Don’t panic. If it’s the former it’s easily sorted. What we encourage you to do is remove the sting with a credit card or a straight edged object. The sting will easily be brushed or swiped away. It’s a common mistake for people to tweeze or pinch whatever has been left behind out. However, by doing this you’re actually squeezing the remainder of the poison into the system thereby potentially making it worse.

If it’s the latter, the chances are this person already knows that they are allergic to bee/ wasp stings and so they will carry medication in the form of an epi-pen. They will know how to use this and administer it quickly themselves. If they are unable to do so, we are able to do it for them and we inject the pen into their thigh. It will deliver a shot of adrenaline which will reduce the signs and symptoms. What we are looking for here is swelling of the body, itchiness, hives, rashes and most importantly difficulty breathing.

Stay calm. Whether this person has an epi-pen or not an ambulance must be called so get straight on the phone and continue to monitor them until help arrives.

 

Burns

You know this one guys! We’ve written about it a couple of times before. It’s all about extracting the heat out of that burn. Whether you’ve burnt yourself on the barbecue itself or whether you’ve burnt your fingers picking up those sausages you need to get it under cool running water for 10 minutes.

It may be trickier as you might be in a park or somewhere were a running water source isn’t as easily available but even if you take a brisk march over to some public toilets to get to a sink or ask a nearby café we’re sure they’ll be able to help.

 

Choking

I know…we did say that we were hoping it wouldn’t be too serious but it’s important to know how to handle this situation if it came about.

A friend of yours has wolfed down their hot dog far too quickly and all of a sudden their eyes are bulging, they’re clutching at their neck, their face is changing colour and there is sheer panic in their facial expression.

What do you think your natural reaction would be?

If you said to smack them on the back you would be absolutely accurate.

We want to use the heel of our hand in the middle of their shoulder blades nice and high up. This will cause a vibration in the windpipe hoping to shake the object loose.

This is usually a very effective treatment as if it doesn’t work the first time you would naturally hit them harder the second, third and fourth time around! If you can really see that this object is not dislodging then get someone to dial 999.

 

We’re sure your summer shenanigans will go ahead first aid emergency free but it’s always useful to have the knowledge just in case. You could always invite us…then at least you’ll know you’ll be really safe!