First Aid Tips from Woodpecker Training

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Accidents will happen - but would you know what to do?

A small amount of practical First Aid knowledge goes a long way. 

Teresa Walker from Woodpecker Training has some practical first aid advice. 

Remember RICE in the event of a fall

Winter means more ice, sleet, snow and rain which can lead to increasingly slippery floors - and consequently falls, often resulting in a sprained ankle. Following a fall, follow the RICE procedure:

R   rest
I     ice
C   comfortable support
E   elevation

  • People with head injuries should rest and apply a cold compress to the injury (e.g. frozen vegetables wrapped in a tea towel). If they become drowsy or vomit, call 999.
  • If you suspect a broken bone, immobilise the affected part of the body. Encourage the person to support the injury with their hand, or use a cushion or items of clothing to prevent unnecessary movement. As soon as possible, call 999. Continue supporting the injury until help arrives.

Minor cuts and grazes are common and can be easily treated

Woodpecker Bandage Arm

  • Make sure the wound is clean by running it under cold water or using an alcohol free wipe
  • When cleaning, wipe away from the wound to help minimise infection
  • Raise and support the injured area and apply gentle pressure to minimise the bleeding
  • Apply a plaster or sterile dressing

For heavy bleeding, put pressure on the wound with whatever is available to stop or slow down the flow of blood. As soon as possible, call 999. Then keep pressure on the wound until help arrives.

Cool burns under cold running water

Cool the burn under cold running water for at least ten minutes, then loosely cover the burn with cling film or a clean plastic bag. If necessary, call 999. 

If there was a medical emergency, would you know what to do?  Woodpecker fall

On average in the UK it takes 8 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. At times it can take much longer. Eight minutes is a long time in a life or death situation. And that doesn't account for getting to the phone and making the call in the first place.

What to do if somebody is choking

A blocked airway can kill someone in 3-4 minutes. Clearing somebody's airway is not a complicated task, but it is an incredibly important one, and it's something many people don't know how to do, or even that they should do it in the first place.

Would you know what to do if someone started choking?

  • If the casualty is breathing, encourage them to continue coughing and remove any obvious obstructions from the mouth
  • If the casualty cannot speak or stops coughing or breathing, carry out back blows. Support their upper body with one hand and help them to lean forward. Give them up to five sharp blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. Stop if the obstruction clears. Check their mouth
  • If the back blows fail to clear the obstruction, try abdominal thrusts. Stand behind the casualty and put both arms around the upper part of their abdomen. Make sure that they are bending forwards. Clench your fist and place it between the navel and the bottom of their breastbone. Grasp your fist firmly with your other had.
  • Pull sharply inwards and upwards up to five times
  • Check their mouth. If the obstruction has not yet cleared, repeat steps two and three up to three times, checking the mouth after each step
    If the obstruction still has not cleared, call 999/112 for emergency help. Continue until help arrives or the casualty loses consciousness

What to do if somebody is unconscious Woodpecker Medical Help

For someone who’s unconscious and not breathing:

  • Check breathing by tilting their head backwards and looking and feeling for breaths
  • Call 999 as soon as possible, or get someone else to do it
  • Push firmly downwards in the middle of the chest and then release - this is known as Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR
  • Push at a regular rate until help arrives

For someone who’s unconscious and breathing:

  • Check breathing by tilting their head backwards and looking and feeling for breaths
  • Move them onto their side and tilt their head back
  • As soon as possible, call 999 or get someone else to do it

What to do if you suspect a stroke

If you suspect a stroke, carry out the FAST test:

F   Face: is there weakness on one side of the face? 
A   Arms: can they raise both arms? 
S   Speech: is their speech easily understood? 
T   Time: to call 999.

Immediately call 999 or get someone else to do it.

What to do if somebody is having a heart attack

Signs: The person may have persistent, vice-like chest pain, which may spread to their arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach

  • Call 999 immediately or get someone else to do it
  • Make sure they are in a position that is comfortable for them (e.g. sit them on the floor, leaning against a wall or chair)
  • Give them constant reassurance while waiting for the ambulance

These are just a few pointers on what to do in an emergency. 

The UK needs to improve its first aid knowledge and skills - let’s start here!

Sadly, the UK is one of the lowest-ranking countries in Europe when it comes to knowledge on how to administer first aid. Fewer than four out of 10 Brits would know what to do if they saw someone have an accident or suffer a heart attack. Compare that to the 80% of people in Germany and Scandinavia who possess first aid skills as a direct result of first aid training, and you can see how far behind we are. In fact it's estimated that that as many as 140,000 lives might be saved each year if someone with the necessary training was able to offer instant first aid. 

Learn CPR with Big Fat Fred!

Woodpecker CPRWoodpecker Training are the First Aid training specialists in New Milton, Lymington, the New Forest and surrounding areas. Teresa will happily tailor a first aid course to suit your needs, whether for a business, sports or youth group or parents seeking specific paediatric first aid. 

With first aid training at highly competitive rates, Woodpecker Training will organise training at times convenient to you. Training can take place in the evenings and at weekends if required.

A registered nurse with nearly 40 years of widely varied experience, Teresa Walker has worked in anaesthetics, surgery, police custody, airports, schools, care homes, welfare, refugee centres, the army, the sports industry and as a practice nurse.

Teresa is a confident and competent teacher who enjoys communicating her knowledge and enthusiasm, and gets consistently good feedback. Teresa’s side kick, Big Fat Fred is on hand to help you learn the important skill of Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 

The challenge to improve our first aid skills begins at home

Up to 150,000 people die every year, who could've survived with first aid treatment. Let’s improve our first aid knowledge and abilities in Lymington and the New Forest - that would be a great start! 


Come and meet Teresa and Big Fat Fred at this year's New Forest Business Expo on Friday 3rd June!

Woodpecker Training provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. Woodpecker Training is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

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