Finally, something I’m familiar with.

Everyone should know first aid. There’s no excuse not to. If someone collapses in front of you, do you really want to have to stand there and watch them die because you didn’t learn how to put someone in the recovery position?

I’ve done several over the years and I always pick up something new each time. CPR ratio is now 30 compressions to 2 breaths. Back slaps do indeed work for dislodging a choking object (or would have done if I’d actually been choking when Nick slapped me). Tourniquet technique is different to how I remembered it as well, which is great because I’m fairly sure that the way I was originally taught meant that after 10 minutes you’d lost the leg. Knowing how to give you 45 minutes with a chance of keeping it is a lot better.

I’ve also finally had AED training. I can use a defibrillator. The last time I did a first aid at work course, they were adamant that you do not use an AED without the proper training. Today, having seen a training AED in action, I’m in complete agreement with our instructor. They’re a doc in a box, designed to be used by anyone without any training. Stick the pads where the pictures tell you to, press the button, and do what the robot voice tells you to.

Variation on the week’s theme; today’s videos were about things going wrong with good outcomes. For example, it’s good to see that CPR really can save a life:

Interesting to see what his mouth was doing as he was resuscitated; despite being unconscious (technically dead, even) his body was still moving his mouth and tongue to try to get more oxygen.

We also watched footage from a BBC documentary that went wrong. While Chris Solomon was filming a series about the air ambulance he suffered a major heart attack, which the cameraman captured on video. There are a few interesting things in here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen video of someone having a real heart attack. You can see how his colour changes to grey, and his hands start to contract. When the medics move him from his chair to the floor you can clearly see that he’s gone; his head flops backwards and there’s no life in him at all. But as the medic starts CPR, his arms are still moving around.

Both casualties here survived, which was a nice way to end the week.