Author: John Furst

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What are the causes of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)?

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhythmia which affects millions of people.  Atrial fibrillation occurs when the electrical activity in the heart becomes disrupted and the chambers of the heart stop beating in synchrony....

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Recording a 12 lead ECG/EKG

A 12 lead ECG/EKG (electrocardiogram) is used to record the electrical activity of the heart. Some advanced first responders may be trained in recording 12 lead ECG/EKGs.  Electrical activity of the heart Electrical impulses...

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How to Assess For Hypovolemic Shock

Hypovolemic shock occurs when there is not enough blood to carry oxygen around the body. This causes the tissues to become starved of vital oxygen and allows toxic byproducts to build up. First aiders...

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A Basic Guide to ECG/EKG Interpretation

An ECG/EKG is a tracing of the electrical activity of the heart. In this blog post we’ll take a basic look at the components of an ECG trace.  The diagram below shows a the...

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A Complete Guide to the Respiratory System

The respiratory system is made up of the nose, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), bronchi (air passages) and alveoli. The lungs are protected by the rib cage. Normal respiration depends on the...

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What is Blood Pressure and what can affect it?

Blood pressure is the force or pressure which the blood exerts on the walls of the blood vessels.  When the left ventricle contracts and pushes blood into the aorta, the pressure produced is called...

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What is Shock in First Aid?

What is shock in medical terms? The best way to describe shock is that the body has lost blood (or another fluid) which carries oxygen around the body. If this blood is lost, sufficient...

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How to place someone into the recovery position

Casualties are placed in the recovery position whenever they are found to be unconscious and breathing. This is a stable position and maintains a clear airway. The recovery position allows fluids to drain freely...

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How to clean resuscitation manikins

It is important to ensure that strict standards of hygiene are observed during CPR practice. There is the potential for infection to be passed from student to student when practicing rescue breaths on resuscitation...

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What does TILE stand for in manual handling?

TILE is an acronym used to remember the components of a manual handing risk assessment. First aiders should have an awareness of manual handling principles including how to carry out a risk assessment. So what does TILE...

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A complete guide to auscultating breath sounds

Listening to breath sounds (auscultation) can provide important information about a variety of respiratory conditions. Advanced first responders may be trained in chest auscultation depending on their local protocols. In this blog post we...