Category: First aid blog

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Is it normal to break ribs during CPR?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) involves the delivery of chest compressions and rescue breaths to victims of a cardiac arrest.  CPR works by keeping oxygenated blood flowing around the body in order to keep vital organs...

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What does ELITE stand for in manual handling?

ELITE is an acronym used to remember the different aspects of a manual handling risk assessment. So what does ELITE stand for? Environment Consider the environment where the manual handling task is taking place. Are...

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Should I buy a home defibrillator/AED?

A defibrillator is a medical device used to help victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are defibrillators designed to be used by members of the public with no formal medical training....

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How does an AED work?

AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. An AED is a device which delivers an electrical shock to victims of sudden cardiac arrest (where the heart has stopped beating).  So how does an AED work? An AED...

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Can you perform CPR on a bed?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) comprises of chest compressions and rescue breaths. A common question from learners is if CPR can be performed on a bed (Eg: at home). The aim of CPR is to keep...

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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...