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Today's been a busy SJA day: I did my AED training this morning, and… - John C. Kirk

Jan. 7th, 2006

09:56 pm

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Today's been a busy SJA day: I did my AED training this morning, and then football in the afternoon. AED training went well - that's something I've been wanting to do for a long time, on the basis that if I'm passing through a station in my everyday life and I see someone keel over in front of me with a heart attack then I'd want to be able to do something about it; anyway, I'm now qualified to use the machines, which is good.

The standard teaching style nowadays is that it's based around the trainer asking questions and getting the class to offer possible answers (which will be corrected if necessary) rather than a straight info-dump. That's all fine, but it does sometimes leave me with a minor dilemma - if I know the answers to lots of questions (or at least think that I do), and other people are being quiet, should I keep answering them or is it better (fairer) for me to stay quiet and encourage other people to have a go? This was something that came up on one of my school reports (for Maths), where the teacher said that she had to explicitly ask me questions (i.e. by name) because I wouldn't volunteer answers when she asked the class in general. When I discussed that with my housemaster, I basically said "It's not that I'm shy, it's just that I know I'll get the answer right, so I want to give other people the chance to learn". (This was before I went to university, and found that degree level Maths was much more difficult than the classes at school...)

Although I do need to resume my diet plan soon, I figured that I'd take the lazy option of getting veggie burger and chips from a local takeaway tonight. Unfortunately, I then managed to drop the carton on the short trip back to my flat, spilling the contents all over the pavement. So, £3.20 well spent there... Anyway, I picked the stuff up and put it back into the carton, on the basis that it's a bit anti-social to leave a big mess there. This then made me ponder the five second rule, i.e. "if food falls on the ground and you pick it up within five seconds then it's ok to eat it".

I figure that it's fine to do that in my flat, and places like cinemas are a bit of a grey area, but the ground outside is pretty disgusting even by my standards. So, I only ate a couple of the chips before I threw the rest away (they tasted ok). More generally, I like to think that I have a fairly strong immune system, and a certain amount of exposure to germs/dirt probably helps to keep it that way (the same principle as vaccines). What do the rest of you think?

Poll #647652 5 second rule

When does the 5 second rule apply?

Nowhere at all
0(0.0%)
Only in your home
0(0.0%)
In anyone's home
4(66.7%)
Anywhere indoors
0(0.0%)
Anywhere at all
2(33.3%)


I should also clarify that this only applies to my own food - if I'm cooking for other people, then I apply slightly more rigorous standards! (In the same way that I will wear surgical gloves when treating casualties.)

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From:rileen
Date:January 7th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
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I reckon it's also a question of what, as the food and its packaging can also make a difference. In my own room/home, the rule would generally apply.

And here's wishing you a happy 2006!

I'd hoped to contact you during my visit to the U.K over Xmas-new year, but didn't manage to.
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From:sammoore
Date:January 8th, 2006 10:32 am (UTC)
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if I know the answers to lots of questions (or at least think that I do), and other people are being quiet, should I keep answering them or is it better (fairer) for me to stay quiet and encourage other people to have a go?

This is a constant dilemma, particularly on courses designed for non-academic people. I have found it on 1st-Aid, canoeing and Food Hygiene course.

I reckon the best thing to do is to wait for someone else to volunteer the answer and if they don't, then answer it. If you occasionally shut up and don't answer, that helps the tutor feel like they are teaching you something. Everybody wins :-)

(In the same way that I will wear surgical gloves when treating casualties.)

I have gloves at the top of my first aid kit but the reality is that the few times I've had to stem major (ish) bleeding there hasn't been time to put them on. I try to put them on before I "poke around" in a cut/wound and always wash my hands afterwards.

It's like mouth shields. Given that I have to carry my kit, often for days, I can'tt afford the space for more than a protective sheet and these are almost impossible to get a seal with. I carry one in case the person in question is bleeding from the mouth or has ingested poison but I suspect in reality I would just dive straight in flesh to flesh.

The figure that was quoted to me about HIV (and I realise that is not the only transferable disease) is that you would have stick yourself on average 300 times with an infected needle to contract the disease. This seems like a risk worth taking to protect someones life.

Just my £0.02 worth

Sam
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From:johnckirk
Date:January 8th, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC)
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The interesting thing about gloves is that the trainer asked "who is most at risk?" - I said "you are", but the answer turned out to be "the casualty". This was one case where I possibly shouldn't have leapt in with the answer :)

Anyway, it makes sense now I think about it - I may have tiny cuts on my fingers, but realistically I'm unlikely to contract any disease that way. Whereas if someone else is bleeding in their chest, and I stick dirty hands into their blood, it's probably not much consolation to say "I'll wash my hands afterwards", since I'll already have infected them by that point.

On the other hand, there is the issue of risk management, e.g. if someone needs CPR and I don't have gloves with me then I'll do it anyway; if it's a choice between "they die" and "they get sick" then I won't feel too guilty.
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From:sammoore
Date:January 8th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
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Interestingly, on the wilderness first aid courses I have attended, the first statement they make is "There is no such thing as sterile, forget the idea" followed by "infections don't kill a person in the 8 hours it takes to get someone off the mountain, blood loss, flid leakage, internal bleeding etc might".

They encourgage us to make as much effort to keep the wound clean and to wear gloves for inspection etc but the reality is that infection control in A&E/hospitals is so good nowadays that its not a priority in an enviroment where everything is often wet/muddy anyway.

That said I do make an effort to clean wounds before patching them and to wear gloves when dealing with body fluids. I can see that in an urban envoroment, where StJA etc normally operate, then sterility can come higher up the totem pole epecially if (as in an ambulance etc) gloves can be kept to hand (no pun intended).

Sam
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From:terpsichore1980
Date:January 9th, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
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Similar things apply in diving. I'm not surethe boat's first aid kit even has gloves in it, although it probably does, it would be so hard to get them onto wet, cold, salty hands in the available time that I would be surprised if anyone would bother. Mind you, the worst things that are likely to be on your hands are what has come out of the sea, and the casualty has probably already been exposed to that.

We are trained to use masks to cover the nose and mouth (the sort with an inflatable part to help the seal) to give mouth to mouth, but only because they are part of the Oxygen kit. The only person who would actually consider using one in an emergency other than to administer pure oxygen is one of the instructors. Mind you, he finds it rather difficult to pinch the nose and extend the neck as he only has one arm, so you can kind of understand that.
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From:johnckirk
Date:January 10th, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC)
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We used that type of face shield on the AED course - it's the first time I've used one, but I liked it, and I found it easier than the usual mouth-to-mouth method. I'm going off on a Medical Gases course in a few weeks, and that will cover things like bag-and-mask, and connecting up masks to oxygen cylinders.
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From:susannahf
Date:January 8th, 2006 10:53 am (UTC)
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When I've done trainer courses, we've always been told to ask students questions by name. (ie, "What would you do next, John?") This prevents people who know their stuff answering everything, and also allows shy/unsure people to answer questions and boost their confidence. Ideally you can tailor this to a student's level - ask easy questions to the scared ones and tricky ones to those who are more confident.

Unfortunately, it's quite a hard thing to remember to do, and a lot of trainers fall into bad habits. I generally use a wait-and-answer plan. That is, I wait a few seconds, and if no-one else has answered, put my hand up. This gives the trainer the opportunity to ask me to break the silence or ask the dreaded question "Anyone /other/ than Susannah?". My maths teacher did once tell me to stop putting my hand up at high school - on the basis that he could safely assume that I would and ask me anyway if no-one else knew!
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From:johnckirk
Date:January 8th, 2006 01:03 pm (UTC)
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When I've done trainer courses, we've always been told to ask students questions by name.

Ah yes, that sounds sensible, and I've seen that happening on class nights, but I guess it's easier when you know everyone's names. Moving left-to-right along the row would be one option, but that doesn't really suit mixed abilities very well. We did wear name stickers on the FAW course, but that didn't happen yesterday.

I generally use a wait-and-answer plan.

Yeah, that's roughly what I wound up doing, although I was just saying the answer rather than putting my hand up. More generally, I think that putting hands up can work better than shouting out answers, although it may slow the class down a bit. They didn't explicitly say which method to use yesterday, but they did say at the start "If you need to go to the toilet, then just go - we're adults, so don't put your hand up and wait for us to give you permission".

I do remember being in Hermione territory a bit when I was at primary school, where the teacher would ask a question and I'd put my hand up but she'd then look around the class for someone else to answer it. Since I was a bit less sophisticated in those days, I didn't quite grasp the subtleties involved, so I'd think "Hmm, she hasn't seen me" and I'd be supporting one arm with the other, straining and trying to push it up as far as possible :) "Me, me, I know!" If you think about Donkey in "Shrek", then you'll probably be along the right lines...
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From:shuripentu
Date:January 9th, 2006 04:43 am (UTC)
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I chose "Anywhere at all" because it was the closest option to my actual answer, which would have been "Anywhere except for places like on a sloppy pile of dog poo". I may have grown up in a house of filth, where no surface had been cleaned in a decade, but even I have my limits.
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