Happy Guidelines Update!
For the last 15 years, the AHA has updated the Basic First Aid Guidelines based on research and feedback from students and instructors, every 5 years. This year, 2015, is the latest update. What does this mean for you, the First Aid provider/student? (Keep in mind, these changes will not be reflected in classes until 2016 when instructors receive the new materials and your current certification/training will remain valid for the entire 2 year term).
Here is a quick overview of some of the changes for the Basic First Aid student:
- When calling for help, you can use the Speaker function on your cellphone. This makes the response quicker as you do not have to leave the victim’s side to get help. While you are on the phone with 9-1-1, have a bystander go and get the First Aid kit.
- Taking a course is helpful. It has been shown through research that attending a First Aid class leads to a more positive outcome for the victim and a more confident First Aid provider. (Nothing beats talking with a good instructor and being able to practice skills).
- The HAINES position is back. On some victims, we will now teach you how to lay someone on their side to increase comfort and decrease further injury.
- Hemostatic dressings (like a clotting bandage), will now be discussed. This will complement the tourniquet nicely. If you don’t know what either of these things are, perhaps you should sign up for a class.
- Guidelines will be discussed for recognizing and treating concussion.
- Stroke identification will become more specific – this will help you, the rescuer, identify a stroke definitively.
- EPI pen criteria will include how to use an EPI pen that has 2 doses.
As instructors receive our new teaching materials, further refinements will no doubt be made, but, in the meantime, students, relax. The changes are empowering to the rescuer! Instead, these refinements signal the start of a new era in training where refinements and not massive changes will be used to continually improve first aid efficacy.
See you in your next Basic First Aid class. Go to our website where you can sign-up for your next class or Skills Session.
(See our other blog posts on Lay-Rescuer/Heartsaver CPR and BLS for Healthcare Providers)