You’ll be aware from previous posts that things will be chasing over the next year. Here’s what we know from the Red Cross, with our own comments.
Every five years, the first aid and CPR guidelines are reviewed and updated. The new guidelines for first aid and resuscitation are based on recommendations from both the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and are the result of scientific evidence reviewed by experts in their respective disciplines.
Canadian Red Cross and the Heart and Stroke Foundation are responsible for the evidence collection and guideline development of first aid and CPR for Canada. Red Cross First Aid Programs are currently being revised and will be released in 2016 and 2017. Highlights of the changes include:
- When responding to an unconscious person who is breathing, the new Canadian guidelines recommend that the unconscious person be placed on their side in the recovery position. This is not a change, but the position used may be different… again.
- Adult patients experiencing chest pain, believed to be cardiac in origin, should chew 1 adult or 2 low-dose aspirins (150-300 mg). Again, not actually a change.
- In the case of severe allergic reaction, the new Canadian Guidelines recommend that First Aid providers should administer a second dose of epinephrine if there are no signs of improvement after the first dose. A slight change in emphasis, but basically no real difference here.
- For superficial wounds and abrasions, only clean water should be used to wash out the wound, with a preference for running tap water. Previous guidelines recommended the use of soap and water, however studies have shown that when applied directly to an open wound, it can cause more harm than good. OK, here’s a change! There will also be a change in how long to clean wounds.
- Anyone who has experienced a blow to the head, consistent with concussion, should be encouraged to discontinue activity and seek medical aid. OK, this is a change and an improvement. Previous teaching was to treat the same as a head injury, complete with spinal imobilisation (which may at times still be needed).
There are other changes, but right now we’re sticking to what’s relevant to you. The good news as you can see is that basically, nothing much has changed.