Just before Christmas I was at a scene of a car, motor bike accident. Minutes after it happened. Not far from where I live. Although I was trained as a First Aider, it was many years ago. Some things never leave you. Even CPR I would still be able to do.
Don’t know full details of accident but looks like car had pulled out in front of motor bike, and the accident happened. The damage to car, slight but motor bike, a right off.
I got out of my car to see if I could help. The motor cyclist was in a bad way, but some idiot was trying to get his helmet off him, worst thing you can do.
I got told off for interfering but, I learned in First Aider course not to do this. Nobody else had any First Aid skills so I just kept the rider talking and reassuring him until ambulance arrived. They told me did right thing in not allowing anyone to remove helmet.
This was different to another accident I actually witnessed this in Middleton where a bus pulled out in front of a motor bike. The motor bike was speeding, hit the bus, and decapitated the motorbike rider, as he went under the bus wheel. In this case there was nothing I, or anybody could do.
I’m looking at taking another First Aid course again when I can find the time. As they say in event of an accident, every little helps.
Going back to my First Aid course, in the 70s I worked at Vallances Electrical Retailers, there was a law to come out that if an employer had more than a certain amount of employees, that they would have to have a First Aider on the premises and as we didn’t, I volunteered to go on a St John’s Ambulance First Aider course for work. This was over 5 days at St. John’s premises.
As time went on I managed to save two people’s lives and maybe a third.
A young lady in her 30s I would guess, collapsed in the store, and a message went out on tannoy for me to attend. I did not see her collapse, but there was no pulse and she was not breathing. I immediately started CPR and breaths, after checking her airway. Tilting her head slightly back pinching her nose and started to blow into her mouth and lungs. Then I gave CPR, compressions to her chest. After about five attempts, nothing seems to be working to get her back to life.
To get a better idea where I wanted to work I ripped open her blouse, oh dear, was when women burnt their bras. Now I had another problem, her husband went ballistic with me, and asked if I knew what I was doing.
Now I could see what I was doing and put palm of my hand on her chest and thumped my hand with my other one. I heard a crack I had broken at least one of here ribs. The young lady spluttered and came back to life. I put her in recovery position. Amazingly her husband attitude now had changed. I covered her up and waited for ambulance. Bit of a delay came about 15 minutes later. Was taken to hospital. They said unless someone knew what they were doing she would be dead. So it does show people need to be trained in First Aid.
The young lady came into the store a few weeks later and thanked me, gave me a bottle of whisky (how did she know my tipple) and some flowers.
After been in hospital for a while I was put on light duties away from shop floor into the store room. A so called electrician thought it would be a good idea to take apart a faulty soldering iron while it was plugged in.
He suddenly bolted upright from his chair and hit his head on dexion shelving above. He was grabbing the soldering iron and was having an electric shock. Not allowed to touch him, I had to think quickly what I could do. The electric socket did not have switch on it, as I thought could turn it off with a wooden broom handle.
I hit his hand with the broom, thinking he might drop it or if I broke a bone, would do the same. No this was not working. I then hit the cable so hard the plug came out of the socket he fell to floor unconscious. I now needed to ring ambulance, and getting back to the patient. He was breathing, so I put him in recovery position until ambulance came. Again had no one been there he would have died.
Another young lady was in store and collapsed. Because she was slurring her speech, people assumed she was drunk. I investigated and found out she had a medical bracelet on, saying she was diabetic. I managed to get her some jam from the in-store café and managed to get some into her mouth and told her to swallow it, following this up with more. After a while was OK. Anyway was not taking any chances so I rung an ambulance for her. It turned out her blood sugar was 2mgs. That is very low. I’m sure before giving her something sweet to eat would have been lower and she would have been in a diabetic coma. They looked after her. I’m not sure whether they gave her some insulin or not, but allowed to go home when her levels rose.
This was a teenage girl who had a fit in the coffee bar, was with her mother who said she has these on occasion. In this instance no intervention was needed apart from getting tables and chairs away from her unless she injured herself. The idea years ago before this was to try and put a spoon in her mouth to stop her biting her tongue was ridiculous, and would do more damage than good.
This was an elderly lady who had got stuck in the lift when it broke down. When lift engineer managed to get her out, it was clear she was having a panic attack. I asked her to breath in and out through a paper bag. Was OK after a few minutes.
Many other falls and cuts to deal with other the next few years working at the store.
Back to the present
I’ve read in the papers recently and on TV that automated external defibrillator (AED) machines are to be put into public places where trained personnel will be able to use. This has got to be a good thing. Back when I tried to save this lady’s life at Vallances, would have made my job that much easier.
These machines are £100,000 each, but what price do you put on a person’s life?
Also I understand that school children I think from 11 years old are going to be taught CPR in school. This is a fantastic idea.
More of my personal diaries soon.