Winter first aid advice
The Met Office has issued weather
warnings for widespread ice as Arctic
conditions hit the UK. During this time there may be
delays to the regular ambulance service but St John Ambulance
volunteers are on standby, ready to respond. The
organisation is also urging everyone to know some first aid so
that they can be the difference between life and
Howard Rayner, Operations Adviser, St John Ambulance, said
voluntary ambulance crews are on standby all over the country. They
are ready to help back up ambulance services when
'In severe weather, regular ambulance response can be disrupted
as journey times are increased by the difficult conditions. Our
trained and equipped volunteers provide extra support,
answering emergency calls in many areas, on behalf
of the ambulance trusts or transporting patients
to urgent hospital appointments, like dialysis. We also use our 4x4
vehicles to help NHS staff reach patients in
inaccessible areas, who rely on home visits. Our volunteers have
been treating people for slips and falls as well as answering 999
calls for conditions such as heart attacks.
'While waiting for help to arrive, first aid can be the
difference between lives lost and lives saved and we
advise people to ensure they have some basic first aid
While waiting for help to arrive, first aid can be the difference between lives lost and lives saved and we advise people to ensure they have some basic first aid knowledge.
Operations Adviser, St John Ambulance
How to differentiate between a sprain and a fracture
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between a
strain/sprain and a fracture, they all can be painful, tender and
swollen. If you are unable to bear weight on the limb, if there is
any obvious deformity or have any doubts about the seriousness of
the injury then always seek medical advice.
- Fracture advice
- In the case of a sprain it can be treated using the RICE
procedure (Rest, Ice, make Comfortable and Elevation). The injured
part should be rested and supported and, if a recent injury, an ice
pack should be applied to reduce swelling, make sure that the ice
does not come into direct contact with the skin. Apply a
comfortable support to the injured part with soft padding held in
place with a support bandage, finally support the limb ion a raised
position to help minimise bruising.
What to worry about if you hit your head
Most head injuries are minor and involve a headache which
improves with rest and painkillers. In some cases the headache can
worsen, there may be nausea, confusion, strange behaviour –
immediately or within 48h.
If someone has a nasty fall, accident or injury you may
need to treat them for shock.
How to spot signs of hypothermia and frostbite
Hypothermia and frostbite are rare but as some areas of the
country are experiencing temperatures of -18C it’s useful to know
5 ways to be the difference
First aid can be the difference between a life lost and a life
saved. It’s important to know life saving procedures so you can be
the difference in an emergency.
Get a free first aid guide that
takes you through these five first aid techniques.
*Howard Rayner has since left this organisation (Updated