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12 April 2016

Training courses which can save a life

There has recently been an incident reported in the news about an 11 year old girl in Baldivis, South of Perth in Western Australia who was bitten by a brown snake.  There are many kinds of brown snakes in Australia.  The person who wrote the article did not specify the snake by its Latin name which would have irrefutably identified the snake in question.  It could not have been an Eastern brown snake as this snakes distribution/range is limited to Eastern Australia and this incident happened in Western Australia.  Therefore we can presume that it may either have been a Mulga snake/Pilbara cobra/King brown snake Pseudechis Australis which "is one of the longest venomous snakes in the world and is the second longest in Australia" or a Western Brown Snake Pseudonaja mengdeni "a highly dangerous elapid that can cause severe symptoms resulting in death if bitten." Aside, from trying to identify the snake based on a newspaper article which is not very accurate or scientific, what I really wanted to highlight was the fact that the little girl's life was saved due to her mother knowing basic first aid skills.  Then this made me think back to an incident which took place in Tunisia when a person we knew was staying at a hotel when he had a heart attack.  Unfortunately the hotel did not have a defibrillator and even though an ambulance was called by the time the ambulance arrived the 53 year old father of two had died.

We tend to take life for granted.  Often forgetting that in all earnestness there is a very thin line between life and death.  People in the medical profession are under no illusion but the rest of us choose to bury our heads in the sand and not think about it.  This is not to say that we should all be glum and think about death or dying everyday.  No, instead we should all make the most of being alive enjoying the company of friends and family whilst trying to fulfill our goals and ambitions.  

There is however one important thing that we could all do and that is to have basic training in First Aid http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/First-aid/First-aid-training 
 in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation otherwise known as (CPR) https://www.resus.org.uk/cpr/cpr-training-resources/  and also get training on how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) http://www.redcrossfirstaidtraining.co.uk/Courses/First-aid-at-work-courses-uk-mainland/In-company-courses/Automated-external-defibrillators-AED.aspx  These skills are taught by professionals who work for the Red Cross, Red Crescent and the Red Star of David.  Similar courses will be taught in different countries by different organisations and for more information it is best to contact your local hospital to find out where you can join a training course.  

In Israel, training is provided by Magen David Adom / The Red Star of David.  They give a variety of courses to the general public as well as to "professional practitioners of emergency medicine (physicians, dentists, nurses, paramedics and ambulance drivers).  The maximum level of professional training is the qualifying training of paramedics (senior resuscitation experts)."  According to the Magen David Adom website, it takes 4 hours to qualify for a basic CPR training and 20 hours to qualify for a basic first aid course.

 The National Training Department is located at the Magen David Adom headquarters:
60 Yigal Alon Street
Tel Aviv 67062

Telephone: +972 (0)73 2630000 / 1700 500 430
Fax: +972 (0)3 6870494
https://www.mdais.org/en/2015-09-01-12-14-30 

IN ISRAEL THE NUMBER TO CALL FOR A MEDICAL EMERGENCY IS 101. THIS IS THE NUMBER OF THE MAGEN DAVID ADOM/THE RED STAR OF DAVID AMBULANCE SERVICE.
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