Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First Aid Training

On Beyond A Peanut Facebook Group Page some interesting news (to me) came up. Not all Americans who receive CPR & First Aid training receive auto -injector training in some cases no allergy training at all. In Canada it would appear all first aiders receive this training from the Canadian Red Cross, and other first aid training companies. Yet in some American States laws prohibits this training.

I have taken Fist Aid training from St. John Ambulance, Canadian Red Cross and once from a a smaller company, that offers CPR and First Aid training. I dug up my Canadian Red Cross First Aid & CPR Manual from 2005. There are several pages on allergy, anaphylaxis, auto injectors. Two of the groups (not the private company) I took the coarse from, had auto injector trainers. The Canadian Red Cross even says on it's web site that the coarse includes allergy training. The private company (that I was the least impressed with over all) had information an allergies in it's manual as well as it's coarse. I could not find my St. John manual however allergy etc. training was part of the coarse, and I believe the manual.

When I took the Canadian Red Cross coarse on First Aid and CPR I learned about protecting one self legally if giving CPR, First Aid or medication in the States, and about the differences in American laws that do not have Good Samaritan Laws, or that have week ones. It did not occur to me that Americans would not be taught how to give auto injectors in their first aid training, in some States.

I have also spoken to a few allergy advocates, and people giving epi training to schools, that do not have any First Aid or CPR training.

In Canada CPR training are required for many jobs. School teachers is not one of those jobs. I would rather see everyone who works with children have both CPR and Epi training. Most people with life threatening allergies die of other things, shouldn't allergic families be supporting more first aid training? The coarse teaches besides CPR including head and spine injuries, wounds, poisons, heat and cold related emergencies, packing a first aid kit, preparing for disasters, infections, drug overdose, drug reactions, seizures, fainting, and more, the coarse also looks into these and more issues ,the higher the level of the coarse you take the more emergencies you cover.

A few weeks ago, I got an ad in my mailbox for tweens who want to take a home alone and first aid classes as well as babysitters training. The ad says *bring nut & candy free lunch, pen and paper.

Also of interest the British Red Cross has information on Anaphylaxis on it's web site.

Thanks to Dana Clifford from Beyond A Peanut for bringing these facts forward about the lack on epi training in many American State first aid courses.

After youngest child had a first aid emergency that required stitches, after I asked many questions eventually I was told not one teacher had First Aid Training. I informed many parents of this safety issue. After the school office received dozens of complaints (from parents) about the lack of First Aid Training the teachers had, the school supplied teachers with training. It then became the school with the most first aid trained staff in the region, thus the most allergic prepared school in the area, at least at the time.
See Ontario Teachers Need First Aid Training

Allergic families complain about lack of anaphylaxis training, asking how to get more teachers EpiPen trained. Answer: Ask if the teachers have first aid and CPR training, then inform allergic and non allergic families that the gym teacher, shop teacher, grade teacher do not have first aid or epi pen training. The non allergic families just may back you up, on getting more teachers first aid and "Anaphylaxis Rescuer" trained. Many allergy groups can't recommend this, without looking foolish as most are not CPR or First Aid trained.

Some first aid classes teach "Anaphylaxis Rescuer" with out other important first aid training. I recommend asking for a certified first aid instructor to help train staff at your school.


Jen said...

Good point, I am a red cross certified professional rescuer for my job as a fitness instructor and we did not receive auto-injector training. I wonder why that is.

Dina Clifford said...

Karen, thank you for sharing this information. Hopefully we can make some changes! I will update you as I receive more information.