Three Critical First Aid Tips for Brisbane floods

Brisbane residents must know these critical first aid skills to prepare for floods.

Brisbane Flood Emergency First Aid Skills

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Only 10 years on from the devastating floods of 2011, Brisbane residents this summer received another solemn reminder of the importance of emergency preparedness, with a “rain bomb” that hit Queensland’s Southeast corner.

Accidents and injuries are extremely common in disaster situations and Brisbane residents may have found themselves unprepared to provide first aid to loved ones during this natural disaster, which increases the risk of more serious outcomes.

We believe it’s potentially lifesaving for everyone residing in flood prone areas to complete an accredited first aid course with a yearly CPR refresher in Brisbane, and to educate themselves and their loved ones on the following essential tips for first aid during a flood.

1. Stay safe while giving first aid.

The number one rule that everyone learns as part of first aid and CPR training, is to keep yourself safe. “Check for Danger” is the first step in the DRSABCD first aid emergency action plan. If a first aid responder puts themselves in danger, they are likely to make the situation worse.

For example, if someone is stranded by water or in a precarious situation, the best thing a responder can do is consider how to minimise the danger without putting oneself at risk.

2. Send for help as soon as possible.

The next priority if someone is injured in a flood is to send for help, which is the “S” in DRSABCD. First aid and CPR are simple strategies to keep a person alive and not get worse before medical help arrives. The sooner emergency services are alerted, the sooner they can attend and assist in recovery.

This also applies to calling for help from others nearby. Don’t do it alone! In fact it is often advantageous to have someone else call the ambulance and answer questions etc. while the first aider focusses on attending to the casualty’s needs. 

3. Keep them breathing, stop the bleeding.

The “ABC” in DRSABCD gives us our next priority and it is very relevant to giving first aid in floods.

That is to maintain the airway, breathing and circulation. After all, oxygenation from the air, into our lungs and delivered to our cells via the blood, is essential to life! We cannot live more than a few minutes without it.

How to clear a patient’s airway

If the casualty has taken in water, they should be rolled onto their side, with head gently tilted back to allow water to be expelled by force of gravity. The mouth can be cleared of any visible contents using a finger sweep.

How to check for breathing properly

Now look, listen and feel for signs of regular breathing from the nose and mouth. Place a hand the diaphragm (bottom of the ribs or middle of the torso) and feel for a regular consistent up and down movement of breathing for about 10 seconds.

If in doubt, CPR should be started and continued if safe and possible, until help arrives.

How to stop blood loss and manage wounds

Your next priority is to stop any blood loss from open wounds. Low blood volume can affect many body systems causing shock, collapse and unconsciousness and even cardiac arrest.

Apply firm pressure over bleeding wounds with a padded dressing and secure in place with a firm bandage.

Cover all wounds and do not expose open wounds to flood water. Flood water may be contaminated with chemicals and harmful bacteria from untreated sewage, farms, and industrial runoff, and therefore wounds are likely to become infected if exposed.

If you want to learn and practice these essential skills from experienced and qualified first aid educators, book your spot now at one of our multiple weekly first aid and CPR courses in Brisbane.

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