Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wound and Bleeding Care Basics PLUS What to Buy for Your First Aid Kit

Wound and Bleeding Care

The majority of wounds should be handled by putting pressure directly on the wound using sterile gauze. Gauze pads hold the blood on the wound and help the components of the blood to stick together, promoting clotting. If you don't have gauze, terrycloth towels work almost as well. If the gauze soaks through with blood, add another layer. Never remove the initial bandage since peeling blood soaked gauze off a wound removes vital clotting agents and encourages bleeding to resume.

Blood needs to clot in order to start the healing process and stop the bleeding. Step two to control bleeding is to elevate the wound above the heart. By elevating the wound, you slow the flow of blood. As the blood slows, it becomes easier to stop it with direct pressure. Remember, it must be above the heart and you must keep direct pressure on it.

Types of Wounds

The acronym PAIL identifies the four major types of wounds: puncture, abrasion, incision and laceration.

Puncture wounds caused by a pointed implement such as a nail, cleat or pin may be deep and are difficult, if not impossible, to clean. Puncture wounds have the greatest chance of tetanus due to bacteria being left in the wound as the implement is withdrawn. Determine the implement, date of last tetanus shot and depth of penetration.

Abrasions are superficial in depth and may cover large areas. Due to the large amount of skin surface, they have a high chance of infection. First aiders should rinse the surface with a wound wash, pat dry with sterile gauze, apply antibiotic ointment and cover. Moist wounds have been shown to heal faster than the old days of “letting it air out to dry”. So, first aid cream and a bandage are the order of the day.

Incision wounds are made with sharp, straight instruments such as scalpels, metal buckle edges and knives. The wound has straight edges and may be long-short or wide-narrow. The wound should be washed with water or sterile wound wash and wiped in the direction of the incision to ensure proper removal of any debris. Depending upon length and depth, stitches may be necessary.

Laceration wounds have rough, uneven edges and involve the greatest amount of tissue damage. The wound should be thoroughly irrigated and wiped lengthwise to avoid lodging any debris under the multiple edges of the wound. Stitches may be required and may involve both internal and external sutures depending upon depth and size.

Universal Precautions

As is the case when dealing with any body fluids, the use of universal precautions is prudent. Gloves, sterile bandages, dressing to hold the bandage in place, wound wash/water and referral to additional care when needed are typical wound care steps.

For the rest of your first aid kit, you'll need:

· tweezers

· wound wash

· alcohol wipes

· antiseptic hand cleaner

· medical adhesive tape

· sterile gauze elastic bandages

· several sizes of adhesive bandages

· insect bite swabs

· triple-antibiotic ointment

· bandage scissors

· triangular bandages

· instant cold packs

· exam gloves

· barrier device for CPR

 Shop a wide range of first aid and emergency supplies >>

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

High School Athletic Trainer MVP Award

High School Athletic Trainer MVP Award

Sports Health and Training & Conditioning Magazine are excited to announce a new awards program honoring high school athletic trainers. High school athletic trainers are the unsung heroes of interscholastic sports and many work countless hours educating and caring for student-athletes on and off the field.

Applications are being accepted to recognize the efforts of an individual who does his/her job very well, but also go beyond the expected.  Certified athletic trainers who work with athletes in schools or through outreach to schools that are respected by all those around them, but may not be recognized for all they do, now have the avenue to broaden and deepen their impact.

High school athletic trainers have always been the “make it work” and “do a lot with a little” group of professionals. Momentum Media publishers of Training & Conditioning magazine has joined with Sports Health to offer a tremendous, stand-alone program to recognize one high school athletic trainer.

The winner of the MVP award will be featured in the April issue of Training & Conditioning magazine, receive a plaque commemorating the honor, product-related prizes as well as being featured in an announcement at the national athletic trainers’ meeting in June, 2013.

Nominations can be emailed to before December 31, 2012.

Learn more >>

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The ABC's of AEDs

The ABC's of AEDs

An automated external defibrillator or AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in patients and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. As reported in USA Today, November 12, 2003 a National Institute of Health showed defibrillators can double the survival rates of sudden cardiac arrest. It is estimated that 350,000 people die annually due to sudden cardiac arrest and that in ages 15-34 the incidence has risen 10% in the last decade. (Read more about sudden cardiac arrest and high school athletes here).

The first AEDwas originally designed and created by American biomedical engineer Joshua L. Koelker and Italian emergency medical professional Jordan M. Blondino to allow defibrillation in common public places. AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layman, and the use of AEDs is taught in many first aid, first responder, and basic life support (BLS) level CPR classes in schools.

Conditions that the Device Treats

An automated external defibrillator is used in cases of life threatening cardiac arrhythmias which lead to cardiac arrest. The rhythms that the device will treat are usually limited to:
  1. Pulseless Ventricular tachycardia
  2. Ventricular fibrillation
In each of these two types of shockable cardiac arrhythmia, the heart is active, but in a life-threatening, dysfunctional pattern. In ventricular tachycardia, the heart beats too fast to effectively pump blood. Ultimately, ventricular tachycardia leads to ventricular fibrillation. In ventricular fibrillation, the electrical activity of the heart becomes chaotic, preventing the ventricle from effectively pumping blood. The fibrillation in the heart decreases over time, and will eventually reach asystole.
AEDs will not start a stopped heart, that is, it will not be effective in a coronary attack.  Its purpose is to counter a “fluttering” (fibrillation) of the heart muscle before it goes into cardiac arrest. The asystolic patient only has a chance of survival if, through a combination of CPR and cardiac stimulant drugs, one of the shockable rhythms can be established, which makes it imperative for CPR to be carried out prior to the arrival of a defibrillator. Estimates are that CPR alone is only 6-8% effective but CPR plus the use of an AED within 6 minutes is 80% effective.

The American Heart Association recommends automated external defibrillators in any place where there are large numbers of people. This includes airports, stadiums, large offices or industrial buildings, public buildings and large fitness centers, for example. 

Read more: American Heart Association Defibrillation Guidelines |
Several states require scholastic coaches to be certified in first aid and CPR/AED usage. In 2010, the American Heart Association (AHA) released their updated guidelines for treating sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and heart attacks.The purchasing and placement of AEDs at schools and during athletic events is both critical and legally prudent.  The American Heart Association recommendation is that an AED should be within a 2-minute walk from anywhere on school grounds/building.

Implement a School AED Program

While emergency response plans should be developed by both physical education and athletic departments, so too should be annual “simulated episodes” requiring staff to respond to various scenarios and in various locations on school grounds.

Request a free AED consultation and download the 10 common mistakes made by school AED programs >>

For additional information about AED usage and programs implementation go and Project ADAM at