20 Oct Doing our bit for good causes. Midlands Emergency Response CFR training night
All across the country there are teams of dedicated local people who volunteer their time to respond to medical emergencies in the community on behalf of requests from the ambulance service. These volunteers are trained by the Ambulance Service. They are trained in essential life saving interventions like CPR, AED use (defibrillator heart restarting machine), oxygen administration to name a few. They supplement, not replace an ambulance response and every CFR case is followed on by an ambulance service response.
These are your local community first responders. Some operate as individuals receiving equipment from the ambulance service, whilst others have formed groups and become registered charities who fund raise to buy uniform and equipment. Without exception CFRs give their time for FREE!
Midlands Emergency Response (MER) CFR group based in North Warwickshire are no exception. MER are local to AlfaMed, so when we were approached by the team to see if we could deliver an evening of training, the answer was of course “when and where?”, followed by “the only cost will be tea and biscuits”.
Paediatric assessment was the chosen subject as CFRs are often sent to 999 calls involving children, and with limited experience of ill children these can be the most daunting group of patients, even for experienced emergency clinicians.
Through discussion and good humour we covered things like convulsions, breathing difficulties, signs of serious illness and sepsis. The illnesses are just part of the story, and in paediatrics we need to change our approach to assessing/ examining altogether. Serious illness in children is rare and most of what you need to know about the seriousness of an acute illness can be gained from simply watching and playing with the child. Examination and medical equipment can be intimidating for young children and so this culminated in the following mantra, “don’t upset them unless you really need to. If you don’t need to, wait for the ambulance and let the crew upset them”. Perfect!
Now all that’s left to do is for the team to put some of what they have learnt into practice, but don’t worry if it doesn’t all fall into place straight away, learning is a journey maaaaan not a destination (or something equally profound and slightly new age).
Thanks for having us along.
Follow @MER_CFR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see the great work that this local charity are doing.