Learning about Outdoor First Aid

CPR dummies

Wow, that was an intense weekend. I have just finished a two-day (two 8-hour days) Outdoor First Aid course run by Will 4 Adventure.

I feel much better prepared now for being able to help people if needed. The skills the course included: CPR, tackling wounds and breaks, and in particular dealing unresponsive patients (i.e. unconscious).

Most of the first day and half was theory plus drills and practice. The last afternoon was a set of assessed scenarios, for example finding somebody who might appear to have fracture or a wound be conscious and have good vital signs, but who then might start to show signs of shock, then blood loss, then lose consciousness.

Yes, we knew the scenarios were not real, but with the patient acting and the assessor shouting out new details like (breathing is now shallow and rapid, the patient is pale and cold to the touch) my heart rate and stress levels really jumped.

I did not always get the details right, but did always get the priority of Airway, Breathing and Circulation right, even when it got stressed and complex – which was the point of the training.

I did the course because a) I spend a lot of time in the hills and I want to be able to help if I see a fellow outdoor person in trouble, and b) this was the last step in qualifying as a fell run leader – meaning I am now qualified to lead groups running in the hills. When I booked the course reason b) was my main reason, but by the end of the weekend reason a) was the stronger reason.

I hope I will never need the more advanced skills we learned, but I am ready to help if they are needed.

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