I thought of having this tattooed on my forehead, but people might get the wrong idea. I mean, a nice hunky paramedic would be more than welcome to give me the kiss of life. You wouldn’t find me arguing (particularly as I’d be unconscious at the time… unfortunately). But I’m more than a little concerned about my safety if my Boy Scout son should try to save my life. I’d rather take my chances.
This weekend he has a night hike with the Scouts – his first ever. It’s a four hour hike in the middle of the night, navigating with a map to various check-points and carrying out challenges there with a team of four others. (I am trying extremely hard not to be a worry-wart of a mother). One challenge will definitely be first aid, so we’ve been practising and going over what he’s learnt.
M: OK, you come across a casualty lying unconscious on the ground, what do you do first?
T: I check for any danger, like the tide coming in or them holding something electrical.
M: And if they have some bare wires in their hands, how do you stop them giving you an electric shock?
T: I’d put my woolly gloves on and then take the wire off them.
M: Right, the casualty is safe, what checks do you now need to do?
T: I need to check their level of consciousness. I’d shout at them and see if they answered. And to see if they responded to pain I’d thump them on the chest.
M: You’ve found out they’re unconscious, so what do you do now?
T: First of all I’d check their airway is clear by tilting their head back and making sure they’d nothing in their mouth. (Good, good). Then I’d put them in the recovery position.
M: Would that be a good idea if they weren’t breathing? Is there anything you need to check first?
T: Ah yes, I’d check they were breathing. How would I do that? Hmmm… I’d lick my finger and stick it up their nose.
M: Right, the casualty is not breathing, you now need to check whether their heart is beating. How do you check circulation?
T: I could put my hand on their heart. Oh no, I remember, I need to check their pulse.
M: Where would you find their pulse?
T: I would hold their thumb and squeeze it between my fingers to see if there was a heartbeat there.
M: You’ve established there’s no pulse and no breathing. It’s up to you to save their life. What are you going to do?
T: I’d talk to them in a calm voice.
M: Is that all?
T: Hmmm… I suppose I could put them in the recovery position.
M: And you think that would help?
T: Well, you said that hearing was last sense to go, so it’d be good to talk to them, ask them some questions or something, until the ambulance gets there.
M: You have to get some oxygen into them. You’ve learnt how to do the kiss of life. How will you do it?
T: I’ll make sure their airway is open and breath into their mouth. Then I’ll hit them on the chest for fifteen minutes. Then I’ll give them another breath.
Tiddles, darling. If ever you find me unconscious on the floor, please please don’t try to save my life.