For truck drivers, basic first aid skills are a must. There are many different situations that an individual may find his or herself in where CPR and first aid knowledge becomes a life saver either for themselves or for someone else. Incidents such as vehicle accidents, choking, heart attacks, strokes, or other medical emergencies, are just some of the ways in which this type of training is needed. In fact, if one looks, there are many stories where a life has been saved simply because a trucker knew how to properly administer first aid until emergency responders arrived. In March 2013, for example, a truck driver by the name of Jason Harte was honored as the Thirtieth Goodyear Highway Hero for his efforts following a car accident involving a minivan, a car, and a speeding pickup truck. Harte, who is from Rogers, Arkansas, helped pull a family of six from the minivan and had the necessary training to administer CPR to one of the children. His basic first aid training also was put to the test as he was able to help administer first aid to other victims on the site until they were taken away by paramedics. Every day truck drivers across the country are faced with emergency situations such as this in which first aid is beneficial.
First Aid Training
Whether a driver comes across an accident, is party to one, or encounters an emergency health situation, it is important that he or she knows how to administer basic first aid. First aid is the medical care that is given to another person until professional medical care arrives following an emergency and is able to intervene. A driver who has undergone basic first aid training will be able to administer first aid and potentially prevent injuries from becoming serious and may even save a person’s life. For this reason it is important that truck drivers learn how to properly administer first aid care. Organizations such as the Red Cross offer courses first aid and CPR training. During these courses participants learn what to do during various types of medical emergencies. Courses may also be taken through the American Heart Association. Local hospitals also often hold first aid courses that the public may attend.
An AED is a device called an automated external defibrillator. It is designed for use on people who are suffering from cardiac arrest. When necessary, the device works by delivering an electric shock to the heart. The shock that the AED delivers stops the irregular heart rhythm, called ventricular fibrillation, which is associated with cardiac arrest. AED courses are often taught by the same organizations that teach CPR and first aid. An AED is generally used whenever a person is found unconscious and unresponsive to shaking, shouting, or in the case of children, pinching. CPR should be administered until the AED is prepared for use and 911 has been alerted. These devices are designed to be easy to use, even for people who have no previous medical experience. The AED will have a voice prompt that gives the user step by step instructions once it has been turned on. It will also analyze the condition of the individual and will advise the user as to whether a shock is necessary.
Not every fire extinguisher is designed the same or can be used on the same types of fires. There are several different types of fire extinguishers, which are represented by a letter classification. The most common fire extinguishers that a trucker and the public are most likely to use are labeled as Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D. These designations are given by the National Fire Protection Association. A Class A fire extinguisher is meant for use on combustible materials such as trash or paper. If a fire is started by combustible or flammable liquids, then a Class B fire extinguisher must be used. When electrical equipment catches on fire, a Class C fire extinguisher should be used to put out the flames. Finally there is the Class D fire extinguisher, which is used for fires started by fuel based metals. Certain fire extinguishers will be labeled as “ABC” extinguishers. This is meant to indicate that they can be used on the types of fires that the individual A, B, or C extinguishers are designed for.
The Heimlich Manuever is a form of basic first aid. It is often taught during first aid and CPR training courses. It is a technique that is performed when a person has a foreign object, such as food, lodged in his or her throat that hinders the individual ability to breathe. It is an aggressive maneuver that a person may even administer on his or her own self if alone.
Stroke Warning Signs
When a person suffers from a stroke, brain cells begin to die. This is either caused by an interruption of blood to the brain due to a blood clot, or it is due to blood spilling into the brain as a result of burst vessel. It is important for people to know what the signs of a stroke are so that emergency treatment may be started as quickly as possible. Certain medications, if given within three hours of the first signs of stroke, can help reduce the odds of long-term disabilities. The longer a person waits before treatment begins, the greater his or her chances are for severe loss of brain function. Facial drooping, slurring of speech patterns or difficulty forming words and sentences, and sudden weakness in one arm are some common symptoms of stroke. Additionally, a person may also have a sudden onset of confusion, difficulty with vision in one or both of his or her eyes, leg weakness and a loss of coordination. Whenever these signs appear suddenly 911 should be called as it is indicates that the individual is possibly having a stroke.
Diabetic shock is often referred to as hypoglycemia or insulin shock. This occurs when blood sugar levels drop too low. This can occur when an insulin-dependent diabetic takes too much insulin. It may also occur if non-insulin dependent diabetics fail to eat properly or exercise too hard after taking their medications. Symptoms associated with diabetic shock include profuse sweating, shaking, blurred or double vision, confusion, heart palpitations, and anxiety.