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Whoosh, wheeze, whoosh, wheeze, thump, thump...

Posted Mar 12 2010 12:15am
Just been on a fi rst aid refresher course as I need to refresh my first aid skills after 3 years. It's the first time I've been with the CI. It was quite an interesting experience and finally after all these years I was able to discern the different sounds that those with laboured breathing sound like - asthmatic attack, heart attack, hyperventilating, lung damage and chest injuries. I didn't know that those with chest/lung injuries make a sucking sound when the person tries to breathe and the only way to stop it sucking was to slap on a clean plastic card i.e. credit card over the chest hole and seal it.

Also when I was doing some CPR, I've always heard the thumping of the chest as I was doing chest compressions but not the breathing part where the air is exhaled out. Normally I'd feel it on my cheek in between breaths. But now I CAN hear it - wheeeezzzee as the chest deflates. The other first aiders had some trouble sealing the mouths when giving the breath of life - you could hear the air escaping... I was absolutely flabbergasted to hear that. I hope to pass the exam later on today as it's only a two day refresher course. Some things have changed since the last refresher, some made a lot more sense than last time. And am pleased at how things have progressed since the last one and the onus on saving a patient's life is much greater than before.

update - good news - I'm re-certified again for another 3 years. The written exam and the assessments went very well and the other colleagues equally did well. I thought I'd stuff it up with my speech impediment that normally carries with the deafness, but no, my role playing patient understood every word I said including the assessor. The tutor who taught the refresher has personally confided in me that it was the first time that he's ever seen a deaf person doing the refresher first aid course. There were others doing it for the first time but never took the refresher. I simply said that's up to the individual and how they felt about it and as to whether to continue with it. Mind you first aid carries quite a responsibility as one is responsible for preserving life not making it worse. I have always done first aid ever since I did it at Brownies right through till now. I've lost count of how many refreshers I've been through but I did notice that certain things change through time due to health and safety and politics. It was interesting enough and was nice to update my knowledge of first aid.
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