I need the certification for future employment, but I think it is an excellent idea for those of us involved in sports to get First Aid Certification. At most/all of my cycling (and other) accidents, I've been the most trained person on the scene (scary!) and have had to either monitor, or do, whatever is necessary to help myself. If we're out there, cycling miles away from civilization, it could take a very long time for an ambulance or other medical assistance to reach us. It's good to have an idea what to do if we're in trouble or if we come across an accident situation.
I've taken courses from both Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance ... they are both very good, although I do have to say that the one I've just completed had the most hands on training of all the ones I've done. I thought that was great!
If you haven't renewed your first aid certification in a while, there have been some recent changes to several things, including CPR. I believe the emphasis used to be on the breathing ... several breaths, then 10-15 compressions, several more breaths, etc. That's changed now because they discovered it wasn't working. Now it is 30 compressions to 2 breaths. Good to know!
And this leads me to ask ... what is in your first aid kit? The one you carry with you on your bicycle.
Mine varies, but I've always got Ozonol with me (that's a triple antibiotic ointment with a pain killer), and I've usually got bandages of various shapes and sizes, scissors, a bandana, the netting thing that will hold bandaging on, tape, plastic bags to use as barriers, latex gloves, antibacterial gel, and of course one bottle that holds only water. But I'm going to review my collection. For one thing, I should probably start carrying asprin.
I take standard plus CPR A every two years for work with the most recent time being just this past Monday and Tuesday (tis the season in Alberta I guess). The instructional pace is pretty slow (boring) but it is still a nice change from the office. The videos have improved significantly with some decent special effects. The woman having the diabetic emergency, and the locker room heart attack casualty scenes were downright believable.
I have Senior First Aid qualifications (this is Australian standard for people in the workplace) as I need it for my job. Last time I got qualified a couple of ex-ambulance officers took the course, man they had some pretty gross stories!
I used to do lifesaving (not surf lifesaving unfortunately, just pool stuff) and went up to Oxygen Resusitation level but that was a few years ago now.
With my AFLCA certification, they recommend I renew each year ... which probably isn't a bad idea either since I'm also going for my Bachelor of Education.
Day 1 of the instruction was LONG, but had a lot of practical stuff to keep us from falling asleep. Day 2 was quick ... we just breezed through everything. I had different instructors each day.
I thought the videos were pretty good too. They are very repetitive, but that's good for reinforcement. The only one I had a little difficulty with was the one with the kid who is out mtn biking and skids and falls on his HIP and sprains his ANKLE. Despite the fact that he takes the impact on his hip first and elbow second, they don't hurt. And if it were me, and I somehow managed to sprain my ankle while cycling, I'd just get back on the bicycle and keep riding ... especially since the parking lot was only a few seconds away.
If I were the video makers, I think I'd have used a slip on stairs or something for the sprained ankle topic, and use a cycling incident for the broken collarbone topic.
Last time I got qualified a couple of ex-ambulance officers took the course, man they had some pretty gross stories!
The first time I was certified it was with a group of ladies who worked in childcare (I worked in childcare at that time too). There were a few scary stories but nothing really bad, and the atmosphere of the class was quite pleasant. The emphasis of that course was very family oriented - mainly incidents in the home or childcare center, etc.
The second time, it was with a group of coworkers at the manufacturing plant where I worked. The instructor was one of a Red Cross team who go out to places where there have been natural and man-made disasters to help (like earthquakes, the incident in New York, and so on) ... so he had quite the stories!! But the whole emphasis of that course was about incidents in a manufacturing setting, traffic accidents, and disasters.
This time, it was with a group of oil riggers ... and the instructors were involved in the oil industry and military. The atmosphere was rather ... ummmmm ... crude, and the emphasis was on oil rig accidents and bar brawls!! Never, in either of the other two courses, did we deal with knifings and gun shot wounds from bar brawls!!
I've gotten a good mix of information over the years!
As a paid, practicing EMT I still don't carry anything. Generally, it can either wait (sure it might suck) or I'm not able to carry enough equipment to make a real difference. Improvise, adapt, overcome. Bear in mind I'm rarely more than 15 minutes away from real help via air.
Touring and remote areas would be different. In those circumstances I'd look into carrying a GPS enabled PLB (you can rent them now), blood stopper product, CPR mask, airways, a few OTC meds (Benadryl, asprin, glucose paste), SAM splint, ratchet strap, space blanket, and various bandages and such.
... what is in your first aid kit? The one you carry with you on your bicycle...
Paramedic, I teach ACLS, PALS, PEPP, PHTLS, and misc. other letters.
I have no kit for my bicycle. (total bicycle nOob) I do have a small kit for my motorcycle and I have a big kit for my cage. This thread is the first inspiration I've had to put something together for la bicicletta. I suppose I'd put together something for wound care a la Brave Soldier Crash Pak.
I've got pretty much everything I think I need in my kit except a CPR barrier ...... you can get little plastic disposable ones to put over the nose and mouth when doing CPR, small enough to fit in a little key chain thing. But I haven't been able to find those yet.
Incidentally, many First Aid things do double duty:
-- latex gloves are a good barrier when dealing with a bleeding person ... and they also keep grease off your hands if you've got to do a roadside repair on your bicycle.
-- feminine pads come in handy for the purpose for which they are intended .... and they are also excellent bandages in case of emergency. I know a number of EMTs who carry them for the second purpose
-- products like Ozonol (or Polysporin) are antibiotic creams, and work well for things like saddle sores ... and also for road rash etc.
-- a bandana can be used to keep dust off your face when you ride, or you can wet it and wrap it around your neck on a hot day to keep cool, or you can use it as an extra layer under your helmet or in your jersey or around your neck on a cold day, or as a sling or bandage.