First Aid Training: ‘It was an eye-opener for me’- Participant.
Millenium Fellows, Miss Julianah Adebisi (BDS 2K18) and Miss Precious Akingbule (BDS 2K18), partnered with the Alexander Brown Hall (ABH) to facilitate a pre-hospital emergency care training which held on a Zoom platform on Saturday, October 22, 2022. As stated by the organisers, the programme was designed to provide adequate information and training on giving first aid, raise basic first aid awareness, build basic medical communication skills for easy relay of information to medical unit post-transfer and equip participants with life-saving techniques, needed to provide an initial response in the event of medical and disaster emergency.
The programme was slated for 1pm but didn’t start until about 1:08pm as some time was given for more participants to join before the commencement of the meeting. The programme started with an address given by the moderator, Mr Olamide Raheem (MBBS 2K18), orienting the participants on the objectives of the programme. The meeting had in attendance Dr A. B. Oladiran, Consultant Orthopaedist at UCH; Dr A. I Michael, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at UCH; and Dr A. T. William, Fellow, Child Oral Health, Dentistry at UCH; who were invited to speak at the event. They spoke on the seminar topics, Pre-hospital first aid care, Pre-hospital Burn Care and Pre-hospital care of Dental Emergencies, respectively. Each of these sessions was preceded by reading the citation of the speaker and followed by a brief period of questions and answers.
During the first section of the programme, Dr Oladiran delivered his lecture titled Pre-hospital first aid care. By way of introduction, he stated that in some countries, learning Advanced Life Support is an integral part of the training process for people in every sector of public service; but it is quite the contrary in our country, hence the need for more programmes like this. He went on to give practical instructions on how to give first aid treatment to victims in emergency situations like trauma etc.
The orthopaedic surgeon defined trauma in clear terms, highlighted types and causes, emphasized the need to reduce the risk of injury for rescuers and gave some basic rules guiding administration of first aid to trauma victims e.g. carrying the victim like a log of wood, not removing objects impaling victim until arrival at hospital, starting Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) when pulse is absent etc. Dr Oladiran also gave the dos and don’ts of giving first aid care in cases of seizures, loss of consciousness, choking and snakebites. He rounded up his lecture by stating the importance of the first aid box and the need for it to be readily accessible at every place and for everyone to know how to use it when the need arises.
The focus of the second lecture of the webinar was on Pre-hospital Burn Care. This session was handled by Dr A. I. Michael. Before she delved into her lecture, Miss Temiloluwa Adeniyi-Aogo (BDS 2K18) read her citation. In her talk, Dr Michael stated that about 80,000 deaths occur yearly due to burns which are preventable. She mentioned that, regarding pre-hospital burn care, there are two important players; namely the first responder and the burn victim. She said that the aim of first aid for burn victims is to stop further burning and that this can be achieved by running cool water over the surface of the burn, as opposed to honey which many still use today. Furthermore, she mentioned several other agents, which have proved to be not helpful, that many Africans still apply ignorantly to burns. They include antibiotics, commercial burns cream, aloe vera, gentian violet, eggs, cooking oil, salt, engine oil, urine, soap, toothpaste etc and highlighted the problems associated with using these substances. She enlightened the participants on how to determine the depth of burns and gave the criteria for transferring a burn patient to a burn centre. She rounded off her session by stating the need for promoting education on giving proper pre-hospital burn care among laymen.
The final lecture, titled Pre-hospital Care of Dental Emergencies, was given by Dr A.T. William. She outlined common dental emergencies and gave practical steps on administering first aid in each of them. For toothaches, she recommended the use of any form of analgesics and condemned the use of topical analgesics like the popular “Touch and Go”. She talked about the different ways of administering first aid to victims of various types of tooth fracture. In cases like this, she taught that the preferable thing to do is to place the broken piece of tooth in a covered bowl of water, instead of throwing it away; and visiting the dentist as soon as possible. She revealed that it is possible to restore a broken tooth or an avulsed- completely lost- tooth to its normal position without leaving behind any mark of trauma. She also educated the participants on managing Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dislocation, dental infection and soft tissue injury. She concluded her session by playing a short video demonstrating some of the things she had earlier taught. There were giveaways towards the end of the programme. The meeting came to a close at about 3:15pm.
ABH Press interviewed some of the participants after the programme. Adebukola Adetunji (MBBS 2K19) remarked, “The program was really a nice one. I learnt a lot. It helped to clear out some misconceptions about some first aid approach we had learnt, especially those for snake bites. It was indeed a great programme.” Temitope Solaru, a non-Brownite who was at the programme, said, “It was a time of learning and unlearning. It was an eye-opener to some novel emergency conditions e.g. dental emergencies. I was armed with knowledge on what to do and what not to do in some of these conditions.”
The programme was designed to be in two phases. The second phase of the programme will come up physically on Saturday, November 5, 2022. This will be an opportunity for as many who missed the first phase to be beneficiaries of the first aid training programme.