First aid – or field medicine?

September 11th, 2005

The First Aid course runs after the BAS conference, and is quite possibly the most intensive training I’ve ever done. In three days you learn everything you’re likely to need to know if you have to treat an injured person in the field, or on base if the Doctor is away or incapacitated. This isn’t the kind of do-gooding stuff I’d learned before: this is intramuscular injections, plaster casts, chest and abdominal examinations, nasopharyngeal airways and nitrous oxide! All this plus the usual treatment of surface wounds, burns, basic life support (CPR) and how to deal with spinal injuries and carbon monoxide poisoning. I learned a huge amount (including that breathing Entonox – nitrous oxide and oxygen – makes me feel unpleasantly like being drunk) and passed the end-of-course exams without too much difficulty. I can see my copy of the BAS medical manual being useful well beyond my time in the Antarctic!

Next week, I’m on a field training course in Derbyshire, followed by a week of air/ground radio training in Cambridge. More updates should follow when I’m in Cambridge!

4 Responses to “First aid – or field medicine?”

  1. John C. Kirk Says:

    Impressive – assuming that you’re AED-trained as well, you’d pretty much be qualified to crew an ambulance (by SJA standards) when you get back to the UK.

  2. Michael P-J Says:

    We haven’t done AED training, as there isn’t time and there are no AEDs in the field medical boxes. But the base doctors usually run AED and suturing classes during the winter.

  3. Susannah Says:

    Shame that St John don’t recognise anyone elses qualifications and would require you to do it all over again. (Which is why I never got to do Ambulances).

    Still, sounds like a pretty heavy-duty course in 3 days

  4. Michael P-J Says:

    It was a heavy course! I asked the BASMU team whether the course was recognised outside BAS, and they said no. It doesn’t even count for HSE First Aid at Work…

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