Acting Fast in a Medical Emergency

When an emergency situation arises, it is of the utmost importance that the people involved act quickly and correctly to aid the person injured. Those first few seconds can make all the difference in whether the victim will live or die (obviously depending on the severity of the situation). So it is imperative that those trained in first aid know their stuff cold and are ready at a moment’s notice.

There’s actually a lot more involved in first aid than just CPR and how to bandage a wound. Setting broken bones, dealing with shock, initiating respiration, stopping blood loss, properly loading patients onto a stretcher splint or gurney, etc. are all part and parcel to handling medical emergencies.

Speed is the key. And you’ll only be fast if you have a good grasp of what you trained for. This is why I always stress to first aid students that they need to know their procedures so well that they can do them properly even in a time of chaos and crisis (which just happen to be the usual circumstances surrounding a first aid emergency).

The key to flawless application lies in only a few simple steps:

  1. Study your procedures well.
  2. Practice them thoroughly.
  3. Restudy them, now that you have some hands-on experience with them in the form of practice.
  4. Practice, practice and practice some more until it’s cold.

Following the above will prepare you. And it’s not enough to do this once. The best professionals in any field will continue to practice their skills. People get rusty, just like unused tools, so continuing to keep familiar is crucial. So keep the above in mind and do your best to become and stay as proficient as possible.


Another Reason To Train In First Aid

first-aid-stationFirst aid training is something that has been widely available for some time now. Pretty much anyone can avail themselves of it at a time that is convenient to them. Some jobs even make this training mandatory for employees. But even with the availability of it, there are still many, many people who haven’t yet availed themselves of even the least bit.

Why would that be? It is, after all, not all that hard to learn first aid, and it can be useful in lots of different types of situations. Also, imagine how you’d feel in an emergency and you had the opportunity to learn first aid but didn’t and now were helpless! Well, some people think that there will always be “someone else” around to take care of things.

But now, consider this: the population is expanding exponentially. There will be over 10 billion people living in the world in the next 20 years. That’s a lot of humans! Now factor in that the amount of doctors and rescue workers will not be increasing in proportion to the general population increase and you can start to see the problem.

Those who know how to help in a medical emergency will be needed more often. First aid saves lives, not always by providing the necessary procedure to fix the problem, but often by keeping a person alive long enough to get to real medical help. This is something that cannot be overemphasized.

If you’d like to learn more about first aid, then you can visit There you can find books and supplies that can assist you in learning first aid. Also, there are plenty of places (like community centers) in every city where you can get some hands-on training.


Medical Training In A Digital Age

We live in an era of fast and affordable computing. Our systems are more powerful than ever, and also more easily accessible for the masses. This means that you will be seeing more and more computer integration into various areas and medical training is no exception.

With every medium that has come about, medical training has taken advantage of it to provide sounder and sounder training to aspiring doctors. In the beginning, there were only the verbal descriptions made by the professor, and the occasional cadaver which could be used for dissection by students. This was ok, but there weren’t always dead bodies lying around for use. Later on came sketches which helped greatly, but could be inaccurate.

With the advent of photography, sketches became outdated and accurate, life-like images could be used for study. This was useful not only for the study of anatomy, but also for specific symptoms and injuries. Still, this was limited, and students still had to attend open operations and use dissection.

Training manikins and moulage kits arrived, which provided a 3D and tangible way to simulate the human body. These will probably never be completely replaced as they are still the only way of actually touching and feeling certain parts.

But with computers, and especially VR technology, soon students will be able to manipulate simulations of the human body, as well as attend lectures and operations being performed across the world, in real-time. These advancements mean that students will be consistently able to learn from the best of the best in their respective fields of medicine, regardless of geographic location. It also makes for completely audio-visual training which is proven to work better than any other.

Basic Medical Training

When people think of first aid, they usually think of the all-too-classic white kit, and possibly CPR. While these are definitely part of first aid, they are far from the full breadth of what first aid encompasses. There are many more procedures and techniques that one needs to know if one is going to say that they are well versed in it.

So what else is there? Glad you asked. To begin, there’s…


This is one we’ve all seen at least in movies. The action of breathing and circulating the blood for another so that their body stays oxygenated until further help can arrive. There are plenty of places that you can go to learn this skill, so there’s really no excuse not to know it.


For choking victims, there is the Heimlich maneuver. This is where quick pressure is applied to the abdomen to help force stuck objects out of the person’s windpipe. Again, not too uncommon and can be easily learned.


This one is scary in that there is no one-size-fits-all type of treatment. It really depends on the drug. Your best bet is to start CPR (if the person isn’t breathing) and contact a poison control center to advise based on the type of drug.


For this, it’s necessary to stop the bleeding. Pressure may alone do the trick, but you may need to apply a tourniquet if it continues. You also need to clean off the area as best as possible as well as the amputated part. Place the part in a plastic bag and then place the bag on ice as it may be possible to reattach the severed part.

There is much more than just that. A good manual can teach you many more first aid procedures (like this one here).

Anecdote About A Doctor Visit

white-doctor-coatOne of the reasons that I decided to study and eventually become a doctor comes from a story that my grandfather told me when I was very young (and impressionable). It was something that always stayed with me and had a lasting impact and I thought for posterity’s sake that I would share it here.

When my grandfather was about 7 years old, he came down with scarlet fever. This is something that could potentially be fatal (even nowadays) so it was a serious matter. He told me that he was afraid because of the way his family was acting and that he really believed that he might die.

His condition was not good and he was weak and in bed. After a while (he didn’t really remember how long) he heard a knock on the front door. The local doctor had come to pay a visit. He told me that he was so impressed with this man, walking into his room with his medical bag, stethoscope around his neck, and a calm and collected demeanor. He looked my grandfather over and wrote some notes onto a pad. He asked how my grandfather felt, and despite the worst of descriptions, he never once made any indication that there was any serious problem. He got up and smiled. He tore off a prescription and showed it to my grandfather and said that with this, he would come out just fine.

It was that confidence, that bedside manner, that certainty that my grandfather most attributed to his recovery. While there is no doubt in my mind that the actual medication prescribed helped, I do believe that the power of suggestion was present and contributed.

A simple story, yes, but it inspired me to become that person for others. I always wanted to be that symbol of hope for the sick, and it is with great pride that I do my job every day.

Having The Right Equipment For The Situation

doctor 1When a medical emergency strikes, it’s important to have the necessary equipment to hand. Certain type of emergencies call for different types of gear, and it’s vital that you have what you need to properly deal with the medical situation you are presented with.

So let’s take a look at some of the various tools that will be necessary for the various medical situations one may encounter.

First, there’s the regular first aid kit. This is a collection of the most commonly used, and easy to apply medical tools. Things like bandages, alcohol, antiseptic creams, splints, aspirin, burn gel, etc should be here. No special training is required to use these tools, and most anyone can see exactly how they work just by looking at them. No home should be without one.

Next, there’s medical training equipment. This includes a lot of tools that are used to train doctors and EMTs. Things like medical manikins, false organs and moulage kits fall under this category. They allow doctors to practice seeing/handling real injuries and conditions right in the classroom and are an essential part of modern medical training.

Next we come to EMT equipment. These are more involved tools that are used by paramedics and rescue workers. Things like stretchers, defibrillators, oxygen tanks and braces would fall into this category. These are only used in times of severe (or potentially severe) injury and need to be used with experience and caution by someone trained to do so.

Finally, there is the equipment that is found in hospitals. This is the highest-level medical equipment and includes all of the above, plus special machines used for specific cases. These are only to be used by doctors and trained technicians as they could actually do more harm than good if used carelessly.


The Origins Of Moulage

Medical training has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Those early years only included descriptions or drawings of parts of the internal systems of the human body from which students had to extrapolate all they could. Because this was literally all there was available to some students, you can guess that the medical field was primitive at best. But being unsatisfied with this, anatomist Andreas Vesalius began dissecting human bodies in the 15th century. Upon direct observation, he found that many of the descriptions that had been being used were wrong, and giving erroneous ideas to medical students which could lead them to think that a completely normal body part was actually abnormal. So he set about creating a work which included accurate descriptions as well as many drawings of the anatomy of the human body. From this moulage was born.

moulageMoulage started off with wax sculptures, depicting parts of the body. Doctors quickly found that these could be used to simulate various injuries and diseases so that medical students could have the opportunity to see what was being taught. This gave a great benefit to doctors in training.

Some of these historical models are still in use today by some German hospitals and medical schools as they are very lifelike. More commonly, moulage kits are used to apply fake wounds to someone, and even very elaborate setups, including makeup and faux liquids are employed to give medical students a very realistic depiction of an injury or illness. While the wax models are not commonly used, plastic and rubber ones are still quite prevalent.

Thanks to the efforts of early Renaissance pioneers, we have the medical training facilities that we use today.


Preparing To Face Trauma

Being a doctor can be a very stressful job. After all, the lives of your patients are literally in your hands. Your decisions need to be spot on, and mistakes can be potentially fatal. So it takes a special kind of person to take up this type of profession. Now multiply this tenfold if you are a surgeon. You are involved with some of the most delicate of procedures, where a fatality could be one wrong move away. Again, a lot of confront is required to do this.

But, none of these come even close to being a doctor who regularly handles trauma victims. These patients will come you in all sorts of varying states of trauma. Many will be on the literal brink of death when they arrive at your doorstep, and you need to be prepared to see all kinds of mortifying scenes. This type of thing needs to be prepared for as you really not only need to know your stuff, but also be able to face horrifying and grotesque things while performing your duties.

Medical training does afford some sorts of preparation for this type of thing. First off, learning all of the body systems, with a hands-on approach, will give one enough familiarity to identify the different parts under many different states of disrepair. Also, there exists moulage (the simulating of various types of wounds) with can be used to give doctors experience in seeing all sorts of various degrees of trauma. This can really be a big help as you don’t want to be seeing severe injuries for the first time when the patient is right there depending on you.

All of these elements add up to full medical training. Remember, it’s more then just knowing the procedures and systems of the body. It also takes the guts to handled them in no matter what state they are in.

Why Medical Bills Can Be So High

emergency-sign-at-hospitalMost times, when we have to visit a hospital, we find ourselves at the end of the whole thing left with a bill that we will usually consider is way too high. While it is true that you can usually negotiate down these bills and often get a lower bill, you may not know exactly why these rates are the way they are. Or, why after just a single visit, you have several different bills.

The first thing to know, is that a hospital isn’t like a typical company. The doctors and specialist that work there are not all residents of the hospital, meaning they are not all paid by the hospital directly. That means that if you get an x-ray from a radiologist, that you have to pay them separately (while this is administratively handled by the hospital itself).

Another thing to consider is that much of the equipment that the doctors use on a regular basis, be is simple and common machines or big and complex devices, these need to be carefully maintained and cared for and purchased from medical supply retailers (like This is part of what the hospital itself does. They provide a place and equipment for doctors to be able to use.

So yes, while these things are expensive (and perhaps our system of health care isn’t the best in the world), realize that it’s not being done in an effort to squeeze every last penny out of you. Also, many stated have laws that make it illegal for a hospital to turn you away due to lack of funds on your part. So it’s not as grim of a situation as you may have thought it was.

A Few Cautions About CPR

warning-alert-signEveryone has heard of or seen it, be it in real life or in a move. It it the most commonly known first aid procedure and is ubiquitous with first-aid itself: CPR.

It’s a fairly straightforward activity: someone has stopped breathing on their own, and you manipulate their chest and lungs to continue respiration and circulations for them. This can lead to an immediate recovery or keep the person alive long enough to render more professional or invasive help. But what many people don’t know is that if you don’t know what you are doing, you can actually cause more harm than good.

This is in no way intended to discourage people from trying to help someone in need. But there re a few things to know and be aware of. First, you need to be absolutely sure that the victim isn’t breathing on their own. Next, (especially if you are dealing with a child) you need to know how much pressure to put on the chest to affect circulation without causing damage. Also, for the respiration, you can easily damage the lungs of a child or baby if you don’t know how much air to pass to them.

This is why actual CPR training is important. Getting the proper instruction can not only make it safer for you to deliver this procedure, but can also make you much more effective and likely to get results. Proper training is done with a trained and sometimes experienced instructor, and the class will have the proper tool, like CPR manikins which can be used to practice all elements of the training.

Getting the proper instruction is crucial for any medical or first aid procedure, so don’t think that just reading about how it’s done will make you an expert. Take the time to really arm yourself with the know-how to save a life.

Proper Patient Transportation

Immediately after an accident, you’ll want to place the victim into the best position possible depending on the given injury. For example, you’ll usually want to keep the legs elevated should there be a cut on the legs, so as to reduce blood flow to the area. But after a particularly violent (and sometimes not so violent) jolt, you’ll want to keep the patient still. After all, you don’t know what kind of internal damage may be present, and moving the patient may make things worse.

Punctured lungs and other organs can result from improperly moving a victim. Broken bones may move about and cause damage to the surrounding tissues, so if you are in doubt, keep the victim as still as possible. Don’t permit them to get up. The obvious exception would be if they are still in harm’s way, in which case you’ll try to move them as carefully as possible from the danger zone.

stretcherNow, there is also equipment that can be utilized in transporting a patient safely. The most common of these is a good old fashioned stretcher. It allows the patient to keep a rigid position while making it easy for paramedics to move the person. There are also more specialized devices, like a stair chair, which is designed to help move someone who is otherwise incapacitated up and down flights of stairs, without causing harm to the person attempting to move them. Having access to the proper equipment allows for safe transportation not just of the patient, but also those doing the transporting.

So while this may not be the first thing on the mind of a first responder, it is indeed a point that deserves some careful consideration.



Common Medical Procedures

1438223386vrue1In the world of medicine and urgent care, there are a few life-saving procedures that it’s important to know about. These are the ones that can literally make the difference between life and death in an emergency situation, so it is important that they are well-known.


This is one that everyone should immediately recognize. It is the action of pumping the heart and breathing for another who has stopped normal breathing. It can be learned by virtually anyone and be practiced to proficiency in a short time.

Heimlich Maneuver

This is a procedure designed to help those who are choking. People who are choking need immediate help as they can pass out and suffocate in a relatively short time. The procedure is simple and no formal training is required to learn it.


In the event of severe bleeding, a tourniquet can save a life. They tend to get a bad reputation as they are often associated with amputations, but in a serious situation, would you rather lose a leg, or lose your life?

These procedures can be crucial skills to have. You can usually find local classes that will teach them to you so the you can be expert in their application (especially in CPR). You can also get training aids and equipment (like the ones found at this link) to help you better prepare yourself for their use.


Medical Training Manikins

When it comes to working on the human body, there’s no such thing as too much preparedness. This is why there are a whole slew of different medical training aids available to help doctors-in-training learn their way around the human anatomy.

In the old days, one would rely on sketches or cadavers in order to familiarize themselves with the human body. While this was indeed useful, it failed in one specific area in that if you were learning how to handle a specific condition, you would have to either get lucky and find a patient with the condition, or you’d just have to take the description from the teacher. Not every cadaver would have the same characteristics, so training on specific procedures would be difficult. This is where medical training manikins come into play.

A medical manikin is a dummy of the human body in greater or lesser detail. They range from just a certain part of the body, to a full representation of a complete human. Some are designed for training only on a specific procedure, and others, like the Susie Simon with Ostomy, can simulate a wide variety of medical procedures and routines.

These manikins work very well in giving medical students a realistic experience so that when it comes time for them to work on an actual patient, they have a high level of familiarity already. This not only boosts confidence in the student, but also improves effectiveness in the real world. These tools are an invaluable and indispensable part of modern medical training.


Advancements in Medical Training

medical drawingMedical training has come a long way from its earliest beginnings. Medical students in the early years would have to rely of drawings of the body’s systems and listen to descriptions from doctors who had performed certain procedures. Sure, there were cadavers, but there wasn’t always a supply of them and so it was easy to miss being able to see the real thing during one’s medical training.

Now, modern, and old technology provide all the resources necessary to train first-rate doctors and other medical experts.

Modern technology would of course be video and 3d simulation. Now, students can literally see scans of the entire human body, from head to toe. 3d representations of organs and their functions allow students to gain a never before obtainable reality on how a living human body works, not just seeing one post mortem. These tools greatly enhance understanding of the basics of anatomy.

Then there’s the old school, yet still useful methods. Moulage kits allow students to see simulated injuries and other medical phenomena. This way they are prepared for the various conditions and states they may have to confront their patients in during treatment. Nothing has to be left to surprise the fledgling doctor when he has already seen it and handled it during his training.

These types of methodologies are proven and very beneficial. After all, it doesn’t take long to ascertain if a doctor’s medical training was worth it or not. In a profession such as this, we can’t afford to have anything short of the best in terms of education, and that’s what these various methods provide.

There has never been a better time to train in the medical field. The doctors of yesteryear would be very jealous indeed of what modern medical schools have to offer.

Medical Supplies On The Go

first-aid-kitA medical emergency can occur at any time, and in any place. So it it essential that one has the proper tools and equipment to hand at all times if one is to assist at a time of medical emergency. Normally, people have a first aid kit at home. This is all good and well, but it will do nothing for you if you are not at home. This is why it is essential to have a first aid kit that goes where you do.

The simplest and most effective solution is to have a kit in your car. This way no matter if you are at work or out at the store, you have the right supplies in reach. While this kit will probably not be as extensive as your home kit, it should still include the basics: bandages, gauze, tape, alcohol, iodine, aspirin, burn creams, tweezers, etc. This can all be packed into a relatively small space and so fit in the glove box of your car.

But you can take it even one step further and arrange a kit that is small enough to fit in a purse or even a wallet. One can take a couple of already moistened alcohol swabs and a packed of aspirin powder and wrap it in some gauze. Then place it in a tiny plastic bag (like those used for fishing hooks) and put a few strips of tape on the bag itself. This extremely compact kit will allow you to treat cuts and fever which are quite common. This may not seem like much, but in lieu of carrying a full medical bag, this could come in handy.

So always make sure that you are prepared to deliver first aid wherever and whenever it may be needed.

Beyond Learning First Aid

Ffirst-aid-stationirst aid is an absolutely necessary and vital thing to learn. You will get the crucial information needed to address and treat basic wounds, cuts, burns, broken bones and other medical situations. But after first aid is well learned, what then?

There is certainly more than can be studied to make one even more adept at handling medical emergencies. But with such a wide range of areas to choose from, where should you start? Well, this is actually a pretty easy question to answer.

You should learn that which has more of a likelihood of happening around you based on where you live/work or what you do. For example, if you work outdoors in a warm areas, learning how to treat dehydration would be a good start. If you were out in the woods a lot, then learning how to treat animal bites and lesions would be the route to go. Basically, just pick those things that you would be most likely to encounter.

Obviously, you should branch out from there if you still have a desire to learn. But this would be further education. After first aid (which always comes first), pick that which you will likely see in your day to day life.

Learning about these things is also a lot easier once you have a basic knowledge of first aid as you may only have to read about a few techniques to learn how to apply them as you will already have a working knowledge of some basic medical procedures. So don’t limit yourself to just one area of expertise. Also, remember to revisit your training from time to time so that you remember well what you have learned. Nothing worse than being faced with a situation you once knew how to handle but now forgot.

Finally, make sure you have the right equipment for the job. You’ll need a comprehensive medical kit that you can keep with you at all times. So pick one up (like the one found here).

The Benefit Of Professional Medical Training Tools

anatomy-high-techWe no longer live in an age where if you need to practice some medical procedure, you need a live patient to undergo that procedure in front of you so that you can see how it’s done. With internet and video, almost any medical student can see exactly how these types of things, both routine and uncommon, are performed. But while this is a great advancement of the medical training of yesteryear, is it really enough?

Seeing is one thing, but doing is another thing altogether. There’s no substitute for being able to get a hands-on experience, especially in a field as delicate as medicine. This is where the importance of anatomical models comes in.

An anatomical model is a life-like representation of a part of, or a complete human body. It contains the internal structure that is to be dealt with and shows it with accuracy. This allows students to actually “feel” the parts of the body, internal or otherwise, that they will be dealing with without the need for a cadaver. This is both a more sanitary and convenient way of showing students just what they need to be prepared in the field.

While some may say that these models are expensive, consider that just one well-made model completely removes the need for a cadaver at that stage of practice. It is definitely more economical in the l0ng run.

Obviously students will eventually need to get their hands dirty, meaning work on an actual human body, but for earlier training purposes, a model will suffice quite well.

These models have come a long way and now are very, very close to the real deal, both in appearance, and (for some) also in texture. They are an invaluable aid for doctors and medical students.