Monday, August 12, 2013

What I learned today

So I had to take a first aid course today because I did not take any refreshers during the last two years. A few thoughts.

I wonder how much I learned today that does not neatly fall into either the category of things nobody needs to be taught because they are bloody obvious (don't put fat onto a burn wound, don't move people with spinal injury, etc.) or the category of things that I will have forgotten by the time I need them, if ever (e.g. where does the apex of the triangular bandage go when making a St John sling?).

It is interesting that legally one does not have to help a casualty if there is no relationship. Admittedly, that relationship is easily established, say by you asking them if they need help or by you having a partial responsibility for their state, for example because you hit them, so from that moment on you have to help. But is still odd that you don't have to if you don't establish that relationship. At least here in Australia one can apparently walk past a dying person and face no repercussions as long as one does not personally know them. I may be mistaken, but I think in Germany that would be unterlassene Hilfeleistung and carries a sentence of up to one year in prison.

We also learned about adrenaline auto-injectors for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions. There are two brands on the market, both very expensive plastic pens that shoot out a needle with synthetic adrenaline when activated. The fun thing is that one of them has an orange release button at the upper end and the other has an orange lower end that activates when being pressed against the patient's leg. In other words, they appear to be deliberately designed to make it maximally likely that a confused or panicked first aider shoots the adrenaline into their own finger. Yay, the power of the free market at work!

Finally, because the venue of the course was south of the lake I had to take the car today. Going through that experience has once more made me wonder why the heck anybody in their right mind would take the car if they live less than 30 min by bicycle away from their workplace or have a bus connection. The traffic jams at around 8:30 and 17:30 are truly nightmarish, and this is not even Sydney or something, it is only much smaller Canberra. People are just weird. When I cycle, I can just roll past them, and I get exercise without having to pay for a fitness club.

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