Heart Attacks


Heart Attacks: (Myocardial Infarction)

 A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot.

Coronary Heart disease is the leading cause of heart attacks. CHD is a condition in which the major blood vessels that supply the heart get clogged up with deposits of cholesterol, known as plaques. These plaques can burst or rupture causing blood clots to develop at the site or for debris to block the blood vessels – this can block the supply of blood to the heart muscle, causing damage and triggering heart attack symptoms 

 Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • Chest pain: the chest can feel like it is being pressed of squeezed by a heavy object and pain can radiate from the chest to the jaw, arms & back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling weak or light-headed or both
  • An overwhelming feeling of anxiety
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Sudden collapse

Other symptoms include – nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain. Fatigue, excessive coughing & wheezing

It is important to stress that not everyone experiences severe chest pain. The pain can often be mild and mistaken for indigestion. Some people especially the elderly and those with diabetes may not experience chest pain as their chief complaint

 Women are less likely to recognise the symptoms, and less likely to seek medical attention and treatment quickly, despite the warning signs. (bhf.org.uk)

 Management of a Heart Attack

  • Make casualty comfortable. Support shoulders & knees “W”position
  • A single dose of aspirin can alleviate symptoms but check casualty is not allergic to aspirin
  • Call 999
  • Be prepared to resuscitate 
  • Consider the location of your nearest AED

Covid-19: HSE guidance for First Aid qualifications

The Health and Safety Executive has released guidance for those concerned their first aid certificates have either expired or due to expire imminently.

COVID-19: Statement from HSE and DfE relating to certificate expiry
Health and Safety Executive statement

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is aware that people holding Offshore Medic (OM), Offshore First Aid (OFA), First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates nearing expiry date, might experience disruption to access to requalification training as a result of events or circumstances generated by the coronavirus pandemic.

HSE’s current guidance on the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l74.pdf and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989 https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l123.pdf is that those holding an OM, OFA, FAW or EFAW qualification should undertake retraining before their original certificate expires and HSE strongly recommends that employers, and individuals holding those qualifications should plan for requalification training well in advance of expiry dates.

If however requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus or by complying with related government advice, it is reasonable and practical to extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months. Anyone taking advantage of this extension should be able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training, and demonstrate steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.

This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020. HSE will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary.

Department for Education statement
The Department for Education supports the HSE statement regarding the extension of first aid certificates during coronavirus emergency and that it can be applied to paediatric first aid certificates held by staff in early years provision.

Children & burns

Children & Burns

Accidental injuries are a major health problem throughout the UK and more than 2 million children under the age of 15 experience accidents in and around the home every year. The most severe injuries are associated with heat-related accidents and falls from heights with younger children having a higher percentage of burns and scalds

Hot drinks cause most scalds to the under 5’s – a child’s skin is much more sensitive than an adults and a hot drink can scald a child 15 minutes are being made. Young children are also very vulnerable to sunburn and can also suffer burns after contact with open fires, a cooker, irons, curling tongs, matches, lighters and many other hot surfaces

Information compiled from ROSPA

If your child has a burn or a scald:

  • Cool the burn as quickly as possible with cool running water for at least 20 minutes to reduce pain, swelling and the risk of scarring
  • Be aware if cooling a large area that babies and children can develop hypothermia – keep warm
  • Carefully remove any clothing or jewellery unless it is attached to the skin
  • Cover the burn loosely with cling-film, a plastic bag or a clean, dry non-adhesive dressing
  • Do not apply creams, lotions or sprays to the burn
  • Always seek medical advice for a baby or child who has been burned

Insect stings

Insect Stings

With the summer holidays in full swing, we tend to spend more time outdoors where we are more likely to be stung by insects. Insects that sting include bees, wasps and hornets.

Insect stings are common and can be painful but usually only cause some mild irritation and some simple first aid can alleviate symptoms effectively.

First Aid for insect stings

  • If you can see the sting, brush or scrape it off side-ways – the edge of a credit card works well
  • Wash the affected area with soap and water
  • Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and provide pain relief
  • Elevate the affected area
  • If the sting is in the mouth, suck on an ice-cube or sip cold water
  • Remove any tight fitting jewellery from around the sting area
  • If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction such as breathing difficulties or reddened swollen itchy skin particularly around the face and neck – call 999 or 112 for emergency medical help.

    Could it be sepsis?


    Sepsis is a life-threatening illness that occurs when the human body over-reacts to infection and causes the immune system to go into ‘overdrive’ attacking not just the infection but everything else around it including organs and tissue. Unchecked sepsis can lead to organ failure and death.

    • Someone dies of Sepsis every 4 hours in Scotland
    • Sepsis accounts for 52,000 deaths annually in the UK – that’s more than breast, bowel & prostate cancer combined
    • It is the number 1 preventable cause of death in the world
    • Sepsis can kill in a matter of hours


    Sepsis can be the result of any infection but most commonly in response to bacterial infections of the: Lungs Urinary tract Abdominal organs Skin & soft tissues


    Early symptoms may include:

    • Very high or low temperature
    • Uncontrollable shivering ‘flu-like’ symptoms
    • Rapid heart beat Fast or difficult breathing
    • Not passing as much urine as normal
    • Cold or blotchy hands & feet

    On their own these symptoms can be an indicator of other health problems. But if you’ve recently had an infection or injury and you have possible signs of sepsis ask “Is this Sepsis?”

    If so speak to a medical professional for guidance and advice as soon as possible.

    Time is critical when it comes to treating sepsis and every hour counts.

    Information compiled from sepsisresearch.org.uk