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Best Emergency Phone Apps Australia

It seems our mobile phones are always by our side.

Perhaps our phone apps can be our best friend in an emergency, disaster situation in Australia. 

The Best Australian Emergency Apps For Your Phone

 

Emergency +

The vital lifesaving skills you need in an emergency may not be enough or you need to understand what to do until the ambulance arrive

When calling 000 from a mobile phone you need be able to provide as much information as possible to emergency service operators about the where the emergency is happening. When you’re in town and there are streets everywhere this isn’t as tricky, but if you are travelling in a country area, particularly if it is unfamiliar to you, it becomes much harder.

The Emergency+  app addresses one of the biggest issues currently faced by emergency service operators. With 66 per cent of 000 callers phoning from their mobile phones and with many unable to provide their exact location – such as when they’re on a beach or on a long stretch of road.

What 3 Words Feature added to Emergency +

The Emergency+ smart phone app uses your phones GPS function to provide you with your longitude and latitude. Recently updated to include What3words which encodes your GPS location into 3 dictionary words with a resolution of about 3 square meters and was used for the first time in Australia to rescue a person in February 2020

NB. If you have no mobile reception you are unable to contact emergency services. If planning a hiking trip you can hire an EPIRB from these locations

“Anybody have plans to stare at their phone somewhere exciting this weekend?”

Nitya Prakash

writer, a banker, a management expert, an investment consultant, software engineer, motivational speaker, media man, all rolled in one

Triple Zero Kids Challange

Could your children help you out if you needed them to call emergency services. Would they know what to do?

This is a free app to teach children how to handle emergency situations including simulations of  000 calls from a mobile phone The app has 9 different safety based scenarios that teach basic safety information

Children learn and talk through the questions they will be asked in an Emergency call.

Police, fire or ambulance.

What is your exact address? Do your children know your address? How they can identify your location if the address is unknown

What phone number are you calling from?

What is the emergency you are having?

Can you tell me exactly what is wrong.

Are there other adults who can help you?

Always stay on the phone.

Do you know if the person takes special medicine?

Can you find it?

Can you help him take it?

Stay calm and talk clearly.

Understanding unconsciousness and how to get a response are also discussed.

Users are shown how to make emergency calls if a phone is locked.

You Can Download the app here

 

Ocean Shores Country Club AED Heart Safe Communities

Ocean Shores Country Club is a Heart Safe Place with an AED onsite at their Club and Restuarant

International Paramedic College recently delivered a Lifepak CR2 AED (Automated External Defibrillator) to the Ocean Shores Country Club.

Here Ian Wills (General Manager ) Christopher Graham (Golf pro shop manager) Troy Makin (golf course management) are pictured with the Lifepak CR2 AED’s to help in the event of a cardiac arrest at the club or on the Golf Course, Swimming Pool Lawn Bowls Bistro and Function Rooms.

What a great local “big hearted” Sporting and Community Club.

Ian Willis and the team from Ocean Shores Country Club regularly complete CPR and First Aid Training courses  with International Paramedic College and wanted an AED that was easy to use as a public access device and saw the value of having an AED close at hand in an emergency at the club, in the pool on the golf course or bowling greens. “We want to support our staff members and guests and we know that heart attacks can happen anywhere and at any time”.

Ocean Shores Country Club is one of the premier Golf destinations. The course was designed in the late 1960s by the team of Bruce Devlin and Robert von Hagge. The Course has incredible sweeping views with Pacific Ocean views of Byron Bay to the east and the Koonyum Ranges to the west. The championship layout will test any golfer, particularly off the back tees.

The Golf, Lawn Bowls, Pool and club dinning facilities are exceptional and make it a great community hub for the greater Ocean Shores Mullumbimby and Byron Bay communities.

Staff from International Paramedic College provided AED awareness training and demonstrated to us how to use an AED in Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Of course we all hope we are not required to use it, but having an AED available reduces the time to first shock which improves survival rates dramatically.

Ocean Shores Country Club

Ocean Shores Country Club has 2  “Defib Machine” that can deliver a shock to the heart in event of sudden cardiac arrest. They are a little ways from Medical support from Mullumbimby or Byron so it is a great idea to help staff members and guests to the club and its fantastic facilities on the North Coast of NSW.

They purchased the Lifepak AED and a great AED cabinet which provides for easy and recognisable access to the AED for all members and visitors to the club and with training and local support from International Paramedic College.

 

Why Buy an AED?

Its a smart move being cardiac safe because the Australian Resuscitation Council says “for every minute defibrillation is delayed there is a 10% reduction in survival.” In Australia you should consider the 7 reasons why you need an AED?

 

Did you know why you might need an AED?

  • Four people under 35 suffer a sudden cardiac arrest in Australia every week.
  • Around 20,000 Australians suffer a cardiac arrest outside a hospital every year. 
  • The first 3-5 minutes after sudden cardiac arrest hold the key to survival.
  • The survival rate if you have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital is approximately 10%
  • An AED applied early can change the survival rate dramatically.

 

While you don’t need any training to use an AED but training will help reduce the time to first shock, helps you know how to put the pads on and feel like you know what you are doing. First Aid training and CPR courses will help people feel more confident in using an AED and providing CPR but this AED is designed to be simple to use and can be used by people without formal training. So our advice is don’t be scared if you need to use one on somebody.

Look at the video below to see how easy they are to use, turn them on and follow the prompts.

Why do clubs like Ocean Shores need an AED?

 

Because every bit of research shows that “

The Key To Survival in Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the “Time to First Shock.”

Having an AED in strategic places at your club gives everybody a better chance of survival in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.

We recommended the Lifepak CR2 AED to Ocean Shore Country Club because we believe it is so simple to use in an emergency, it has adult and paediatric capability and I believe it represents the best value defibrillator for their needs. It is simply the best AED on the market today.

Craig Nolan

CEO and Paramedic, International Paramedic College

Watch these vidoes to understand how simple it is to use the full automatic Lifepak CR 2 on Adults or Children in an Emergency.

Want more training in how to use an AED or find out more for your organisation?

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Our Partners

Pain Management Training Course

Pain Management Training Courses

Pain management training courses like PUAEME005 Provide pain management offer students a chance to learn about pain assessment and how to manage it with some simple analgesic drugs that are simple to use by medics and first aid responders.

Penthrox, Methoxyflurane or as it is often referred to as the “green whistle” is an analgesic or pain-relieving device used by medical practitioners, the defence forces, ambulance paramedics, sports clubs and surf lifesavers, first responders and medics and EMT’s to administer emergency pain relief in a pre-hospital situation. It is popular in remote first aid locations like mine sites and the remote mining area because it is simple, non-addictive and easy to administer pain management option, making it an excellent choice for situations where a fast-acting and uncomplicated method of pain relief is required.

Between 70% and 80% of patients presenting to Australian emergency departments report pain as their predominant complaint. Repeated studies have found that how patients express their pain and how clinicians respond to their complaints of pain are extremely variable and the overall experience is poorly perceived by both parties. To provide effective pain relief clinicians need a deep understanding of the pathology of pain and how it can be accurately assessed, as well as an understanding of the effectiveness of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods of pain relief.

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2011

Common Causes of pain in workplace situations

Abdominal pain

Back pain (acute)

Burns

Cardiac pain

Fractures

Migraine/tension headache

Pre-hospital provision of pain relief has been recognised as a key area of contemporary ambulance practice. With this in mind, clinicians should be able to accurately recognise, assess and treat patients’ pain according to individual needs. Currently QAS uses numerical scales or standardised visual tools to gauge severity of patient symptoms. Clinicians should be able to assess a patient using these tools in accordance with physiological symptoms and vital signs.

Adequate analgesia does not necessarily mandate that a patient be pain free. This goal in certain instances in unattainable in the pre-hospital environment and high-dose analgesia may produce undesirable side effects. The clinician is expected to perform frequent pain assessments during the patients’ time in care especially after the administration of analgesic medications.

PQRST Pain Assessment Method

Since pain is subjective, self-reporting through patient assessment is considered the Gold Standard and most accurate measure of pain. This  PQRST method of assessing pain is one common pre-hospital tool to assess pain prior to and subsequent to any treatment. The following is a standard type of patient assessment of pain used in pre-hospital care.

P = Provocation/Palliation

What were you doing when the pain started?

What caused it? What makes it better or worse?

Does anything make it better or worse?

Q = Quality/Quantity

What does it feel like? (Use words to describe the pain such as sharp, dull, stabbing, burning, crushing, throbbing, etc

R = Region/Radiation

Where is the pain located and does it radiate anywhere?

Does it feel like it travels/moves around?

Where did it start?

S = Severity Scale

How severe is the pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with zero being no pain and 10 being the worst pain ever?

Does it interfere with activities?

How bad is it at its worst?

Does it force you to sit down, lie down, slow down?

Did it wake you from sleep?

T = Timing

When/at what time did the pain start?

How long did it last?

Is it sudden or gradual?

What were you doing when you first experienced it?

Is it accompanied by other signs and symptoms?

Does it ever occur before, during or after meals?

 

While non-pharmacological means of pain management may not be available or feasible in a non -hospital environment. Measures such as

Cooling of burns

Splinting of fractures

Heat Therapy in stone fish stings

and of course reassurance may be effective in specific cases. An inhalation anaesthetic (methoxyflurane) may be very useful.

Ongoing or Chronic pain will require a different clinical approach to the acute pain most commonly dealt with by medics.

 

The Role of Defibrillators in Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The Role of Defibrillators in Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

People who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest often require defibrillation which is used to get the heart beating normally again.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the unexpected and abrupt loss of cardiac function, breathing, and consciousness.

There are many different causes of sudden cardiac arrest. However, the underlying mechanism is the same.

It happens when an electrical disturbance in your heart interrupts or distorts the normal pumping action, resulting in a cessation of blood flow to the body.

If you are having a cardiac arrest, it means that your heart is beating out of the normal rythm. Sometimes it ceases to beat and just quivers.

In this state, death can occur if treatment is not commenced immediately.

Sudden cardiac arrest without intervention is reported to kill 9 out of 10 patients affected.

With effective administration of defibrillation, survival rates increase up to 300%.

“So I take a deep breath.
Step forward.
Let go.

10 seconds and I’m trying to breathe
9
And I’m trying to be brave
8
But the truth is I’m scared out of my mind
7
And I have no idea what’s waiting for me behind that door
6
And I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a heart attack
5
But I can’t turn back now
4
Because there it is
3
The door is right in front of me
2
All I have to do is knock
1
But the door flies open first.”

Tahereh Mafi Unravel Me

How does defibrillation work?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is needed after a sudden cardiac arrest and is more effectively achieved using a defibrillator rather than just chest compressions which may not achieve the desired results if not properly done.

Defibrillators are devices that work by delivering an electric shock to the heart which stops the disordered heartbeat momentarily, allowing it to resume with the normal rhythm.

They send a desired therapeutic dose of electric current to the heart through the chest wall, stimulating the heart muscles simultaneously and provoking the return of sinus rhythm (the normal heart rhythm).

There are different kinds of defibrillators. The automated external defibrillators (AED) is just one of them.

Unlike the manual variety, they are less complex and easier to understand and use by non health professionals.

They are programmed to recognise abnormal heart rhythms and only send shocks when they are needed, so if you are looking to buy a defibrillator, you do not have to worry about shocking a person who may not require it.

How much of a shock is required?

According to the American heart association, energy requirements for defibrillation can range from 50 to 360 joules.

Two major factors determine the level of energy needed:

  • The cause of sudden cardiac arrest

Lower energy is required for causes such as atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter while higher energy is required for causes like ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation.

  • The type of device, whether monophasic or biphasic.

Monophasic defibrillators deliver electric charges in one direction only, while biphasic ones deliver the first half of the shock in one direction, and the second half in the opposite direction. The latter deliver more stable magnitudes of current, and are generally more effective at lower energies than the former.

These are useful guides when you want to buy a defibrillator.

Why 360 joules defibrillators are better?

Even though many patients will require a single shock dose for recovery, a good number are difficult to defibrillate and therefore will need multiple shocks before they recover.

For these patients who require multiple shocks, research has shown that when lower energy shocks are not effective, the only way to increase the effectiveness of treatment is to increase the energy.

When it comes to defibrillation, energy is more important than current, and not all patients respond to energy levels up to 200 joules.

The highest available energy deliverable and approved by the American heart association is 360 joules.

The Australian Resuscitation Council recommends that escalating energy to 360 joules be used in cases where the first shock is not successful and the device is capable of delivering electric shocks of higher energy.

So far, there is no established downside to using 360 joules of energy for patients who qualify for it and very good reasons to do so.

Only 2 AED’s on the Australian Market support up to 360 Joules

 

How effective and beneficial are Automated External Defibrillators?

When a cardiac arrest occurs, every minute counts.

The chances of survival reduces by 10% for every minute that the patient has an abnormal heart rhythm.

No matter how fast and efficient an emergency medical response is, it can never be as fast as a bystander who has access to a defibrillator.

This is why many public places such as gyms, schools, shopping malls, airports, etc are stocking up on AEDs.

This is also why it is prudent to buy a defibrillator as it helps to save costs in the long run.

According to the American heart association, survival from sudden cardiac arrest was doubled when bystanders intervened using publicly provided AEDs instead of waiting for emergency response.

In Australia, the Australian Hearts Campaign is pushing an agenda for the state and federal governments to make AEDs and training on how to use them correctly compulsory in every workplace just like it is for first aid kits and fire extinguishers.

According to their statistics:

  • About 30,000 Australians suffer a sudden cardiac arrest out-of-hospital yearly and a majority of them will not survive it.
  • Each minute that goes by without cardio pulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation reduces the survival chances of the individual by about 10%.
  • It takes an ambulance about 8 to 12 minutes on the average to get to a victim of sudden cardiac arrest, resulting in a survival rate of only 1 in 4 victims (for witnessed shockable rhythms).
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation administered within 3 minutes of an episode of sudden cardiac arrest results in the survival of up to 3 out of every 4 victims.

 

References:

This article is based on information from references provided:

References

  1. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/80564-overview#a6
  2. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.648204
  3. https://www.strykeremergencycare.com/learn-and-train/clinical-technology-insights/defibrillation/
  4. https://aedauthority.com.au/category/defibrillators/
  5. http://heartsafeusa.com/physio-control/files/360J-Brochure.pdf
  6. https://www.australianhearts.com/2020
  7. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180226085812.htm

Emergency First Aid for Heatstroke and Hyperthermia in Australia

Recent coroners findings in a case in Western Australia have lead to the recommendation that all registered training organizations like International Paramedic College who provide the nationally accredited course Provide First Aid HLTAID003 consider and, if appropriate, incorporate the principles in Professor Rogers’ guide into the knowledge content of the training they deliver with respect to providing first aid for hyperthermia.

Just to give you some background

On the 6 February 2019 the Inquest into the Death of Torran Jake THOMAS by Coroner King found a 15 year old young man was playing Rugby League on a warm summers evening at the time of his death. He was overcome with heat stroke at the scene and was provided with first aid prior to transport by ambulance to hospital where he died from multi-organ failure.

Among other things the quality of the first aid administered and the general training in hyperthermia came under review.

Amongst his findings and recommendations the Coroner found that “had the persons who initially provided first aid to the deceased been trained to readily recognise and appropriately treat heat stroke in line with recent developments in this area, the deceased may have survived” and that “agencies who train first aiders to deal with heat-related illness consider changing the content of the training accordingly”(Coroner’s Court of Western Australia).

Heat stoke has an extremely high mortality rate. This can be reduced dramatically by early recognition and aggresive treatment. Some 3332 deaths have been attrbuted to heat stroke in the USA in a four year period from 2006.

Craig Nolan

Intensive Care Paramedic, International Paramedic College

Heat stroke advice for sports trainers and coaches
(From guidance provided by Professor Ian Rogers to the Coroner of Western Australia)

The guidance given by Professor Ian Rodgers to the coroner was recommended for inclusion in the training Registered Training Organisations give in First Aid. As an RTO, we have reproduced this guidance for the information of our students.

Background

Heat stroke is an uncommon but life-threatening complication of grossly elevated body temperature with exercise in heat stressed settings. Whilst heat stroke risk can be minimised by the use of predictive tools (e.g. Sports Medicine Australia’s UV Illness and Heat Guide), the risk cannot be fully eliminated.

Risk is highest with: high temperatures and/or high humidity and/or vigorous activity.

Symptoms and signs

In a heat stressed setting always suspect heat stroke if an athlete becomes acutely unwell or collapses, especially if they don’t recover promptly on lying flat with the legs elevated. Whilst there are many possible causes of such an acute illness or collapse, heat stroke is one of the most important.

The first signs of heat stroke show in the function of the brain and the nervous system.

Look for any of the following: confusion, incoherent speech, abnormal walking, coma or seizures.

The athlete’s skin may feel dry and hot, or sweaty—so the feel of the skin is not a useful sign. Similarly, on-field temperature measurement is unreliable, so don’t use this to rule in or rule out heat stroke.

First aid

If an ill athlete in a heat-stressed setting hasn’t rapidly responded to lying flat in the shade, there is no downside to assuming heat stroke is the problem and starting first aid.

Early recognition and rapid first aid cooling are the keys to recovery from heat stroke.

Actions to take in this order are:

  • STRIP the athlete of as much clothing as possible
  • SOAK with any available water
  • FAN vigorously by whatever means possible—improvise e.g. use a clipboard, bin lid.

When available, cool or ice water immersion is the most effective cooling means possible:

  • IMMERSE the athlete up to the neck in a cool or ice bath OR
  • COVER all of the body with ice water soaked towels that are changed frequently as an alternative if a bath isn’t available but ice is
  • CALL 000 to summon emergency services, but do so once you are certain first aid cooling is being implemented.

Remember it is early recognition and appropriate first aid that is critical to save a life with a casualty suffering heat stroke.

With summer quickly drawing closer, International Paramedic College believes it is timely for us all to review our treatment of heat related illness. Please contact us if we can answer any questions you may have.

The best first aid training should include these recommendations and we should take a moment to reflect and consider that what we are learning in a first aid course can make a valuable diifference, You can have compliance and competence in people trained in first aid. Quality training is contextualized to your workplace with lots of practical scenarios to build skill and confidence in handling a range of first aid scenarios, including heat related illness. Here at International Paramedic College, we take great pride in delivery of quality first aid training which is relevant to the workplace, sporting fields and home. Our reviews speak volumes on our content and unique perspective!

 

References:

This article is based on infromation from referances provided:

  1. Coroner’s Court of Western Australia. Inquest into the Death of Torran Jake THOMAS Delivered on  6 February 2019 retrived from https://www.coronerscourt.wa.gov.au/I/inquest_into_the_death_of_torran_jake_thomas.aspx 09/10/2019
  2. Australia Government Skills Authority:Two important notices for all RTOs delivering first aid related units of competency 18th April 2019 retrieved from https://www.asqa.gov.au/news-publications/news/two-important-notices-all-rtos-delivering-first-aid-related-units-competency 09/10/2019
  3. Journal of Intensive Care: Hifumi, T., Kondo, Y., Shimizu, K., & Miyake, Y. (2018). Heat stroke. Journal of intensive care, 6, 30. doi:10.1186/s40560-018-0298-4.