The Golden Hour
There’s a term used by the emergency services to refer to the moments after a traumatic injury has occurred called the Golden Hour, or Golden Time. The phrase was coined by R Adams Cowley of Baltimore’s renowned Shock Trauma Institute. In a 1975 article he stated that “the first hour after injury will largely determine a critically injured person’s chances for survival.”
Now, while validity of this statement remains somewhat controversial (for some patients, the Golden ‘Hour’ may only be ‘minutes’), the idea that appropriate care in the moments after an injury or trauma can reduce the impact of that injury should be seen as pretty obvious. And this is where a knowledge of Basic First Aid comes in. If, in the minutes before the emergency services arrive, you are able to effectively cover an open wound, lay someone in the Recovery Position, or even just keep them warm, you will be helping to improve their chances of recovery.
For those working in Social Care, First Aid knowledge is an essential part of your skillset and should be constantly refreshed and updated. As our understanding of the human body improves, techniques and treatment processes change and old knowledge becomes outdated. For example, new technology such as easier-to-use defibrillators and more effective wound coverings require fresh training.
Even where the injury isn’t life-threatening, First Aid knowledge can be of great help. You don’t need to be working in a particular industry or environment to be able to put it to good use. Cuts, grazes, fainting, sprains, broken bones, minor burns, these are all unfortunately, common occurrences in the home.
One other benefit from a First Aid course is that you also learn something about your own body. By learning how to treat certain injuries you discover how your body reacts to things like heat or cold, or how elevating the legs can ease the pressure on a heart under strain.