Archive for October, 2008

Have a think about the NSW coroner’s recommendations after a tragic and avoidable drowning death of a schoolgirl.

To allow for the risk assessment of child’s swimming ability – does your permission form clearly indicate that a child can swim?

Formal recommendations:
1.) for primary school students to be given colour-coded wristbands denoting their swimming ability before arriving at pool-based events.
2.) for a standard ratio of one lifeguard to every 50 school students for unstructured school swimming events.

I particularly like the wrist band idea, as it is quick visual check on swimming competency; BUT what if children swap wristbands? They would need to be a non-swappable item like a one-use concert ticket wrist band.


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As you may be aware some Groups and Individuals have the older style Emergency Position Indicating Beacons (EPIRBs) and these have provided an important part in the planning of emergency procedures for activities. Unfortunately the system of Satellites that supported the older EPIRBs is due for decommissioning in February 2009.

The Scout Radio & Electronics Service Unit (SRESU) has arranged an information night on the replacement system and the options that Scouting People may consider. The main focus is on Personal Location Beacons (PLB’s) and Emergency Communications for Scouting.

Both Scouting and Non Scouting people are welcome to attend on Friday 14th November 2008 @ 7.30pm.
The Location of this presentation will be Victorian Branch Scout HQ. Mt Waverley.

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CPR to the beat

Planning a First Aid practice night? Perhaps you should also bring along your sound system to have a CPR soundtrack playing to assist with the compression timing;

Researchers claim that the Bee Gees 1977 tune “Stayin’ Alive” is a great track to pace yourself when doing CPR. The song’s tempo is 103 beats per minute, very close to the 100 chest compressions per minute recommended by the American Heart Association. For the last two years, the AHA has been suggesting trainees practice to the song. [1]

But Nadkarni said he has seen “Stayin’ Alive” work wonders in classes where students were having trouble keeping the right beat while practicing on mannequins. When he turned on the song, “all of a sudden, within just a few seconds, they get it right on the dot.”
“I don’t know how the Bee Gees knew this,” Nadkarni said. “They probably didn’t. But they just hit upon this natural rhythm that was very catchy, very popular, that helps us do the right thing.”
… [2]

What other 100bpm tracks do you think could be appropriate for CPR training? Some tracks may be more appropriate than others 😉

Studies have shown the importance of immediate CPR followed by defibrillation within 3–5 minutes of sudden VF cardiac arrest improve survival. In cities such as Seattle where CPR training is widespread and defibrillation by EMS personnel follows quickly, the survival rate is about 30 percent. In cities such as New York City, without those advantages, the survival rate is only 1-2 percent. [4]

[1] Disco for CPR (2008-October-17) [BoingBoing]
[2] ‘Stayin’ Alive’ has near-perfect rhythm to help jump-start heart (2008-Oct-17) [CNN]
[3] WFR CPR “Another One Bites The Dust” (2008-Aug-28) [YouTube]
[4] Cardiopulmonary resuscitation [Wikipedia]

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