Protective Equipment

Prevention of disease transmission is a very important topic in today’s first aid and medical field. In the 1960’s and 70’s participants enrolled in first aid and CPR courses had to participate in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on other candidates in the course. In the past 50 years, with the inclusion of prevention of disease prevention, practising and applying CPR has changed drastically. A key component to a CPR and first aid course is that participants have to demonstrate the use of universal precautions for the prevention of disease transmission. Candidates must demonstrate skills and knowledge in using barrier devices, hand washing and donning and removing gloves.

Participants in standard first aid training will learn the following components of personal protective equipment:

  • Candidates will learn to understand the appropriate use of universal precautions in first aid situations.
  • Candidates must demonstrate safe donning and removal of medical gloves.
  • Candidates must demonstrate an effective seal with a rescue breathing barrier device on a manikin.

Standard first aid course participants will:

  • Discuss the risks of disease transmission and how rescuers can protect themselves.
  • Learn to use barrier devices such as gloves, pocket masks or other rescue breathing devices.
  • Learn to put on and remove gloves and the importance of washing hands before and after treatment.
  • Have the opportunity to practise using barrier devices and how to dispose of contaminated equipment according to local regulations, policies and procedures.

It is important for candidates to have a strong understanding on how to protect themselves especially when the possibility of disease transmission through bodily fluids exists. Prior to helping any victim, the rescuer must make sure the environment is safe for the rescuer. Candidates should also have a strong understanding on what to do after a first aid scenario including bodily fluids has been dealt with. All these components of disease transmission are included in standard first aid training.

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