Dirty First Aid – Part 3 now, and it’s not all that down and dirty. It will come trust me on that.

Dirty First Aid - Part 3

We have in the last two pieces looked at a conscious casualty – we didn’t discuss some things, as this series is not an excuse for not taking a course.

Now lets move on to an unconscious casualty.

With an unconscious casualty your priorities are:

1) Open Airway
2) Maintain Blood Circulation
3) To Breath For Them

It is now very important to follow a chain of survival:

1) Get help, so an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and specialists can be brought
2) Early CPR – breaths and compressions
3) Early AED
4) Specialist advanced care

We have all seen Vinny and friends although think of any song – needs to be around 104 bpm – that’s pretty dirty #lifehack style first aid.

Obviously with our kayaker casualty it’s more than wise to get that PFD off – it’s really a must, cut the bugger, strip it down. You need to be on dry land. If you are in a dip, perhaps a gorge, or behind a large rock and need to keep a look out for the rescue services or helpers why kneel down. Stand up, get the heel of your foot in the correct place (where you would put your hands) and pump away. It will give you visibility for the rescue folks, you can see them, they can see you.

Hey Bean almost nails it doesn’t he?

Only joking!

This style is known as Chest Compression only CPR. Advice – it’s not a replacement for CPR training, but a simple technique if you have not had formal training.

Keep the rhythm constant – it’s designed for your comfort, to keep your stamina – you could be doing it for some time. Like Pringles ‘once you pop you cannot stop’. We will not be showing full CPR or AED in this series.


In the next article we will be getting down to what I would call dirty hacks. Making First Aid accessible without a huge kit.



Old man river Darren Clarkson-King (DAZ) will be supplying a series of ‘Dirty First Aid’ articles for river runners.

Darren offers in-house training in the Himalaya and is a consultant for Nepal Association of Rafting Agents (NARA) making a blue print for an Industry standard.

He also paddles a bit.