Ice and Injuries; How and How Long?
You already know that first aid guidelines include applying ice to an injured body part, such as a bone, joint or muscle injury. However, what type of ice is best? And how long should ice be applied? Here are some facts to remember when applying ice to an injury:
Ice from frozen water is best: Several studies show that crushed ice, shaved ice and ice cubes are the most effective at cooling the body. Instant ice packs are not as effective at cooling the body, and often do not last as long.
Be careful with instant ice packs: The temperature of instant ice packs, which become cold via a chemical reaction, can vary greatly. Some instant ice packs can become too cold initially, which can damage the skin. Others may not become cold enough, or stay cold long enough to have a meaningful effect on an injury.
Use a wet barrier: If a barrier is used between the skin and ice, it should be wet. This helps the cold application penetrate deeper into body tissue.
Do not ice continuously: NSC First Aid programs recommend icing an injured body part for 20 minutes (or 10 minutes if it produces discomfort), remove for 30 minutes, then reapply. The "more is better" approach should not be used when icing an injury. Continuous icing can potentially cause tissue and nerve damage, and some studies show that it may actually have the reverse effect by increasing swelling.
Did you know your body is constantly in a struggle to disperse the heat it produces? Most of the time, you're hardly aware of it – unless your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle.
In 2014, 244 people died in the U.S. from exposure to excessive heat, according to
Injury Facts 2017. Heat-related illnesses can escalate rapidly, leading to delirium, organ damage and even death.
several heat-related illnesses, including heatstroke (the most severe), heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Those most at risk include:
Infants and young children
- Elderly people
- Individuals with heart or circulatory problems or other long-term illness
- People who work outdoors
- Athletes and people who like to exercise – especially beginners
- Individuals taking medications that alter sweat production
- Alcoholics and drug abusers
Heatstroke can occur when the ability to sweat fails and body temperature rises quickly. The brain and vital organs are effectively "cooked" as body temperature rises to a dangerous level in a matter of minutes. Heatstroke is often fatal, and those who do survive may have permanent damage to their organs.
Someone experiencing heatstroke will have extremely hot skin, and an altered mental state, ranging from slight confusion to coma. Seizures also can result. Ridding the body of excess heat is crucial for survival.
- Move the person into a half-sitting position in the shade
- Call for emergency medical help immediately
- If humidity is below 75%, spray the victim with water and fan them vigorously; if humidity is above 75%, apply ice to neck, armpits or groin
- Do not give aspirin or acetaminophen
- Do not give the victim anything to drink
When the body loses an excessive amount of salt and water, heat exhaustion can set in. People who work outdoors and athletes are particularly susceptible.
Symptoms are similar to those of the flu and can include severe thirst, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms include profuse sweating, clammy or pale skin, dizziness, rapid pulse and normal or slightly elevated body temperature.
Uncontrolled heat exhaustion can evolve into heatstroke, so make sure to treat the victim quickly.
- Move them to a shaded or air-conditioned area
- Give them water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages
- Apply wet towels or having them take a cool shower
Heat cramps are muscle spasms that usually affect the legs or abdominal muscles, often after physical activity. Excessive sweating reduces salt levels in the body, which can result in heat cramps.
Workers or athletes with pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs should not return to work for a few hours. Instead:
- Sit or lie down in the shade
- Drink cool water or a sports drink
- Stretch affected muscles
- Seek medical attention if you have heart problems or if the cramps don't get better in an hour
The best way to avoid a heat-related illness is to limit exposure outdoors during hot days. Air conditioning is the best way to cool off, according to the CDC. Also:
- Drink more liquid than you think you need and avoid alcohol
- Wear loose, lightweight clothing and a hat
- Replace salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks
- Avoid spending time outdoors during the hottest part of the day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Wear sunscreen; sunburn affects the body's ability to cool itself
- Pace yourself when you run or otherwise exert your body
Don't Miss the World's Largest Annual Safety Event
The NSC Congress & Expo is the largest annual must-attend event for safety, health and environmental professionals. Come see firsthand why so many professionals have turned to this event for high quality educational opportunities, industry-leading technology and networking opportunities.
Learn more, and then
register to attend the 2017 NSC Congress & Expo, Sept. 25-27 in Indianapolis.
Register by Aug. 18 and save!
Minor Content Change for Spinal Injuries
Instructors should be aware of a minor change across all programs regarding risk factors that may cause rescuers to suspect a spinal injury. Previously, program materials identified "victims 65 or older," and "children over the age of 2 with trauma to the head or neck" as potential triggers to suspect spinal injury. These two statements have been removed. The rationale behind this change is that rescuers providing care to any victim with trauma to the head and/or neck should suspect a possible spine injury.
Technical Bulletin for Instructors on Epinephrine
In an attempt to reduce injury and infection when administering epinephrine to victims suffering from a severe allergic reaction, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated patient instructions for the use of epinephrine auto-injectors. Specifically, these updated instructions, which were issued in February 2017, include the following recommendations:
- The amount of time for administration of epinephrine using an auto-injector should be reduced from 10 seconds to 3 seconds (or per manufacturer instructions)
- Rescuers should hold the victim's leg to limit movement during administration of epinephrine, especially in children
This information will be included in future updates to all NSC First Aid programs. In the interim, instructors are advised to include this updated information whenever covering epinephrine administration using an auto-injector in NSC First Aid courses.
Complete and updated patient information
can be found here.
Why Choose NSC First Aid Training?
The National Safety Council has a proven history of First Aid education. For decades, NSC has helped organizations prepare their employees for emergency situations.
NSC offers comprehensive training materials for instructors and employees that leverage some of the most advanced teaching tools. They help ensure your employees know what to do – and what not to do – in case of a medical emergency. That can literally save lives. See how our programs stack up.
Free NSC Emergency Medical Response App
The NSC Emergency Medical Response Quick Reference Guide is a vital reference tool. NSC is excited to offer a portable digital version of the guide. It contains the same need-to-know content as the traditional guide, but in a convenient, always with you, electronic format. It's FREE and can help you save a life.
The app is now available from the App Store and Google Pay. Launch Google Play or the App Store and search on "National Safety Council" to find and install the app.
Introducing the NEW Instructor Resource Center!
We are excited to announce that the Instructor Resource Center has been redesigned and is now live! The new center is packed full of vital information to help you conduct your trainings. You can
access the new resource center here.
Save the World – One Person at a Time
When it comes to saving lives, some of our instructors take their jobs very seriously. NSC recently needed an instructor to deliver an Advanced First Aid class in Indianapolis.
NSC training Coordinator Stacey Delaney, at a loss for an instructor qualified to teach a class that was within close proximity to our client, reached out to veteran instructor Jeffrey Gladney to determine if he might be qualified. Mr. Gladney responded immediately to let us know that he had received the necessary training in the military as well as taken additional EMT classes as a civilian. We appreciate his willingness to submit all of his credentials in a timely fashion allowing us to deliver the classes to our client according to their preferred schedule.
Jeffrey Gladney is an Instructor in Indianapolis. With more than 21 years of experience in CPR, first aid and preventive disease transmission instruction, he has developed into one of the premier teachers in the Midwest. As an EMT in Kentucky and Indiana, and medical experience in the U.S. Army (91A medical specialist and supervisor of immunization at Fort Campbell, KY), the desire for saving lives has become his passion that drives each class. His motto is to "Save the world – one person at time."
Remove the Threat of Zika Virus
Mosquitoes long have been taking a bite out of warm weather fun. Now, that bite carries with it the danger of Zika virus, West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses.
Zika is transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes, aggressive biters that can strike during the day and at night. It has appeared in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, as well as Central and South America, Mexico and the continental United States. In 2016,
mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus was reported in Miami-Dade County, FL, and Cameron County, TX, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Anyone who lives in or travels to an area with Zika and has not already been infected can get the disease. Many people won't show any symptoms, said CDC Deputy Incident Manager Satish Pillai during a
webinar hosted by the National Safety Council.
Others will have mild symptoms, including fever, rash, conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) and muscle pain or headache lasting two to seven days, that can be treated with rest, fluids and acetaminophen, according to the World Health Organization.
Scientific consensus is that Zika causes microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. In infants, a small head due to abnormal brain development is the defining characteristic of microcephaly. Guillain-Barré, characterized by the body's immune system attacking the peripheral nervous system, typically affects adults and can result in paralysis.
Learn more about Zika and ways to protect yourself at work and at home.
New OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool App Released
The new app, available for both
iPhone, is a collaborative effort between OSHA and NIOSH to update the OSHA Heat Safety Tool. Since its launch in 2011, more than 450,000 users have downloaded the OSHA Heat Safety Tool. With the release of the co-branded version, which provides a new and refreshed interface, both agencies expect to reach even more users.
For more information, see the NIOSH Science Blog post:
Heat Index: When humidity makes it feel hotter.
ECCU 2017 is Dec. 5-8 in New Orleans
ECCU 2017 will be held Dec. 5-8, 2017, in New Orleans. The theme is,
"Save More Lives through High-Quality CPR, Implementation, and Collaboration. A Call to Action…and All that Jazz!"
New in 2017!
Workplace track with dynamic sessions including:
- CPR and AED's: Surviving Cardiac Arrest in the Workplace
- How to Build a Medical Emergency Response Plan and a Fully Functioning response Team
- What We've Learned about Corporate and Public Access CPR/AED Response
The primary objective of ECCU 2017 is to provide a forum for the exchange of information on innovations, developments and trends in CPR and AED programs. Be part of this call to action and join us at ECCU 2017.
- With more than 80 sessions and 150 speakers, hear about the latest science for treating sudden cardiac arrest, and learn about cutting edge strategies for education, program implementation and quality improvement from world-renowned experts
- Attend engaging and practical pre-conference workshops scheduled for Dec. 4-5
- Meet with exhibitors and see the latest in resuscitation technology at the opening erception and throughout the conference
- Communities and representatives are invited to
submit an entry to win a PulsePoint Respond Implementation System valued at more than $20,000
- Create a worldwide network with faculty and colleagues
- Participate with survivors in the CPR Saves Lives March – New Orleans style
- Join 1,000 in beautiful New Orleans, the city known as the birthplace of jazz
Do You Know a First Aid Hero?
We are proud of our instructors and the important work you do. If you know of anyone who has a first aid story they would like to share please direct them to NSC.org/fahero to submit their story. Below is a recently submitted story.
Quick Actions, Effective Training Make a Difference
On May 26, 2017, an employee at Phillips-Medisize was eating lunch when some food became lodged in her throat. Realizing that she was choking, the individual tried to drink some water but it didn't dislodge the food. One of the individual's coworkers, Mike Howard, was near the breakroom and heard someone choking. Mike rushed to the breakroom and was able to perform the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the food.
Phillips-Medisize offers NSC First-Aid training to our employees and if it wasn't for Mike's quick actions and NSC First Aid training, his fellow coworker may not be here today.
Safety, Health and Environmental Intern
Recently Launched NSC Courses
NSC launched the
world's first Chinese version of NSC First Aid, CPR and AED course. The interactive course is in line with the latest global CPR and emergency care guidelines, taking into account the unique workplace needs of China, and making the NSC first aid course for the Chinese market.
The new curriculum brings the NSC mission of promoting occupational safety training to China, which contributes to reducing the damage caused by accidents in our working people and their families. We are proud to offer this product and extend our reach in first aid training to another part of the world.
NSC Bloodborne and Airborne Pathogens recently gained a new look. The program focuses on the fundamentals of bloodborne pathogens training, essential information on hepatitis viruses and HIV, and how to prevent infection from these pathogens. It also gives key facts about airborne pathogens, including tuberculosis, making it the only program that exceeds regulatory standards. The program is available as a classroom or online course.
NSC Emergency Medical Response program offers
the most authoritative first aid training on the market and we are working to make sure it is the best training available to our instructors.
In addition to the curriculum changes to the programs we are taking this opportunity to update the design and layout to better suit our instructors' needs. Students receive a copy of our Quick Reference Guide which is also available as a FREE mobile app – putting reference materials in the responder's hands at the scene. We are excited about the changes and know you will be too! Learn more.
Meet NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman
Deborah Hersman is president and CEO of the National Safety Council. She is a recognized leader in safety, with a frontline understanding of the value of protecting human life and a vision of eliminating preventable deaths in our lifetime at work, in our homes and communities, and on the road.
She served as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board from 2009-2014. She was an NTSB board member on-scene for more than 20 major transportation incidents, chaired scores of NTSB hearings, forums and events, and regularly testified before Congress.
Ms. Hersman was a senior advisor to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and before that served as a congressional staffer. She holds bachelor of arts degrees in political science and international studies from Virginia Tech and a master of science degree in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University.