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St John Ambulance Norfolk Island Division


First Aid Training & Community First Aid Classes

Please email all enquiries to stjohn@ninet.nf

Skill Drill

The next Skill Drill will be held on Tuesday 10 July at the St John shed on Grassy Road. Please join us from 630pm for a 7pm training start. New members are always welcome. 


Volunteers Needed

Please email your expression of interest to volunteer with this important community organisation to stjohn@ninet.nf


St John Tips: Burns and Scalds

Burn injuries are extremely painful. Risk of infection is high because the outer layer of skin is damaged. Although they do not bleed, burn injuries result in fluid loss, loss of temperature control, and can damage underlying layers of tissues and nerves. 

If sustained in a confined space, burns may damage the respiratory system and eyes.  The casualty may go into shock as a result of fluid loss. 

As well as the obvious physical damage, burns may cause psychological damage as they can be disfiguring and disabling with an altered body image. 

Burns are primarily caused by scalding from hot liquid or flames and contact with hot objects, but can also be caused by extreme cold, chemicals, electricity, or the sun and other forms of radiation.  Even after the source of the heat has been removed, further damage occurs because soft tissue retains heat for minutes afterwards. 


Cooling the burnt area and preventing infection are the first aider's major objectives.  In some cases, the first aider will also have to monitor the casualty and treat for respiratory distress, cardiac arrest, or shock. 


Types of Burns


Superficial Burns:

In a superficial burn, only the top layer of the skin is damaged.  A common example is radiation by ultraviolet light producing sunburn.  If severe, some fluid may leak into the epidermis causing swelling and blistering. 

Superficial partial thickness burns: 

Occur when the upper layers of the dermis are injured, resulting in leakage of fluid into the tissues, producing blistering.  These burns are commonly caused by brief exposure to flame or spill scalds of 50-70 degrees. The area is red, very painful and blistered with copious tissue fluids. 


Deep partial thickness burns:

Involve the epidermis and much of the dermis.  They are caused by scalds of longer duration or temperature of more than 70 degrees, or exposure to flame.  The area is mottled red and white, dark red or pale yellow, painful, blistered with a moist surface if the blister has broken. 


Full thickness burns:

Involve the epidermis, the entire dermis and may include deeper structures of fat, muscles and tendons.  They may be caused by flame burns, contact with hot metal, immersion scalds, strong chemicals or electricity.  The area is white or charred and feels dry and leathery.  Because the nerves are destroyed, the pain will not be as great in the full thickness burn with pain at the less burned margins.  


General principles for managing burns

1. Follow DRSABCD.

2. Cool the burnt area.

3. Cover burn either with a non-adherent burns dressing, plastic wrap, wet clean dressing or loosely applied aluminium foil. 

4. Prevent infection by covering the burn wound. 

5. Minimise shock by reassurance. 

DO NOT apply lotions, ointments or oily dressings.

DO NOT prick or break blisters.

DO NOT give alcohol.

DO NOT overcool casualty.

DO NOT use towels, cottonwool, blankets or adhesive dressings directly on wound.

DO NOT remove clothing stuck to burnt area. 

Please 'contact us' for more information.

St John Ambulance Report


First Aid Training & Community First Aid Classes

Please email all enquiries regarding first aid courses to stjohn@ninet.nf


Volunteers Needed

If you are over 18 and either hold a First Aid Certificate or are able to obtain one, please email your expression of interest to volunteer with this important community organisation to stjohn@ninet.nf

St John Tips:  Major Wounds


Embedded Object

When a foreign object such as a knife, glass, branch or stick is embedded in the wound and has penetrated into tissue:

- DO NOT try to remove the object as it may be plugging the wound and restricting bleeding.  Removing it may result in severe bleeding or may damage deep structures.

- DO NOT exert any pressure over the object

- DO NOT try to cut the end of the object unless its size makes it unmanageable. 


Management of an Embedded Object:

1. Control bleeding by applying pressure to surrounding areas, but not on the foreign object.

2. Place padding around the object or place a ring pad over the object and a bandage over the padding. 

3. If the length of the object causes it to protrude outside the pad, take care to bandage only each side of the object. 

4. Seek medical aid or call 000 for an ambulance. 


Puncture Wounds

Puncture wounds are serious and may occur when a knife, or high velocity object such as a nail gun, has penetrated the skin. The penetration may be deep and infection will occur.  


There may be a wound where the object has left the body and this must also be treated. 


Management of Puncture Wounds:

1. Control bleeding - apply direct pressure around the wound.

2. Keep the wound as clean as possible. 

3. Cut away or remove clothing covering the wound.

4. If the wound is not bleeding, carefully clean around the wound. 

5. DO NOT try to pick out foreign material embedded in the wound. Also check for an exit wound from a puncture wound. 

6. Apply a sterile or clean dressing. 

7. Rest the injured part in a comfortable position. 

8. Seek medical air or call 000 for an ambulance.  

Please 'contact us' for more information.

St John Ambulance Report


First Aid Training & Community First Aid Classes

Please email all enquiries regarding first aid courses to stjohn@ninet.nf


Volunteers Needed

If you are over 18 and either hold a First Aid Certificate or are able to obtain one, please email your expression of interest to volunteer with this important community organisation to stjohn@ninet.nf


St John Tips:  Crush Injuries

A crush injury results when something large and heavy strikes or falls on a person.  There are a number of situations in which this may occur, for example, at a traffic accident or on a building site.  


Crush injuries are often very serious, because the damage may cause:

- internal bleeding

- fractured bones

- ruptured organs

- impaired blood supply


If the casualty is trapped for any length of time, there is the risk of complications such as extensive tissue damage and shock, as well as the release of toxic substances into the circulation which may lead later to acute kidney failure.  This takes a number of hours to build up, therefore the urgent removal of the object is a priority.  After calling for an ambulance, the first aider should do whatever else is possible for the casualty.  


Management of crush injuries

1. Follow DRSABCD

2. Call 000 for an ambulance

3. Ensure your own safety 

4. If safe, remove the crushing object as soon as possible

5. Control bleeding

6. Manage other injuries

7. Comfort and reassure the casualty

A haematoma is caused by a sharp, blunt blow which does not break the skin, but causes internal damage to blood vessels.  This results in the accumulation of a quantity of blood at the site.  


Signs and Symptoms: 

- severe pain

- area turning dark blue or red

- rapid and severe swelling

- loss of mobility of the area

A haematoma can be quite dangerous as it may conceal underlying injuries. 


Management of a haematoma

1. Follow DRSABCD

2. Apply RICE management:

    - rest the casualty and the injured part

    - apply icepacks (cold compress) wrapped in a wet cloth to the injury for 15 minutes every 2 hours for 24 hours, then for 15 minutes every 4 hours for 24 hours. 

    - apply a compression bandage such as an elastic bandage firmly to extend well beyond the injury

    - elevate the injured part

3. Seek medical help

Please 'contact us' for more information.

St John Ambulance Report


First Aid Training & Community First Aid Classes

Please email all enquiries regarding first aid courses to stjohn@ninet.nf


Volunteers Needed

If you are over 18 and either hold a First Aid Certificate or are able to obtain one, please email your expression of interest to volunteer with this important community organisation to stjohn@ninet.nf


St John Tips:  Abdominal Sporting Injuries

Abdominal injuries are rare in sport, but are often unrecognised or poorly treated.  Such injuries can be caused by blows to the abdomen (e.g. rugby tackles) or from an object at high speed (e.g surfboard or cycling injuries).  

There is the potential for life-threatening internal bleeding, as the vital organs (spleen, liver, kidneys and intestines) can be ruptured by heavy blows.  Casualties may comment on passing dark or blood-stained urine in cases of kidney or bladder trauma.  


Management of Abdominal Injuries: 

1. Follow DRSABCD **

2. Check for signs of internal bleeding. 

    - pain

    - tenderness

    - rigidity of abdominal muscles

    - distension or swelling

    - other signs of blood loss, especially pallor, sweating, faintness or thirst. 


Note: Internal bleeding may be accompanied by any of the signs and symptoms of major bleeding.  Cardiac arrest can occur if enough blood is lost. 

3. If abdominal pain continues, seek medical aid immediately. 

4. Do not allow the casualty food or drink if pain continues or if there are signs of internal bleeding.  


** Contact St John Ambulance, Norfolk Island to sign up for a first aid course to learn DRSABCD.  The life you help save with these essential skills could be that of a loved one. 

Please 'contact us' for more information.

St John Ambulance Report


First Aid Training & Community First Aid Classes

Please email all enquiries regarding first aid courses to stjohn@ninet.nf


Skill Drill

The next Skill Drill will be held on Tuesday 22 May at the St John shed on Grassy Road. Please join us from 630pm for a 7pm training start. New members are always welcome. 


Volunteers Needed

If you are over 18 and either hold a First Aid Certificate or are able to obtain one, please email your expression of interest to volunteer with this important community organisation to stjohn@ninet.nf


St John Tips:  Internal Bleeding

Internal bleeding occurs when blood escapes from arteries, veins or capillaries into tissues or cavities in the body.  Although capillary bleeding (indicated by mild bruising) is not serious, deeper bleeding involving veins and arteries may result in severe blood loss.  


Severe internal bleeding usually results from injuries caused by a violent blunt force (such as a fall from a great height).  It can also occur when an object penetrates the skin and damages internal structures.  Some conditions (such as a stomach ulcer or complications of pregnancy) can also result in internal bleeding. 


Internal bleeding is usually more serious than external bleeding.  Although there is no external loss of blood, blood is lost from the circulatory system, and vital organs which may result in shock.  Internal bleeding can also cause problems if it causes pressure on vital parts of the body, such as the brain. 


Signs and symptoms of internal bleeding:

- pain

- tenderness

- rigidity of abdominal muscles

- distension or swelling

- other signs of blood loss, especially pallor, sweating, faintness or thirst


Evidence of internal bleeding from some organs may be seen by the first aider, for example:

- coughing up red, frothy blood;

- vomiting material which is obviously blood, or may look like coffee grounds (coloured black);

- passing faeces with a black, tarry appearance;

- passing faeces which are red in colour;

- passing urine which has a red or smoky appearance.


Internal bleeding may be accompanied by any of the signs and symptoms of major bleeding.  Cardiac arrest can occur if enough blood is lost. 


Management of Internal Bleeding:

1. Lie the casualty down - a pillow may be used under the head to increase comfort. 

2. If the casualty is coughing up frothy blood, allow them to adopt a position of comfort (normally half-sitting)

3. Raise the legs or bend the knees.

4. Loosen tight clothing. 

5. Call 000 for an ambulance. 

6. Give nothing by mouth. 

7. Calm the casualty.   

Please 'contact us' for more information.

St John Ambulance Report


First Aid Training & Community First Aid Classes

Please email all enquiries regarding first aid courses to stjohn@ninet.nf


Skill Drill

The next Skill Drill will be held on Tuesday 22 May at the St John shed on Grassy Road. Please join us from 630pm for a 7pm training start. New members are always welcome. 


Volunteers Needed

If you are over 18 and either hold a First Aid Certificate or are able to obtain one, please email your expression of interest to volunteer with this important community organisation to stjohn@ninet.nf


St John Tips:  Hyperventilation

Hyperventilation is a result of involuntary over-breathing.  It can be due to excitement, hysteria, stress or other emotions.  Rate and depth of breathing are more than is necessary to maintain normal levels of carbon dioxide in the blood.  Consequently, carbon dioxide in the blood falls, causing a range of symptoms.  

Signs may include shallow, rapid breathing; rapid pulse; feeling of suffocating; dizziness; pins and needles; tingling; or dramatic involuntary spasms of hands and feet. 


Management of emotive hyperventilation:

1. Follow DRSABCD.

    D - check for DANGER

  • to you
  • to others
  • to casualty

    R - check RESPONSE

  • is casualty conscious?
  • is casualty unconscious?

    S - SEND for Help

  • have someone call 000 for an ambulance

    A - check AIRWAY

  • is airway clear of objects?
  • is airway open?

    B - check for BREATHING

  • is chest rising and falling?
  • can you hear or feel air from mouth or nose?
  • if not breathing, give 2 initial breaths

    C - give CPR

  • if no signs of life - unconscious, not breathing and not moving, give CPR
  • CPR involves giving 30 compressions at a rate of approximately 100 compressions per minute followed by 2 breaths

    D - apply a DEFIBRILLATOR (if available)

  • follow voice prompts

2. Calm casualty and move to a quiet, private place. 


3. Encourage slow, regular breathing - slowly count breaths aloud. 


4. Seek medical aid.  


Important Phone Numbers:

St John Ambulance 000

Norfolk Island Counselling Services 22091

Police 22222

Please 'contact us' for more information.

ST John Ambulance Report 18th April 2018


First Aid Training & Community First Aid Classes

Please email all enquiries to stjohn@ninet.nf


Skill Drill

The next Skill Drill will be held on Tuesday 24 April at the St John shed on Grassy Road. Please join us from 630pm for a 7pm training start. New members are always welcome. 


Volunteers Needed

Please email your expression of interest to volunteer with this important community organisation to stjohn@ninet.nf


St John Tips: Drug and alcohol misuse 

Drug and alcohol misuse, either accidental or deliberate, may lead to intoxication or poisoning.  The personal and social costs of substance abuse are enormous and may include disability, loss of good health, and even loss of life.  These result in increased health care costs, and loss of productivity. 


Legal and illegal substances are implicated in a significant number of hospital admissions, child abuse cases, suicides, road accident deaths, assaults, domestic violence, family disruption and crime.  


Illnesses range from ruptured stomach linings and peptic ulcers, to heart disease, liver disease and brain damage.  Injuries result from vehicle crashes, pedestrian rundowns, drowning, interpersonal violence and sexual assault. 


Substance use, dependence and addiction

The term 'drug' describes substances, which, when taken, cause some specific or abnormal physical or mental change.  Drugs may be swallowed, injected or inhaled for many reasons including pain relief, to promote recovery from illness, for other medicinal purposes, for pleasure, for peer group approval, and to escape from problems.  Drugs include legal substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and prescribed and over-the-counter medication, as well as those which are illegal. 

Whether the substance is legal or illegal, the use of some drugs can lead to dependency and addiction.  In the case of alcohol, drugs of addiction and some stimulants, the more often they are taken, the less effective they are on the body because the body builds up a tolerance to them or gets rid of them quicker.  The result may be that casualties or users keep increasing the dose to achieve the same effect.  


A person is dependent on a substance when the substance is needed to function normally (eg insulin for a diabetic), or when the person feels it is needed.  

Dependency on drugs may be purely psychological (eg a craving for tobacco or coffee) which is referred to as habituation.  If to this psychological craving is added the element of physical dependency, then one speaks of a true addiction.  In this latter case, the addict needs to absorb the drug continuously and in increasing doses to prevent the appearance or development of uncontrollable physical signs.  The sudden stopping of drugs or alcohol to someone who is either habituated or addicted is referred to as 'going cold turkey'.  


Those with a dependence on a substance, who develop an overwhelming and uncontrollable physical or psychological craving for it, have an addiction.  

When a person with an addiction to a substance, stops using it, withdrawal symptoms will occur.  This causes severe mental and physical distress, including such symptoms as irritability, aggression, anger and restlessness.  Withdrawal from some drugs of addiction, including alcohol, produces delirium tremens or the 'DTs' which may be associated with seizures and death.  


Important Phone Numbers:

St John Ambulance 000

Norfolk Island Counselling Services 22091

Police 22222

Please 'contact us' for more information.



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