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New advice for dealing with a Choking Baby

Would you know what to do if your child began choking? If the answer is ‘no’ – you are most certainly not alone.According to a survey published today, a third of parents admitted they have been in a situation where their child has started choking and half of them said they did not know the correct procedure for clearing an obstruction.

St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid have recently updated their advice on dealing with infant choking – after the results showed that although over half (58 per cent) of parents feel confident dealing with basic first aid such as cuts, bruises and burns, a staggering 57 per cent said they would struggle to deliver first aid for more serious incidents including choking.

The new technique involves placing the baby face down along the thigh while an adult strikes the child’s back. Experts say this gives the infant more support compared with previous advice, which was to place the baby along the adult’s arm.


“If an infant is choking then, in the first instance, they should be laid face down along your thigh and supported by your arm, give them five back blows between the shoulder blades with your heel of your hand,” says St John Ambulance“Previously this was done along the arm but the leg is felt to be more secure and provide more support. Check their mouth for any obstruction.

“If there is still a blockage then turn the infant onto their back and give up to five chest thrusts. Use two fingers, push inwards and upwards against their breastbone.

“If the obstruction does not clear after three cycles of back blows and chest thrusts, call for an ambulance and continue until help arrives.”

For an older child, the advice is to bend them forward and give up to five blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. Check their mouth and if choking persists, stand behind the child put your arms around them and put one fist between the navel and the bottom of their breastbone.

If you would like a course run in your home please visit for further information.


Parent First Aid Training

Parent First Aid Training

Another great story of a Mother saving had daughters life. I really enjoy running Parent sessions, its great to see a Mum being able to put in to action the skills she has learnt. 

Professional Driver Emergency Care Course (JAUPT & CPC Approved)

Driver CPC Centre Logo - AC01557_page_001

All professional Lorry, Bus and Coach drivers are required to complete 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years. Corporate Health are an approved driver CPC training centre. Our Professional Driver Emergency Care Course is approved by The Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training. This course awards 7 hours of training and a nationally recognised qualification. Skills learnt on this course are also essential for personal and family life.

Topics covered include:

  • Incident Management & making an Effective 999 Call
  • Assessment of an Unresponsive Casualty
  • Management of an unconscious Casualty & The Recovery Position
  • Spinal Injuries
  • Basic Life Support, Adult and Child Resuscitation
  • Bleeding
  • Head Injuries
  • Seizures
  • Heart Attack and Angina
  • Burns
  • Question and Answer Session

These courses are run regularly at our training centres in Slough and Reading, they can also be run at your location for group bookings. For more information Email: or visit:

Febrile Convulsions

A new parent attending one of my courses requested further information on Febrile convulsions. The following information is from

What is a febrile convulsion?


Rapid temperature increases can cause febrile convulsions.

Febrile convulsions occur in young children when there is a rapid increase in their body temperature. It affects up to 1 in 20 children between the ages of one and four but can affect children between six months and about five years old.

Children who are at risk may naturally have a lower resistance to febrile convulsion than others.

What is the risk of suffering a febrile convulsion?

Children may inherit the tendency to suffer febrile convulsion from their parents.

  • If either parent suffered a febrile convulsion as a child, the risk of the child getting it rises 10 to 20 per cent.
  • If both parents and their child have at some point suffered a febrile convulsion, the risk of another child getting it rises 20 to 30 per cent.

Nevertheless, the child’s susceptibility also depends on whether the child frequently gets infections. About 4 out of 10 children who have had febrile convulsions will get them again at some stage, although the risk differs greatly from child to child. The child’s risk of febrile convulsion rises if:

  • they are genetically predisposed to it
  • they suffer frequent illnesses, which include high temperatures
  • the first attack of febrile convulsion was accompanied by a relatively low body temperature – below 39ºC.

One in a thousand children may suffer a febrile convulsion after receiving the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. In these cases it occurs 8 to 10 days after the vaccination and is caused by the the measles component of the vaccine. However, this causes only about one tenth of cases of febrile convulsion compared with measles itself.

Children who are prone to febrile convulsions should follow the same programme of vaccination as all other children.

What are the symptoms?

  • The attack often begins with the child losing consciousness, and shortly afterwards the body, legs and arms go stiff.
  • The head is thrown backwards and the legs and arms begins to jerk.
  • The skin goes pale and may even turn blue briefly.
  • The attack ends after a few minutes and the shaking stops. The child goes limp, and then normal colour and consciousness slowly return.
  • Some children regain consciousness faster than others.

What to do if your child suffers an attack of febrile convulsion

Do not intervene while the attack is taking place except in the circumstance outlined below.

Carefully turn the child’s head to one side to prevent choking. In the past, it was common to place a stick in the child’s mouth to prevent bites to the tongue or lips. This should never be attempted, as it may result in lasting damage to the teeth.

When the fit subsides, keep the child in the recovery position, ie lying on its side. If fits are prolonged or follow each other rapidly, call an ambulance.

The first time a child suffers febrile convulsions they should be admitted to hospital. If the child has suffered attacks on earlier occasions, hospitalisation is not always necessary. However, it is always important, for example, to determine whether the convulsions are only due to a harmless viral infection. For this reason, a doctor should always be consulted following an attack.

Has the child previously suffered febrile convulsions?

  • If the child has a history of febrile convulsions, parents are sometimes advised to have the medicine diazepam ready in case an attack takes place. It can be given into the rectum from a specific rectal tube and takes effect in a few minutes.
  • If the attack goes on for more than five minutes treatment can be repeated, but medical advice should always be sought in any prolonged fit. Dosage instructions must be carefully adhered to.

Does the child have a temperature?

  • Make sure the child is not too hot by removing extra clothing or bedclothes. If the room temperature seems high, open a window, but bear in mind that the child should not get too cold either. Give the child plenty of cold drinks.
  • Some doctors advise parents to give the child mild painkillers such as paracetamol (eg Calpol) or ibuprofen (eg Nurofen for children). This lowers the temperature by between 1 and 1.5ºC. It is important to give the recommended dose only.

Although febrile convulsions look like epileptic fits, they rarely have anything in common with this illness. Ninety-nine per cent of children who have had a febrile convulsion have no more fits after they reach school age.

Future prospects

Although febrile convulsion often seems frightening, it rarely results in any permanent injuries. If, however, the convulsions last a long time or the child suffers several attacks in quick succession, slight disturbances in the brain function may occur.

  • If your child has had a febrile convulsion, consult your GP on the best way to deal with them.
  • Half of all sufferers will have another attack the next time they have a temperature. But the risk lessens with time and attacks should not occur after the age of about five.

Is it possible to prevent febrile convulsion?

Temperature-lowering medicines, such as paracetamol, can help lower body temperature but need to be repeated. If not, the temperature will rise rapidly again.

If your child has suffered febrile convulsion in the past, your doctor may advise you to have special enemas containing diazepam on standby
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A quiet day

Today I’m spending the day providing Medical Cover for the University of Reading Open Day.  The University puts a lot of effort in to organising this event. Its a ver popular day and well attended by visitors. So far it has been very quiet, the only request has been for a safety pin to repair a handbag.

Case Study

I have recently received this case study from one of my Corporate Health Clients. 

First Aid Training at Windsor Girls School


About a year ago, the school was looking for a new provider for First Aid training to train two cohorts of staff at Windsor Girls’ School. The previous, inherited provider had trained staff three years previously to a satisfactory standard but was nothing special and was based in Cambridge. The school wanted to build a relationship with a more local provider, as well as find good quality training that offered value for money.


The school phoned to seek advice regarding the level of training that would be suitable for staff in her school, bearing in mind that every day they have 750 students and up to 100 staff. Mrs Gibbs spoke to James Doig from the Sales team, who gave her the necessary information and then referred her to Mark Davis, the Training Manager & Course Tutor, for more detailed advice.  Mark asked if the training needed to cover anything in particular such as Epi-pens, dealing with asthma attacks and problems with acute diabetes.

Outcomes, Solutions and Feedback

Mark arrived at school for the first training session, and the staff who attended the training were very impressed and reassured by the fact that he is a trained Ambulance Technician with an ongoing, working knowledge of First Aid. They were also really impressed when, rather than assuming that everyone had the same level of knowledge, or no knowledge at all, through chatting and questioning he soon ascertained that some staff were very well qualified and trained, and were booked into this session since their previous training had expired.
The staff with good knowledge and experience were then encouraged to talk through first aid scenarios, with Mark either praising their knowledge and expertise, or updating their techniques and knowledge since practice in First Aid can change over time.
New or less-experienced staff felt very comfortable that they could ask questions, and I had the most positive feedback from staff that I have ever had regarding a trainer.
All the staff that were trained by Mark were glowing in their praise and felt really well equipped to deal with first aid situations in school.

When the school booked the second session, they asked us to support staff with learning how to use the defibrillator machine we had recently had donated to the school so that he could build staff confidence in using it. Again, feedback was overwhelmingly positive from experienced first aiders and new first-aiders alike. Everyone who worked with Mark found him engaging, very knowledgeable, he has an excellent sense of humour and everyone felt comfortable in his presence.

One member of staff commented:

“I don’t know how he did it, but that session was great fun and yet I have come away feeling so confident about my first aid knowledge now. That was by far the best training in first aid I have ever had.”

“I have enjoyed working with Corporate Health and they have delivered exactly what I wanted and at an affordable price. All the staff I have dealt with have been professional and a pleasure to work with.  In May 2013 Windsor Girls’ School was inspected by Ofsted and was judged to be Outstanding.  One area in which schools are inspected is in the behaviour and safety of pupils so excellent first aid training is essential to ensure appropriate care for students and staff alike: at Windsor Girls’ School we take this responsibility very seriously. I am delighted to have met my original objective of establishing a good working relationship with a local provider which has proved itself able to deliver excellent training at an affordable price. I look forward to working with Corporate Health in the future”. 

Rachel GibbAssistant Headteacher responsible for the behaviour and safety of students, and staff development and training.


A life saver!

I received a lovely text from a student last night. He attend one of my Paediatric First Aid courses a few weeks ago and had to provide CPR on casualty who suffered a head injury yesterday. His attempt was successful and the casualty was breathing when the Ambulance Crew transported him to hospital. It goes to show how important CPR is!

NHS 111 service

Call 111 when it's less urgent than 999

NHS 111 is a new service that’s being introduced to make it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services in England. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time.

TipNHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

When to use it

You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation.

Call 111 if:

  • you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number.

For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.

How does it work?

The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre or a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist.

Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to.

If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

Calls to 111 are recorded. All calls and the records created are maintained securely, and will only be shared with others directly involved with your care.

Norland Nannies


This weekend I am running a CPD course for qualified and newly qualified Norlanders. Norland Nannies have a very long history in providing care for children and are seen as the “elite” of child care. All Norlanders complete a 12hr Paediatric First Aid and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Course with me before they qualify. They are a great group of practitioners to teach and are devoted to Childcare.

If you have Fire Extinguishers at work, you should have a Defib.

Defibrillator survey raises workplace cardiac arrest concerns

MORE THAN half of British businesses do not have a defibrillator, show poll results released today (Monday 18 February) – despite the impact the device has on cardiac arrest survival rates.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) commissioned a survey of 1,000 business decision-makers across the UK and found that 513 did not have the lifesaving equipment at work. Almost two thirds of those who said ‘no’ also come from medium to very large companies.

In support of National Heart Month, this February, IOSH is encouraging companies to consider whether they should install a defibrillator, which restarts the heart using an electric shock.

IOSH research and information services manager Jane White said: “We want businesses to take a good look at the number of employees they have, their demographics and the kind of sector they work in, to assess whether they should get a defibrillator on-site.”

Currently, 30,000 people in the UK each year have a cardiac arrest out of hospital and NHS data shows just 18.5 per cent of them survive. American statistics also show 13 per cent of workplace fatalities result from cardiac arrest.

Ms White added: “Using a defibrillator within the first few minutes after collapse gives the best chance of saving a life – it can increase survival rates by as much as 75 per cent. This just proves to businesses how important it is to have the equipment on-site.”

Of the 327 respondents from small companies* who took the poll, 60.2 per cent, or 197, said they didn’t have a defibrillator. And 316 of the total 513 – almost two thirds – of those who said they didn’t have the lifesaving equipment came from medium, large and very large* companies.

When those who had replied ‘no’ in the survey were asked why their company had not got a defibrillator, 45 said it hadn’t even occurred to them, 56 felt there was no need, 34 said they had too few staff and 31 put it down to cost.

Ms White added: “This is actually worrying news for us, especially where the larger companies are concerned. Devices cost around £1,000 – can big companies with healthy turnovers afford not to have one?

“If someone suffers a cardiac arrest at work and does not survive, it is devastating for their family, friends and workmates and it can also cause a great deal of stress for the person giving CPR. Companies also need to consider the impact of losing a member of staff on their fellow employees, factoring in the cost of down-time, counselling and any replacement or training of staff. The message here is not only an ethical one, it also has financial implications. Of course, a defibrillator is good health and safety practice because it saves lives, but it also makes sound business sense.”

Inmarsat is the world’s leading provider of global satellite communication services – with 1,700 staff and a number of contractors. It installed two defibrillators in 2009 in its UK headquarters, after a 40-year-old contractor suffered a cardiac arrest in the office.

Lloydeth Newell, Inmarsat health and safety manager, said: “It was hard to argue the case for a defibrillator with management initially, due to concerns about liability and the fact emergency services can, in theory, reach us within six minutes.

“But one of our contractors had a cardiac arrest at his desk while he was talking to colleagues and tragically, he was pronounced dead in hospital half an hour later. It changed everything and I got permission straight from the top to assess how many defibrillators we needed and put them in place. Staff can volunteer to be trained in how to use a defibrillator, but there’s no legal requirement and they’re really easy to use.

“We now consider it a vital piece of lifesaving equipment that will make a difference if we experience a similar situation again.”

Looking at the poll results by sector, education fared the worst, as 61 out of 86 people did not have a defibrillator at work. And two thirds of those in retail said they hadn’t got one – only 20 out of 58 had. Less than half – nearly 44 per cent – of the respondents from an office environment had a defibrillator. But the picture improved with manufacturing and engineering industries, where 65 per cent had the device, amounting to 62 out of 95.

Ms White added: “We want smaller companies to look beyond sheer employee numbers when assessing the need for a defibrillator. They might be a school with hundreds of pupils, a care facility with at-risk patients, or a shop or venue with a larger number of visitors or customers – these circumstances might make a big difference to the survival chances of someone having a cardiac arrest on-site. And if they are worried about cost, there is a lot of help out there for those that think they have a need.”


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