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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!

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