Review: First Aid Manual (BCU Lifeguards)

This slim volume complements and reinforces the material in the Aquatic First Aid award, and is supplied with that course. It was developed by BCU lifeguards.

Aquatic first aid booklet

Its a lot shorter than the St John’s / Red Cross book which is the alternative course book. This multiplies by 8 the chance I will read it immediately upon finishing the course, as opposed to just putting it on the “to do” pile and meaning to read it. Good.

Its clearly set out and easy-to-understand. Technical words, where used, are explained properly. There are full sections on effects of exposure, heat and cold. Other topics, such as resuscitation and dislocation, also contain extra detail around paddling-related scenarios. Modern trends that the general first aider may need to be aware of are mentioned – heat exhaustion brought on by extasy etc. This book forms a very effective recap and a good reference – although as a fuller reference, its good to also own a copy of  the somewhat heftier Red Cross manual.

Like all first aid literature, it is spattered with mnemonics, some hard and some easy. As a lifelong member of Give-up Requiring Unhelpful Mnemonics Please Y‘all, and an utter  mnemonic-o-phobe, I find this tricky, but not any more so than other First-aid literature, which is particularly fond of that learning technique. Thankfully, there are only about 9 mnemonics, only two of them obtuse, and plenty of surrounding/explaining material on those topics. So I  was still able to use the material and focus on learning techniques that do work for me: Re-reading the main text of the book, reflecting on how the information fits in with common sense, visualising/scripting how to deal with the situations given in the book. 

It takes a couple of evenings reading to get through the material. It helps with getting to grips with the latest CPR recommendations, and recapping first aid knowledge. 

All in all, this is a very useful minibook. It exactly does the job it is supposed to do – reinforce the course and provide an easy-read guide slanted towards watersport emergencies. For further reading or a household reference, also get the latest St Johns/Red cross manual.

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One Response

  1. nice review…I’ll have to pick this up

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