Major Bleed Control in Tree Work with Celox30th Oct 2019
Knowing your facts behind first aid is a crucial part of knowledge in the Arb Industry. With thanks to the team at Celox Medical, and in tandem with Simarghu, we present some facts and figures behind major bleed control in Forestry & Arboriculture.
We recently had some on-site training with Toni Murch, Training and Business Development Manager UK for Celox Medical and MedTrade Products LTD. Toni has over 29 years of front line emergency care experience in differing environments from UK ambulance work as a paramedic, to hostile and remote area medicine work. Through this Tony has developed one of the widest, and more crucially one of most practical ranges of knowledge on major wound control, and is perfectly placed to share that knowledge into the Arb Industry with Simarghu.
To give some background on Celox Medical products, 76% of battlefield deaths come from catastrophic bleeding. Celox has been the choice of multiple global militaries including the MOD and NATO, since 2008 to treat catastrophic bleeding. All Celox/Simarghu First Aid Kits discussed in this article include the same military spec items that are used by the forces, as they have been tried and tested by the best.
It only takes a quick internet search to realise the accidents that can happen in tree work, and the awful consequences that those accidents bring, so being on top of your action plan in case of emergency, and having the proper kit to deal with major haemorrhage, is essential.
Most people who have done some sort of First Aid course will be aware of the medical acronym: 'ABC'. This stands for 'Airway, Breathing, Circulation'. It is now recommended, especially within tree work and nature of the tools we use, that an extra 'C' is put ahead of this, standing for 'Catastrophic bleeding'. If a major artery is damaged or cut you could be dead within 2 minutes, which is nowhere near long enough to get yourself down from a tree, or get someone else up. Hospitals & paramedics will class 'Serious Fall From Height' as anything twice your own height, and with Arborists most likely being way above this height, your first aid kit needs to contain practical items that can be applied quickly, by yourself, and with 1 hand if needed (More on that later). Major bleeding must be the first consideration.
'Haemorrhage' is the term for and flow of blood from a ruptured blood vessel. Major haemorrhage is made worse by the bodies natural reaction to this, also known as the Trauma Triad Of Death. (Pictured below)
Dealing with major haemorrhage is done in 3 main steps: Pressure, bandage, and haemostats. While pressure can be applied easily on yourself or a patient, even having the correct bandage is crucial to potentially saving a life. A typical israeli bandage on its own won't stop arterial bleeding. This is due to the level of pressure applied which is around 90 bar on an israeli bandage. To stop the flow of blood from an artery, pressure of around 120 bar is needed depending on age/fitness etc. Tree Surgery tends to be a very active job, so stopping a wound in the middle of a working day may take even more.
Haemostats are clotting agents, of which Celox is one of them. Unlike other brands, Celox is made from Chitosan, a type of molecule taken from the shells of crustaceans and shellfish which contain no proteins, so cannot produce an allergic reaction. It is also not an Exothermic product, so doesn't produce heat compared to other haemostats. Quite simply, Celox swells, gels and clogs a wound, and also works independently to the bodies natural clotting process, meaning that it avoids that Triad of factors, and can clot hypothermic blood very quickly. Simarghu First Aid kits all come with a 5ft Celox Gauze, which is a gauze bandage laminated with Celox granules inside the fibres. It can be use quickly to pack a wound and only requires around 3 minutes pressure to work.
There is also a final step, the use of a Tourniquet, when all else has failed or aren't enough. A Tourniquet is a compression device that is to be used only to help slow/stop the bleeding and buy time for the patient. It should never be used a first response, and if applied then always communicated to everyone on scene along with the time the it has been applied. Again, all Simarghu First Aid Kits come with a Tourniquet enclosed, as a practical solution to the worst of accidents.
Back to that 'items that can be applied quickly, by yourself, and with 1 hand if needed' statement. Simarghu have designed their kits with practical access in mind. You can have all the health and safety rules in the world, but in the worst circumstances, the only thing you'll care about is treating a wound quickly. An even more basic question to consider is "Can I open the kit?". If you've got gloves on, or saw dust, tree sap, or blood on your hands, the time you spend trying to fight your way into a fiddly zip could be crucial time lost within that main 2 minute window. The Simarghu Personal Trauma Kit contains just 3 items for major haemorrhage control when time is critical; 1x Z-Fold Celox Gauze, 1x haemorrhage control bandage, and 1x CAT Tourniquet. These come in a quality canvas bag, which is opened and closed with velcro rather than a zip, and can be attached to a harness, or put in a cargo pocket. This can be opened one-handed, and all applied with one hand if needed.
There is also the Simarghu Ten Man Trauma Kit which contains practical, proven kit to deal with most major first aid incidents, and comes supplied in a tough and compact waterproof nylon bag with several roll out zip fastening compartments. While being a bigger investment, its definitely a kit worth having around whenever you have a team of people working together.
Some professions come with extra risks. Think blood. Learn how you can dramatically reduce the time to stop bleeding. Check you’ve got the best equipment and kit up now.
If you would like more information about possible training opportunities from Celox, please get in touch with us and we can point you to the right place!