Newcastle’s Robert Watson had done his Medilife First Aid Training over many years when he was employed in the steel industry. Now retired, he and his wife Coralie continue to do the refresher training, “just in case” they are ever called on to help in an emergency situation. Their spiral bound First Aid for Life course books are kept with a first aid kit in the boot of their car.
In July, during a 6,000 km road trip through inland Queensland, Coralie developed some chest pains one afternoon on the road. It was a few hours after lunch, and she assumed it was indigestion. However the pain became worse, and worse. They were 1 hour out from Emerald, and it was a further 2 hours to their overnight stop… in a tiny town which almost certainly didn’t have a hospital. The pain was severe enough that Coralie thought it might have been a heart attack, but – from memory – Robert asked, “Do you have a crushing feeling on your chest, and are you sweating a lot?” The answer was, “No”, and Coralie added, “and I don’t have pain radiating to my left arm!” But they pulled off the road and dug out their first aid book.
The signs and symptoms listed included the three they remembered, plus Anxiety, Nausea, Shortness of breath and Pale/grey skin colour.
On that basis, they agreed that there was no immediate need to panic or get upset, and they continued on to Emerald Hospital Emergency Department. Coralie was wired up to their machines and it was quickly determined that she was not having a heart attack, so that was good news. Further tests suggested that she had had a particularly severe bout of reflux, coupled with dehydration. Over the course of 3 hours she was attended to by the doctors and nurses, who all reinforced that going to see them was the sensible thing to do, and they were always happier to release people than to have to admit them with something serious.
The travel plans were changed, and they stayed in Emerald for the night … in a motel directly opposite the hospital. “Just in case!” added Robert.
Thank you Robert and Coralie for sharing your experience.
Do you have a first aid experience you would like to share with us?
Submit your story, it may be published to help others appreciate the value of first aid training. Click here..