Xpress First Aid


Update your first aid qualifications in just 4 hours!

Medilife now offers to all of our corporate clients XPRESS refresher courses

Providing an XPRESS training option means less down time for your business and no needless repetition for experienced first aiders. The course HLTAID003 can now be done in 4 hours and CPR HLTAID001 in just 2 hours. We trialled it with our medilife clients and the feedback we received encouraged us to offer it to all our onsite customers and we are introducing it to our public course schedule.

The XPRESS Training option is available to all students who hold a current first aid certificate that is due for renewal. 

You can get an instant quote HERE.

Or talk to our friendly customer service team to discuss your needs. 1300 130 385

Corporate Onsite Training

Medilife provides onsite training to a range of businesses, sporting clubs, organisations and groups. Courses delivered focus on first aid, fire safety and workplace safety training.

Benefits of a Medilife onsite course

  • Choose a day and time that suits your needs and your business
  • Reduce downtime for training by hosting it in your own workplace
  • Customise the course to suit the individual risks of your workplace
  • Your staff can get trained to use the equipment and systems you already have in place
  • They are ready to use your systems to respond to an emergency
  • Qualified, industry experienced trainers
  • Reduced risk of employee non-attendance

For more information on courseHLTAID003 Provide first aid click here

Migraine – more than just a headache

Elvis Presley, Stephen King, Serena Williams, and Princess Margaret are just some of the famous people who have suffered from migraines.

Migraines are headaches that typicallyimages-14 last from 4-72 hours and you may experience nausea and vomiting as well as sensitivity to light or sound.

There are more than three million migraine sufferers in Australia, meaning that more people suffer from migraine in Australia than diabetes, asthma, or coronary heart disease. It is thought that more women suffer migraine than men due to hormonal factors. Onset of migraine is from childhood onwards but most commonly in the 20s and 30s.

Symptoms of migraine

A migraine headache has different symptoms from other types of headache. Migraine symptoms can include:

  • headache: one sided, throbbing moderate to severe
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sensitivity to light
  • sensitivity to sound
  • affected vision, such as an aura (bright zigzag lines, flashing lights)
  • difficulty in concentrating, confusion, co-ordination
  • stiffness of the neck and shoulders
  • sensitivity to smell and touch
  • numbness of the face or extremities

What causes migraine?

Susceptibility to migraine is normally inherited.  Certain parts of the brain employing monoamines, such as serotonin and noradrenaline, appear to be in a hypersensitive state, reacting promptly and excessively to stimuli such as emotion, bombardment with sensory impulses, or any sudden change in the internal or external environment.  If the brainstem systems controlling the cerebral cortex become active, the brain starts to shut down, a process starting at the back of the brain in the visual cortex and working slowly forward.  The pain nucleus of the trigeminal nerve becomes spontaneously active; pain is felt in the head or upper neck and blood flow in the face and scalp increases reflexly.  Noradrenaline is released from the adrenal gland and causes the platelets to release serotonin.

Want more information about the pathophysiology of migraines? Click here..

Triggers for migraine

No one really knows what causes migraine, however attacks are almost certainly triggered by a combination of factors, such as:

  • diet –images-16 cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits, alcohol (especially red wine)
  • sleep – too little or too much
  • menstrual cycle
  • physiochemical – excessive heat, light, noise or certain chemicals
  • emotional causes – stress, excitement or fatigue
  • relaxation (weekend migraines) – often triggered by a period of stress and overwork followed by relaxation.


Nearly all people who suffer from migraines report a reduction in social activities and work capacity.

Treatment of migraine

images-15There is no cure for migraine and prevention is difficult, but treatments can help reduce the number of attacks. Migraines vary greatly from person to person and so does the treatment. If you feel you suffer from migraines it is important to consult your health care professional to discuss treatment options.

The four treatment options available to migraine sufferers include:

  • prevention – avoiding trigger factors – this can be difficult, if not impossible since migraines are often triggered by a combination of factors
  • pain-relieving medication and medication to alter pressure on blood vessels
  • preventative treatment medication
  • non-medication therapies – including acupuncture, biofeedback, goggles, hypnotherapy, exclusion diets, relaxation, yoga, meditation, herbal or homeopathic remedies.
Information Sources: headacheaustralia.org.au, betterhealth.vic.gov.au

Diabetes Basics

Diabetes is the name given to a group of conditions where there is too much glucose, or sugar, in the blood. This glucose comes from the carbohydrates we eat and includes starchy foods (eg breads, cereals, potato, pasta, rice), fruit and certain dairy products. Blood glucose levels are regulated within the body by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin moves glucose from the blood into the body’s cells where it can be used by the body for energy. Diabetes develops when the pancreas isn’t making enough insulin, or the insulin isn’t working properly.



Information Sources: diabetesnsw.com.au, diabetesaustralia.com.au

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

imgres-3.jpgWhat is the spinal cord?

The adult spinal cord is about 50 centimetres long and extends from the base of the brain to about the waist. It is the major bundle of nerves that carry messages between the brain and the rest of the body. The spinal cord lies within vertebrae. These rings of bones are together called the spinal column or back bone.


What is SCI?

Spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function such as mobility or feeling.

  • Quadriplegia is loss of function below the neck
  • Paraplegia is loss of function below the chest

The spinal cord does not have to be severed in order for a loss of functioning to occur. In fact, in most people with spinal cord injury, the spinal cord is intact, but the damage due to compression or bruising to it results in loss of functioning.


Can function be restored after an SCI injury?

At the time of an injury, the spinal cord swells. As this swelling reduces, some function may return. This can take up to 18 months after the injury. However, only a very small fraction of people with a spinal cord injury recover all function.


A few SCI statisticsimgres.png

  • Traumatic injury causing SCI – transport accident 46%, falls 28%
  • Non traumatic causes of SCI are diseases accounting for 20%
  • Male patients still outnumber the female patients (84% vs 16%)
  • SCI were most frequent in 15-24 year group accounting for 30%


Some symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:

  • problems walking
  • loss of control of the bladder or bowels
  • inability to move the arms or legs
  • feelings of spreading numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • unconsciousness
  • headache
  • pain, pressure, stiffness in the back or neck area
  • signs of shock
  • unnatural positioning of the head


What to do if you suspect SCI?

In the case of an unconscious casualty, falls, motorbike and car accidents it is safest to assume the potential for SCI.

  • Call 000 immediately
  • Don’t move the person or disturb them in any way unless it’s absolutely necessary. This includes repositioning the person’s head (unless airway is blocked)
  • Do NOT remove a motorbike riders helmet
  • If conscious support head, neck and spine in a neutral position at all times to prevent twisting or bending movements
  • Encourage the person to stay as still as possible, even if they feel they’re capable of getting up and walking on their own.
  • If the person isn’t breathing, perform CPR.


First Aid Training

If you are not prepared to perform first aid in case of an emergency, please book into a refresher course today. First aid is all about remembering your DRSABCD, being confident and competent. You will then be in a position to minimise injury and potentially save a life.


Information sources:scia.org.au, spinalinjuryalliance.com.au, sciaw.com.au, healthywa.wa.gov.au

Outback First Aid – Our Story

20160723_144631sNewcastle’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.


P1290923xsIn 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..

Your Day Job May Increase Workout Injuries

These are 5 common injuries that occur in the gym or whilst exercising and how we can lower our risk. Who would have thought our day job could be the culprit of increasing our risk of injury.

People spend their days in front of their computer with rounded shoulders. When your shoulders are rounded and you stand up, your weight falls to the front of your foot. Take that misplaced centre of gravity and put it into running shoes, which naturally tip you forward with a heel higher than the toe, and your feet and ankles start to bear the brunt of any impact. Chose the right shoe, go for a cross trainer instead of a running shoe.

Sitting at a desk, we don’t use our hip muscles. Then we decide to go kick box or do bootcamp The result is injury to the . . . knee? If our feet aren’t stable, due to improper footwear, and our hip muscles aren’t strong, the knee gets all the stress. A better exercise would be lunges. With a lunge your hip and ankle are bending together, stabilising and strengthening the knee.

If someone has rounded posture throughout the day in their upper back, and then they go to the gym and do an overhead shoulder lift standing, their upper back cannot extend properly. They straighten and arch upward from their lower back, which has a nervous breakdown because it’s getting all the stress. Remember to stretch and strengthen your upper back to compensate for all that hunching you do at the office and whenever you can, exercise standing up which engages bigger muscle groups.

That carpal tunnel you’re complaining about 9-5 could contribute to a gym injury after-hours. Your arms have to internally rotate when you type, which puts pressure on the shoulders. Then you go to the gym and do chest press, shoulder press, pushups, all also with your arms rotated in resulting in an overuse injury of the rotator cuff. Instead try exercises that externally rotate your arms to balance your shoulders, and a great way to do that is by rowing with cables.

A strained tense neck at work due to workstation strain can lead to a lack of mobility and injury. Avoid putting additional stress on your neck with exercises that cause you to raise your arms over your head.

Information source: menshealth.com, webmd

Health effects of wood smoke

Wood smoke and your health

Wood smoke is a complex mix of chemicals and particles, smoke is made up of coarse and fine particles. Particles are tiny solid and liquid substances that can float in the air. Many particles are invisible. Coarse particles can include soot, dust and pollen. When breathed in these particles settle in the lungs and narrow airways.

Fine dust particles, such as smoke, are more likely to settle more deeply into the lungs while ultra fine particles can be absorbed into the blood stream. The majority of the particles in wood smoke are fine particles, which are linked to the most harmful health effects.

Short term effectsdownload (3)

  • irritation of the eyes, throat and nose
  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing
  • aggravated asthma

Long term effects

  • decreased lung function
  • development of chronic bronchitis
  • cardiovascular effects

What can be done?

Before you throw away the marshmallows, there are steps you can take to decrease the health effects.

Choosing your woodSelfFeedingFire1

  • Only use well-seasoned hardwoods.
  • Do not use stained, treated or painted wood.
  • Chop your wood into smaller pieces.
  • Store your wood loosely stacked and covered in a well-aired place.

Building a fire

  • Use plenty of kindling and paper to establish a good fire quickly.
  • Use smaller logs to get the fire started and larger logs for slower burning.
  • Stack your fire so there is 2cm between each log. This allows air to get into the hot area of the fire.
  • Do not over fill the heater or fire place.

Wood heaters and fireplaces

  • Ensure there is enough air circulation in your wood heater by adjusting the air intake or flue.
  • Check your wood heater and chimney regularly to ensure no smoke is being produced.

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Asthma and respiratory distress 

Do you know how to manage an asthma attack, what would you do if a loved one was showing respiratory distress?

Keep your first aid and resuscitation skills up to date! Book into a public course here.



Information Source: healthywa.wa.gov.au

Winter health hazards at home


The cooler months means we will probably be spending more time in the home than anywhere else. It is also a time of seasonal hazards. As we unpack our hot water bottles and electric blankets please keep these reminders for a safer winter.

Fire safetydownload (1)

About half of all fires in the home start in the kitchen, and more than 40% of all deaths from fire happen during winter. Here are a few tips to keep you and your home fire safe:

  1. Have a written home fire escape plan and practice it regularly.
  2. Install smoke alarms throughout your home and test them monthly. Change the batteries every year.
  3. Keep curtains, tablecloths, clothes and bedding away from portable heaters and fireplaces.
  4. Clean the lint filter every time you use a clothes dryer.
  5. Always keep children away from open heat sources such as fireplaces and gas stoves, and remember that even clothing with a ‘low fire danger’ label can still catch on fire.

Fireplaces & Heatersdownload (2)

If you have a fireplace in your home then make sure the chimney is clean and not blocked. Always place a screen in front of a fireplace when it’s being used, and never burn rubbish such as plastics or foam as these create toxins.

  1. Store matches and lighters in a safe place out of reach of children.
  2. Check that each heater is safe to use every winter.
  3. Don’t leave portable heaters in places where people or pets could knock them over.
  4. Gas heaters produce heat when they burn gas fuel. This also produces air pollutants and water vapour. If your gas heater doesn’t have a flue, service it regularly and make sure the room is well ventilated.
  5. Use just one appliance per power point and switch them off when you’re not using them. Heaters consume a lot of power and may overload the supply which can cause a fire.
  6. Never use a gas heater designed for outdoor use inside your home.

Electric blanketsdownload (2)

Check your electric blanket is in good condition and hasn’t been recalled by checking the Recalls Australia website. About 400,000 potentially faulty electric blankets were recalled in 2012. Faulty electric blankets can overheat, cause an electric shock, spark and potentially cause a fire.

You should always roll your blanket up to store it because folding it can damage element wires inside the blanket. When you take it out of storage and use it for the first time, lay it flat on the bed and check for hot spots as it heats up.

Hot water bottlesdownload (3)

Use warm, but not boiling, water to fill your hot water bottle and examine it for leaks before you use it. Replace it as soon as it starts to look cracked or worn or every two years. Remember – the rubber can perish from the inside so you may not be able to see if it’s worn out.

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Learning first aid can help you to

identify potential hazards and

be prepared to act if an accident where to occur. 

Book into one of our public courses here.


information source: www.healthdirect.gov.au