Gettin’ Crafty

We would all love to have a perfectly stocked first aid kit at the ready whenever we need one, but let’s face it, that’s not always a reality. Here are some household substitutions for common first aid kit items.

Use: To immobilize potentially broken bones or joint injuries.
Substitutions: ruler, wooden spoon, magazine, pillow (soft splint), other limbs/body

Triangular Bandage
Use: Assist with immbolization and/or apply pressure to a wound and/or elevate a body part, etc.
Substitutions: t-shirt, blanket, dish cloths, bath towels and other assorted material/fabric

Use: Help speed the healing of cuts, burns and other minor wounds
Substitution: honey – warm and apply pure, natural honey to the affected area, secure with clean gauze and reapply daily

Ice Pack
Use: assist in reducing swelling to an injured area
Substitution: a good old bag of frozen peas, cloth soaked in cold water, cool cabbage (it maintains it’s cool even after being out of the fridge for a while)


Be calm, be confident and think commons sense!

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. Visit to see our calendar and contact us directly about a session in-home, in-office or in-studio.


Don’t Believe Everything You See On TV

It’s true! Don’t believe everything you see on TV, especially when it comes to some of the dramatic scenes in hospital shows.

We’re all guilty of watching a few too many episodes of our favourite medical drama, but it’s important to understand what’s fact and what’s fiction.

This is even more important in today’s world, as devices that we see on TV (like defibrillators) are becoming more frequently available for public use. When you see a patient on TV “flat line” (their heart has no electrical or mechanical activity), and then a handsome McDreamy swoops in yelling “CLEAR!”, shocking the patient back to life, please understand that it makes for great TV but defibs don’t exactly work that way.

Defibrillators do just that – they “de-fibrillate” or correct an irregular heart beat by shocking the heart back into normal sinus rhythm. Defibrillators cannot shock a flat-lined heart.

If you ever have to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for an unconscious victim,  all you have to do is turn the AED on, follow the prompts and press the shock button if instructed. Unlike the manual defibrillators you see in hospital dramas, AEDs monitor the heart for you and there is no medical expertise required. So the moral of the story is, yes, we love you McSteamy but don’t believe everything you see on TV!

Be calm, be confident & think common sense!

ON-SITE First Aid now sells defibrillators! Shoot us an email at to learn more about purchasing a defib for your organization, as well as hands-on defib training available.

Too Many Wobbly Pops

WIth the Victoria Day (May 2-4) long weekend coming up, I wanted to share an important piece of info that could help save a life.

If your friend has had a few too many wobbly pops to drink, simply turn them on their side in the aptly-named “recovery position”. This seems simple, but it’s extremely important to ensure they have a clear airway and don’t choke, which can happen if they are left lying on their back.

The ever-innovative British Red Cross has created a fantastic video and Facebook page to increase awareness of this simple trick.


Have an amazing long weekend!

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. Visit to see our calendar and contact us directly about a session in-home, in-office or in-studio.

The NEW CPR Standards Have Arrived!

I’m pleased to announce that ON-SITE First Aid is now teaching the new first aid and CPR standards (hooray!). To give yourself a quick refresher, read over this month’s Quick Reference Guides that focus on the changes to infant, child & adult CPR. Click to download the handy 1-page PDFs!




Be calm, be confident & think common sense!

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. Visit to see our calendar and contact us directly about a session in-home, in-office or in-studio.


Important AED Considerations

We all know that defibrillators are designed to be simple to use and are extremely effective in saving lives. (They are brilliant devices!)

Please be aware that even without formal AED training or certification, YOU can use a public access defibrillator to help someone who is unconscious and not breathing normally (including someone who is not breathing at all). As long as you have acted in good faith, the Good Samaritan’s Act in Ontario protects you no matter what the outcome.

Even though defibrillators are very simple to use (turn on, follow prompts and press shock button if advised), without formal training you may not know some less obvious things to take into consideration. Here’s a list of 10 important AED considerations:

1. Hairy chest

The defibrillator pads need to make contact with bare skin, so if you are dealing with a victim who has a hairy chest… you guessed it, shave him! Most AED kits will come with a razor and it doesn’t have to be pretty, it just to be enough of a smooth patch for the AED pad to stick. If there’s not a razor in the kit, my advice is to use the super-sticky back-up defibrillator pads to give him a quick wax.

2. Pregnancy

The best way to save baby is to save Mom. Use the defibrillator in the exact same way that you would for a victim who isn’t pregnant.

3. Children (8 years of age or under 55lbs) 

Most defibrillators come with child pads or a “child key” that lowers the voltage for a child victim. Make sure these smaller pads are hooked up to the unit. Additionally, because a child’s torso is much smaller than an adult’s torso, pads should be placed in the centre of the child’s chest as well as on the centre of the upper back, directly in line with one another. If there are no child pads with the AED, use adult pads and place front and back like you would if you had child pads available.

4. Infants (newborn – 1 year old)

AEDs should not be used for infants. It has not yet been proven whether or not they are safe for infants, however it is known that automated defibrillators are much less effective than manual defibrillators (like you would find in a hospital) in helping infants. Fast response in the form of calling 911 and CPR is the best response for an infant victim who has stopped breathing.

5. Metal

This includes any jewellery, torso piercings (navel and nipple) and underwire bras. If the victim is wearing a necklace and there is no time to take it off, simply ensure the jewellery is at least 1 inch from the pads. Use this same rule of thumb for torso piercings, as there will likely be no time to remove these either. If a woman is wearing an underwire bra, simply cut through the centre with strong scissors or wire cutters (usually provided in the AED kit) and ensure the metal is no longer touching the victim’s skin. Lastly, you and the victim should not be located on top of a metal surface of any kind.

6. Water & Sweat 

Water and electricity are not friends. If the victim is in an aquatic environment or is sweating  profusely, dry them off as much as possible, as well as the ground underneath of them. Have the driest rescuer handle the defibrillator. Ensure that the areas on the victim’s chest where the pads will be placed are also dry so that the pads stick well to skin.

7. Nitroglycerin patch 

A victim who has a poor blood circulation condition called Angina might be wearing a “nitro” patch to help thin their blood. This patch can be found either on their chest or arm. When paired with electricity, nitro can be dangerous and burn the victim, so carefully remove all patches before attaching the AED. It is important to remove the patch while wearing gloves, as nitro patches can cause blood pressure to drop quickly, which can become dangerous for the rescuer.

8. Implanted pacemakers or defibrillators

If someone who has a pacemaker or implanted defibrillator is unconscious and not breathing, something has clearly malfunctioned with their device. Therefore, proceed as usual, but place the pad at least 1 inch from the site of the pacemaker/defibrillator (it will be a hard lump underneath the skin about the size of half a deck of cards).

9. Oxygen-rich environments 

Oxygen and electricity aren’t friends either. If the victim is attached to oxygen or if there is an oxygen tank nearby, simply remove it from the scene and proceed as usual.

10. Cable & AED Movement

Be careful not to adjust the cords or move the device in any way while the AED is assessing the victim and when it is shocking. This can cause inaccurate readings, thereby rendering the device useless.

Last but not least, If the device tells you to perform CPR (because the shock has not been effective in restoring the heart to normal sinus rhythm), do not remove the pads and continue CPR. The AED will tell you to stop every 2 minutes, analyze the heart rhythm and determine the best course of action.

Please contact us for more information to purchase a defibrillator for your organization or to be trained on how to use the device.

Always remember – be calm, be confident & think common sense!

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. Visit to see our calendar and contact us directly about a session in-home, in-office or in-studio.