>Bill is an experienced emergency medical technician (EMT) in New Jersey, and I am an EMT in Maryland. Bill and I are dive buddies, and we have done volunteer dive-rescue work as support crew at American Power Boat Association hydroplane races. Both of us have taken DAN's dive medical technician (DMT) course and are DAN® Instructors. We're firm believers in furthering our own education in dive medicine as well as helping to promote dive safety by teaching; every diver who gets first-aid training strengthens the network of safe diving.
>After the show ended we were helping some folks break down their booths and chatting with our friends at DAN. Suddenly a young lady ran up and asked frantically, "Is there an EMT here?" I immediately told her I was one, and she said, "A man cut himself while taking down his booth, and he is spurting blood all over the men's bathroom."
>Her description of the injury seemed to indicate an arterial bleed; the risk with such a bleed is shock, a true emergency in which substantial fluid or blood loss results in insufficient blood to supply the body. Unchecked, an arterial bleed can lead to loss of consciousness and death from shock in a matter of minutes. These thoughts were racing through my mind as she spoke.
>She took off through the convention center with me right behind her. I tapped Bill on the arm on the way past him and said, "Come on!" We headed across the show floor while Patty Seery, DAN's deputy director of education, hurried to grab a medical kit that had not yet been packed away. As we made our way across the convention center I asked if an ambulance had been called, and the woman responded that one had. She said when people saw the severity of the injury they had immediately blurted out, "Go get DAN!"
>Although we were at a dive show, this was an injury that could have happened anywhere. But whether it occurred on a dive boat, in a convention center, on a beach or at home, the treatment would be the same. This incident really showed me the importance of the first-aid skills taught in the DAN's Basic Life Support: CPR and First Aid class. It also demonstrated the importance of having the proper medical equipment, such as a first-aid kit, readily available. It is just as important to be prepared in our daily lives as it is at the dive site.
>I was very proud to hear that when there was an emergency, the first words out of the mouths of the divers present were "Go get DAN!" That speaks volumes about the job the folks at DAN have done in promoting safety in the diving community through education and training. I am proud to be a DAN Instructor and part of a network of divers trained in first aid, able to help out wherever a need arises.
>Have you put your skills into action? Tell us about it! Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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>© Alert Diver — Summer 2012