Every Team Manager should know the basics of First Aid says Team Fiji Chef de Mission to Tokyo 2020, Patrick Bower during FASANOC’s Medical Commission First Aid in Rugby (FAIR) Course held last month.
Mr Bower stressed the importance of everyone that plans to be a part of Team Fiji to Tokyo 2020 to be aware of the basic first aid techniques.
He said first aid was often taken for granted because Team Fiji usually travels with a medical team.
"But the medical team is limited and will not be present at every sporting event so it is vital that all Section Managers are aware of the basic First Aid techniques," he said.
Karate Fiji's, Laverne Qiolevu said knowing the basics of First Aid would help should their athletes require it.
"Karate is such a small sport that when we travel we are unable to afford a doctor or medical team to take with us," she said.
"So as Managers or part of the athletes support personnel it is important that we know First Aid."
Fiji Judo Association's Eughenio Maitiro said in their sport, injuries are a frequent occurrence.
"With this course we will at least be able to learn the basics and ensure that our athletes get the best care possible," he said.
Eughenio said often in their sport they would deal with it the best way they knew how without knowing whether it was the correct way or not.
"It is also better to take the course and not need it rather than need it and not know what to do," he said.
FASANOC Medical Commission's Educator, Sharlene Nand said the course was mainly targeted at coaches and managers for Tokyo 2020 and the Commonwealth Games and Pacific Mini Games in 2022.
"What we want to do is to educate these athlete support staff who are not medical personnel to have some knowledge of how to recognise sports injuries and emergencies but also what to do until professional help arrives," she said.
She said the main aim was to educate participants on understanding the sequence of approach when there was a need for First Aid.
Sharlene said after the course, participants would be able to ensure that injuries to athletes and anyone else involved including spectators, were not further compromised from incorrect handling or procedures.
Fiji Rugby Union's physiotherapist, Jennifer Khalik was the Course Director and stressed the importance of participants doing quality First Aid.
Jennifer said, the course is made up of an online pre-course theory component and a hands-on practical session taken by specialist educators.
The hands-on course is delivered in a daylong session and there is approximately eight hours of pre-course work. This pre-course work is essential so you can get maximum benefit from the hands-on practical session.
On completion of the course to the required standard, participants will receive a World Rugby FAIR qualification certificate.
Ms Khalik also said that whilst the course was called First Aid in Rugby, the attendees, once qualified can apply the learnings anywhere.
Injuries are a part of any contact sport. The outcome of many injuries can often be improved by very simple first aid skills from bystanders until emergency help arrives, she said.
Such bystanders may be parents, club officials, coaches, referees or even other players. The World Rugby FAIR Level 1 aims to equip with some of the basic skills one may need if you ever found yourself in such a situation.
On successful completion of the course, a pitch side responder will be able to:
• Plan and risk assess for potential emergency situations at sports grounds.
• Appreciate safety hazards for a first aider.
• Protect the neck and perform an assessment of airway, breathing and circulation.
• Recognise the difficulties in telling major and minor injury apart in the early stages – particularly head injuries.
• Recognise cardiac arrest and perform effective basic life support and safe defibrillation.
• Initially manage a potentially spinally injured player safely in an emergency situation.
• Understand the role of the first aider in the chain of survival.
• Manage common limb injuries including sprains, strains and fractures.
• Activate appropriate help
FASANOC Medical Commission chair, Doctor Jone Nasome also highlighted some medical issues that can be easily identified and dealt with early while waiting for proper medical help.
"The most important thing to learn about first aid is to ensure that the chain of survival is followed which is to do something to allow the patient or player every chance to survive until proper medical help arrives," said Dr Nasome.
The workshop was funded by the International Olympic Committee Olympic Solidarity under the Sports Medicine and Protection of Clean Athletes program.