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First aid kits?


dave21478

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What are everyones thoughts on providing a first-aid kit in each gite?

 

For me it breaks down as follows...

Plus - Good thing to have, may save guests hunting for me for basics

Minus - Something else that might get pilfered, products will need checked to remain within useby dates

 

So it balances out even, but I wondered about where it might leave me regarding liability? IE someone turns out allergic to something in it, or somone sees it and assumes plasters and savlon will do for treating a severed arm, then sue me when it goes wrong. Common sense is dropping noticeably year on year, and I see a first-aid kit as a good idea to have in each gite, but dont want it to turn into a hassle or large expense.

 

 

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We have one and it contains plasters, bandages, dressings, a thermometer, a pair of scissors and antiseptic wipes etc, but no tablets or medication whatsoever.

I replenish as needed, but it has hardly ever been used in the three years it has been in the gite.

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I would ditto what Clair says.  You would be well-advised not to supply

any medication, even paracetamol as in France, only a doctor is allowed

to administer such things !  I am a Secouriste-Equipier ie I have the

same diplôme as the Pompiers, and we are only allowed to give

medication if there is a doctor present.

Sorry, that all sounded a bit heavy as you probably wouldn't have done that anyway !!  I don't believe that there is

any obligation whatsoever to supply a first aid kit.  People arriving

by car should have their own !  Plus if you supply sticky

plasters and someone reacts to it......

But it's a nice gesture, and not likely to be used very often.  Anyway, if they swipe the thermometer, you can deduct it from their deposit !

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I am supplying an exciting innovative talking first aid kit from the U.S. New York. I have been reading your comments and especially one from Caille. It is very interesting about not being able to supply paracetamol etc. Do the French people have first aid kits in their houses?? Should I contact the FRench Red Cross about tryong to introduce France to this new kit? I have just introduced it into Japan and it is very popularity throughout the world.

I look forward to your thoughts and / or comments.

Merci Beaucoup,

 

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GJC - that sounds a good idea - but presumably it is in English???  There are various first aid organisations in France :  La Croix Rouge (Red Cross !), La Federation Nationale de Protection Civile (of which I am a member), L'Ordre de Malte and La Croix Blanche.  There may be others.  They are all international but with sections in each department of France.  Your first aid kit could be useful to these organisations as they do first aid courses for everyone from private individuals to companies, businesses etc.  If you could supply them to the first aid organisations, they could then sell them on to the people who do their courses. 

By the way, I think you may be allowed to supply Paracetamol etc, but not administer it.  I, personally, would avoid it simply because "c'est la loi".  Perhaps I'm over cautious because it had been drummed into us.....

So you could have a big market there - as well as targetting gite owners.

Good luck !

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[quote user="Callie"]I would ditto what Clair says.  You would be well-advised not to supply any medication, even paracetamol as in France, only a doctor is allowed to administer such things !  I am a Secouriste-Equipier ie I have the same diplôme as the Pompiers, and we are only allowed to give medication if there is a doctor present.

Sorry, that all sounded a bit heavy as you probably wouldn't have done that anyway !!  I don't believe that there is any obligation whatsoever to supply a first aid kit.  People arriving by car should have their own !  Plus if you supply sticky plasters and someone reacts to it......

But it's a nice gesture, and not likely to be used very often.  Anyway, if they swipe the thermometer, you can deduct it from their deposit !
[/quote]

Callie - considering how the French like to use a thermometer they could definitely keep it.!

But you are correct. We keep a first-aid kit however last week we had a German couple here for a week to attend a wedding and family reunion. During the night the baby developed earache and Mum begged me next morning for some paracetamol - we stock Calpol. The OH refused to let me give her some for the reasons you have quoted - if the kid reacted to the medication what would have happened?

We directed them to the local hospital as it was on a Sunday morning yet the Dad sat around in the foyer with the baby until midday while Mum slept. The child was feverish, cranky and obviously unwell yet he made no attempt to get the child to the hospital. I told him several times to get her off to the hospital, only 25 minutes away, but he wanted to wait for Mum to wake up...

They never went to the hospital but checked out that afternoon instead - three days early - stating they would take the child to their doctor back home. Poor kid with clueless parents like that.

 

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You did the right thing, Jura.  I bet Herr German didn't speak French and didn't want to show himself up - probably more important to him than the poor little baby.  I believe there's normally a duty doctor who can be reached by an answerphone message at your usual cabinet ?

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Well, to be honest Callie I have broken those rules; three years ago we had an English couple check in around 11pm with two kids after arriving late on a RyanAir flight - one (about 8 years old) had a temperature and headache. Mum and Dad had considered both Stansted airport food and Ryanair onboard food too dear to buy so the poor kids had arrived here very late not having eaten since before midday that day - they were both overtired and starving.

Mum was complaining she would not get any sleep if the child kept 'whinging' so I gave the little girl a teaspoon of Calpol and both the kids some toast and hot chocolate - which settled both of them. But I never gave any thought to any possible reactions...

The last couple here, the Germans, really annoyed me. They are both working solicitors and the baby spends most of her time 'in care'. I got the gist that Mum, or for that fact, neither are used to caring for the child fulltime. Maybe though the child would not have gotten sick had they not run the room airconditioning 24 hours a day at 17C - taking the baby constantly from hot weather outside (32C) into a freezing cold room (even the room door handle was cold to touch!)  would not have done it any good and they did this for three days running.

I was worried the child was coming down with measles due to the runny nose, red cheeks and fever and tried to impress upon the father to take her to the hospital. Mum handed her over to Dad about 9am and went back to bed. Dad sat with the child until after midday waiting for 'worn out Mum' to get up. They then took the child out to a family lunch where, they told me afterwards, it threw up everywhere and over everyone...

Dad and Mum both spoke good enough English to understand me but I suspect they are just clueless - they have an au pair back home...given the child's distress I suggested the hospital as the local has an excellent paediatric emergency section. They were just too lazy and unmotivated to do anything. Like I said, poor little kid.

 

 

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Thank you for your advice. The kits are in English at the moment but can be translated into any language. Callie, you seem up to date with this - why don't you be the person who introduces the kits into France for me? All you have to do is read all the information I supply and contact some French organosations / companies. You could get commission for every sale .....!

 

Let me know if you are interested.....

Regards,

Gareth. 

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Jura - I don't wish to lecture people on what they should and shouldn't

do ! !  And in your position, I would probably have done the same ! 

But in these days of litigation and blame culture, I am becoming a

little more wary.  Mind you, you could what adult is going to ask you

for a paracetamol if he is allergic to them?

Thanks, Gareth, but we want to encourage people to do first aid courses - it is one of the things that earns us money !  Having looked on internet at how they work, I'm not totally convinced, though the idea is interesting.   Defibrillators are being distributed more and more in public places in France.  The automatic ones have a voice that take you through the procedure, so for those who aren't sure, it's brilliant.  You can turn the voice off if you want to - personally, I find it a little slow, but it's great for people who find themselves needing to use one if they've never done it before.

So I'll pass on this one.  But what gite owners could provide is a book or leaflet on basic first aid !

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It sounds like the situation is effectively identical to the UK - as a 1st aider you are not allowed to prescribe anything (with one single exception that if you beleive that someone has had a stroke you can prescibe half an aspirin) - but in the cases described above provision of over the counter medicines such as paracetomel to people who ask for is no more prescribing than the supermarket is prescribing them when they sell them to you. You might have a some explaining to do if you provided large quantities but otherwise as long as you don't prescribe but just respond to a request surely that must be fine. As an example if you are a office first aider in the UK and you have a diabetic collegue it is fine for you to administer insulin in an emergency as long as it has been prescribed by a doctor and you have discussed it, and got permisssion, with the person first.

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[quote user="freddy"]

As an example if you are a office first aider in the UK and you have a diabetic collegue it is fine for you to administer insulin in an emergency as long as it has been prescribed by a doctor and you have discussed it, and got permisssion, with the person first.

[/quote]

Are you sure about that ? As a non insulin dependent diabetic, husband/partner of an insulin dependent diabetic for 33 years and father of an insulin dependent diabetic for 22 years, I can think of absolutely no circumstances in which the response to a diabetic emergency is the administration of insulin. Invariably the opposite is true when control is lost and the administration of glucose is the solution.

I know it looks good on the telly or in a film, but please don't attempt to help a diabetic by adminestering insulin

   

 

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Sorry a poor example - the point being that as an office first aider it is fine to administer a treatment as long as it has been properly prescribed by a doctor and you have previously discussed it with the patient what you must not do is prescribe.
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I think that by providing a simple first aid kit within a gite is a good idea and indicates a duty of care towards your guests. The question of a guest utilising the contents and suffering an allergic reaction can easily be overcome - ensure the contents are hypo-allegenic. In a basic household kit it really only applys to adhesive plasters, sticking tape and gloves.

On the question of simple medications such as Calpol, paracetamol, aspirin, etc, if a guest asks for such a medication, if you indicate "I have xyz in the cupboard here" and the guest helps themself to said medication, it is no different than guest going and purchasing it for themself.

With regard to Freddy's comment "Sorry a poor example - the point being that as an office first aider it is fine to administer a treatment as long as it has been properly prescribed by a doctor and you have previously discussed it with the patient what you must not do is prescribe" , I'm sorry but as a first aider you can only assist someone to take medication which has been prescribed for them, is correctly labelled with their name, and is in their possession.

The only exception for a first aider to actually administer a drug is in a case of anaphalactic shock, where an Epipen may be injected if the patient cannot perform the task.

The offering of a 300mg aspirin tablet in the case of someone suffering a possible heart attack can be beneficial however, if that person has an allergy to aspirin, or they also suffer from asthma, or they have a gastric ulcer, the consequences can be severe. Freddy states that offering aspirin can be beneficial to stroke patients! How would the first aider know the difference between a thrombosis in the brain where the aspirin could prove beneficial, or a haemmorhage where the the effect of the aspirin could be to increase the bleed!

With all due respect Freddy, I think you may benefit from an up to date first aid course yourself! 

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[quote user="Salty Sam"]

The offering of a 300mg aspirin tablet in the case of someone suffering a possible heart attack can be beneficial however, if that person has an allergy to aspirin, or they also suffer from asthma, or they have a gastric ulcer, the consequences can be severe. Freddy states that offering aspirin can be beneficial to stroke patients! How would the first aider know the difference between a thrombosis in the brain where the aspirin could prove beneficial, or a haemmorhage where the the effect of the aspirin could be to increase the bleed!

[/quote]

To reiterate (just in case it became lost in this very informative post), by all means never offer aspirin to someone having a stroke!  If it is one of the haemmoragic variety, you may be hastening their end, and there is no way of telling with a CT scan or MRI.

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  • 1 month later...
Thank you for your comments. The first aid kit is not supposed to take over any first aid course. It is just an innovative first aid kit with instructions to help in an emergency before professional help arrives. The kit has been put together by medical professionals. The audio section of the card can be played up to 30-40 times and has an on/off switch and can also be paused and repeated. If the card is not used, it lasts longer than three years. Yes, methods do change and the cards will be updated accordingly. It is the most advanced first aid kit up-to-date and is helping people all over the world. Interest has been growing including Resusciatation councils, Austrian and Isreal Red cross and various other organisations. GQ in Munich Germany will publish their article in the popular magazine shortly and it will also be shown on Janus TV GMBH Germany in the very near future. I think it would be a great assest to the French people and also the visitors that often have holidays there. There really aren't any catches or hidden secrets to this frst aid kit. It is an invaluable aid before medical professionals arrive.
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A slight different angle on this topic... what about if you have a gite business(or any other) and hire staff. Is there a requirement to provide medical kits for the staff.

Cutting a finger during making breakfast etc...

In England, all companies have a first aid kit and a first aider... I imagine this is also necessary...

and therefore, does it also mean that one person needs to have been on a first aid course.

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Anyone doing a first aid course here in France, is under obligation to offer assistance in any situation where first aid may be required. If they don't, they could be charged with "non-assistance to a person in danger" (this is an extreme case, I hasten to add !)

All that should be provided in a first aid kit for your gite should be disinfectant, compresses (NOT cotton wool !), sticky plasters or micropore, and vinyl (not latex) gloves. You can get boxes of very small plastic bottles containing disinfectant and eye rinses.

You should not provide any sort of medication whatsoever - perhaps you could advise your gite guests to bring their own, explaining that you are not allowed to offer things like aspirin. First aiders are NOT doctors and certainly should not "prescribe" anything !

Anyone who hasn't done a first aid course within the last few years will find that there have been some changes. RCP (CPR) now requires 30 compressions at 100 per minute which can be hard work when you do cycles of 5 !

Sorry, Osie, I have no idea what health and safety require here - perhaps someone in the hotel business could help.
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We used to supply a first aid kit for each of our gites but it was a hassle keeping it replenished and checking 'sell by' dates.  Then someone complained there was not something in it that they thought should have been included (it was a Boots whole kit).  So - I switched to supplying none and instead when I send my 'info sheets' out to customers about 8 weeks before arrival I list 3 things at the top in BOLD letters that they should bring and the first is:

'a first aid kit appropriate to the needs of your family/party'

That puts the onus entirely on them!!

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My first aid box only had the usual bandages and plasters and asprin /paracetamol ....but ....after getting a bad chesty cough and finding the local cough mixture a bit weak ...   I am now resolved to stack the thing with Vicks Vapour rub.... Covonia. Chesty Cough Mixture from the  UK  and whatever else I may need to have  to ship out .....What do you find you need in yours to keep you on your feet ?

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