There has been a lot of debate recently about first aiders administering Aspirin to suspected heart attack patients. Safety First Aid Training takes the following stance on this subject and trains learners in line with the following guidance;
Guidance from the British Heart Foundation, Resuscitation Council and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) all state that Aspirin can be given.
British Heart Foundation state that Aspirin should be given if at hand but an ambulance must already be on route. However, the first aider must not go looking for Aspirin. The view of HSE is that the administration of medication by a first aider is not part of a FAW or EFAW training course, but you can assist an individual in taking it. The one exception is when training learners on first aid for heart attacks, when this subject must be covered. For heart attack management, the first aider must be able to assist a casualty in taking 300mg of aspirin and to advise them to chew it, not swallow.
Your company policy may state that administering medication is not permitted by first aiders. This should not include the use of Aspirin. To alleviate any concerns your employer may have over administering Aspirin in such circumstances, Safety First Aid Training suggest that highlighting the relevant HSE guidance will help.
If you have any views or comments on providing Aspirin to patients, we would like to hear from you. Click here to contact us.