First Aid on Ometepe Island


Safety is as simple as ABC – Always Be Careful.

Several years ago, there was a horrible accident on Ometepe Island. A drunk driver on a motorcycle crashed into another motorcycle head-on. Then, two more motorcycles tried to swerve to miss the accident and they both laid their bikes down.

One motorcyclist died on the panga that transported the injured to the mainland. Two suffered traumatic head injuries. The scene was horrific. The first-responders were ill-equipped police. They had no equipment, no understanding of assessing the injured before moving them, no latex gloves, no ambulance, and no training in first aid or CPR.

Nicaragua has come a long way since then, but there is still a long way to go in training first-responders at the scene of an accident. This past December, every community in Nicaragua held an emergency simulation.

Since Ron is a CPR and first aid trainer, he volunteered to head the simulation.
img_4615

The church bell rang frantically signaling an accident. I knew that when the church bell rang in a slow steady ding… ding, it meant someone had died. But this bell signal was new to me.
img_4619They had to lift the “injured” boy over a barbed wire fence.
img_4627Ron shouted, “He’s not breathing.” He demonstrated how to give three quick breaths.
img_4630Then, they all carried the injured boy to the elementary school where the ambulance was waiting. Well actually, the ambulance wasn’t there, but we pretended that help was on the way.
img_4641At school, Ron demonstrated CPR and explained how to do CPR on an infant, a child, and an adult.
img_4647Poor little guy! He looks authentic!
img_4654After the simulation, we all clapped and gave thanks to Ron and the participants. Snacks for all!
img_4655

There is still so much to do to prepare for an emergency on Ometepe Island. We lack the basic supplies and skills necessary to provide care for the injured. But, one must start somewhere, and this was a great beginning.

How can you help? If you are planning a trip to Ometepe Island these two simple things will help. 

1. Donate first aid supplies to the local police. They are the first responders on the scene of an accident. I know they would appreciate supplies because they have no budget to buy anything.

2. Donate a first aid kit to a school on the island. I compiled a first aid kit for our elementary school. Just simple things like band aids, soap, scissors, cotton swabs, and antibacterial creams and lotions.

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9 thoughts on “First Aid on Ometepe Island

  1. I agree, this is a great post, and everyone should have refreshers on first aid – me included! it’s been far too long since i’ve done that show in your photos – but long ago i’ve been part of way too many impromptu calls for first aid…it’s amazing how it all comes back when needed.

    thanks for this! lisa

  2. Thank you Debbie for this. Gives me something to think about for when we move to Nicaragua.
    Being a homeopathic practitioner I would love to teach homeopathic first aid, my way to give back to the community.

    • Just curious as to how homeopathic first aid differs from Ron’s (or mine, since I am also a first aid/first response instructor)? Is there some difference in the method of assessment or performing CPR or similar? Any online reference I can find only refer to homeopathic remedy kits, rather than first aid procedures. In the protocols that I teach and operate under, we cannot administer drugs (except naloxone for opiate overdose).

      • The first aid response would be the same although there are homeopathic remedies that help with the traumas of the situations which is what would be added. I would not be teaching CPR etc but would teach the benefits of homeopathic remedies for different situations. The first aid kits are just remedies and with those remedies and education you can treat many situations.
        Two of my colleagues Allyson McQuinn and Rudi Verspoor whom I work with have each written a book on first aid. This will give you an idea of what I can offer once I arrive in Nicaragua doing volunteer work.
        The Natural Home Pharmacy For Children: How to Use Practical Tips …

        Homeopathy at Home: Everything You Need to Get … – Amazon.ca

  3. Great Post!
    It is important to know where we stand as well as what we can do to help! And how those visiting us can ‘give a little back’ too! Thank you Debbie!
    Steve

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