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  • Should martial arts instructors know CPR & first aid?
    When you combine out-of-shape middle aged adults and vigorous martial arts training, you have the potential for medical emergencies.

    Do your instructors know CPR & first aid? Or should they only know how to call 911? Does your school train for medical emergencies (i.e. heart attack, broken bones, serious bleeding, etc.)?

    Related question - How has your school dealt with medical emergencies in the past?

    Will
    Black Belt Wiki
    http://www.blackbeltwiki.com

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      • 3
      Andrea Harkins "The Martial Arts Woman" Yes, for sure. While it's been a while since I've taken a course, my husband and son have both updated their training recently.
      • 3
      Llewena Carrero In Australia for emergencies you call "000".

      Most instructors I know have basic fist aid training or a First Aid Certificate.

      I have a First Aid Certificate and thankfully to date I haven't had to use my knowledge.
        • 1
        Steve Marshall Over here in the states, I believe the "Good Samaritan Law applies as long as you stay with the person you're rendering first aid that you are able to (to include CPR as well), you are covered as far as liability is concerned. It's always a good idea to check the definition & the wording as it applies.
      • 2
      Trent Zelazny Taking a CPR class next week, actually. Everyone should probably know, in life in general, but especially when it involves anything physically active. I wish I had done it ages ago. Better late than never, I guess.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki I agree that everyone should consider taking a CPR class. You just might need it for your elderly parents, spouse, child, etc.... in addition, to a fellow martial arts student, co-worker, etc.

        Everyone should also train with an AED (Automated External Defibrillators) as those are being added to many school practice fields and businesses.

        Will
      • 2
      Tirang R. Neyestani Hi there,
      I'm a clinician and my specialty is clinical nutrition. Knowing CPR and first aids could work for every body, let alone a martial artist. I have seen some cases of nasal fracture which were handled quite unnecessarily painfully by a karate instructor who knew nothing about the bones and fractures!
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi [242481,Tirang R. Neyestani]

        Do you mean that they tried to straighten out a broken nose? Ouch!

        Here is the Mayo Clinic's advice on taking care of broken bones - http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-fractures/basics/art-20056641

        Will
          • 1
          Andy [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] and [242481,Tirang R. Neyestani], you mean you don't need a set of pliers and a shoe to reset a broken nose? 🤔
          • 1
          Tirang R. Neyestani Exactly!!!
      • 2
      Joe Bramblett Really, everybody should know basic first aid by the time they're out of high school. At least enough to know not to move the patient unnecessarily, basics of how to minimize risk if they must be moved, controlling severe bleeding, etc. (Theoretically, splinting and such would be good to learn, but for the most part, if you've got to move the patient, it's because there's an immediate deadly hazard and you don't have time for much prep. That would be more for backcountry activities where the patient is going to be assisted or carried some distance anyway. In the dojo, we can work around them until the cleanup crew shows up.)
      I'll appreciate you calling 911 and praying until the ambulance shows up, but I'd really feel better in a world where 80-90% of the people knew how to do the above too.
        • 2
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Joe

        Very good point about knowing how to control severe bleeding. Given that the walls of some martial arts school are covered in mirrors, there is always the chance that someone falls (or is thrown/knocked) into one of these mirrors and receives a severe cut.

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
          • 1
          Joe Bramblett I could also see a lot of value there in case of a compound fracture, but mirrors and practice weapons (sharpness is less relevant if it hits hard enough) are common hazards that can cause serious bleeding.
      • 2
      Terry scott I am a registered nurse and have been training for 40 years,to my mind spend a day to be able to assist your students and classmates is both sensible and in the spirit of martial arts. Doesn't take long and red cross usually holds regular sessions which won't cost too much and make you confident. Try it guys.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi [190246,Terry scott]

        Based on your experience as a nurse - Is there anything else that instructors should know health-wise in order to help their students? Or should they just focus on CPR & basic first aid and leave everything else for EMTs?

        What would you add to a basic first aid kit for a martial arts school?

        Will
          • 1
          Terry scott The basic kit should serve well,the main aim is to preserve life and mimimise injury. I am not sure of laws in other countries but here in uk if you stay within the red cross first aid course,which covers uch things as bruises ,breaks ,heart attacks,fits ect you are covered from litigation and usually can get EMT amulance response in around 15 minutes. So I would do course and buy thier kit. Need to renew every year but that is only a day course and will reassure parents when sending kids to a school.
            • 1
            Will - Black Belt Wiki Interesting. I hadn't realized that this issue also had a positive "marketing" angle. Parents of prospective students are already nervous that their child might be injured during martial arts training (and thus leery about signing up their child). It would be useful to not only to verbally allay those fears but also to show on your school website that all instructors are trained in CPR & first aid and that the school has an annually rehearsed medical emergency plan.

            Will
      • 2
      Mitt Radates Basic first aid (bandages, cold packs, R.I.C.E. and CPR) fine, but anything beyond that should mean a call to EMS. Any large school should invest in an A.E.D. as well.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Mitt

        Excellent suggestion about AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators)... which should be required at all sports events.

        And members if you don't know R.I.C.E., it means Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

        Will
      • 2
      Todd Mendenhall Yes, I think it is responsible and ethical for any Instructor to know basic first aid. They should know CPR, as well as, how to deal with Concussion and minor injuries. Martial Arts, can be dangerous if the proper control is not initiated, so understanding the difference between minor and major injury is imperative.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi [221956,Todd Mendenhall]

        Welcome to the community! Great point about concussions. Instructors & parents need to watch out for signs of a concussion (i.e. due to a strike to the head or a head striking the ground during a throw) and they should always err on the side of caution. Please see a medical professional if there is any chance of a potential problem.

        Here is the CDC's page on concussions (i.e. signs & symptoms of a concussion) - http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_symptoms.html
          • 1
          Todd Mendenhall Great follow and link Will. I think this is the side as with many other fields, instructors forget about. I also teach concealed carry, and a great many of the other instructor's haven't even thought about the "what if". We owe it to our student, ourselves, our family and the Arts to be prepared for the "what if".
            • 1
            Andy Hi [221956,Todd Mendenhall], welcome to the community, I fully agree, also I would point out that 'what if' has a lot to do with MA training in the first place! Whether for sport or self defence, we should have answers to anything an opponent (or life) throw at us.
      • 2
      Beth Loomer Everyone should be trained to deal with these things. Who knows when it will happen your own home even.
        • 1
        Andy Hi [220307,Beth Loomer] and welcome to the community :) Excellent point!
        • 1
        Beth Loomer Thank you for the welcome. That thought is why I am trained in CPR and First Aid.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi [220307,Beth Loomer]

        Very good point & welcome to the wiki community.

        CPR & first aid is very useful in order to help martial arts students or even instructors. Moreover, I would hate to be in the situation of trying to save my own son, wife, mother, friend, etc. and be thinking "I wished that I knew CPR".

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
      • 2
      Sensei-Chap1 Yes, As a responsible business owner and/or instructor it's the right thing to do. Shows that you genuinely care about your student's safety and well-being. Should you ever unfortunately become faced with having to save a life in your dojang you'll be able to render initial critical assistance. I would not want to pass this one up...too risky in my opinion.
      • 2
      Christopher Adamchek my teacher handles the insurance but we have never had an issue with minor problems (some cuts, chipped teeth, ect)
      Im the only teacher that is CPR/first aid certified......which i need to get renewed
        • 2
        Will - Black Belt Wiki One of the advantages for martial arts schools - people (even parents) expect the occasional injury and thus are not lawsuit crazy.

        However, if someone is really hurt due to negligence, that is probably another story.

        I wonder if a school does not have a written & rehearsed emergency plan (i.e. how to deal with a heart attack) - Does this put them at a legal disadvantage (as well as a moral disadvantage)? I am not a lawyer so I have no clue. I would love to hear the comments from any school owners/instructors about the need for emergency training & plans.

        Will
          • 1
          Steve Marshall If an individual is inured in any way as a result of negligence, it is a whole different ballgame altogether & that's where it gets "downright ugly"
      • 2
      ChuckD Good question.... Thought I fall in the out-of-shape middle aged category the only real injury I've had the last 3 years was ripping a toe nail off playing dodge ball with the kids.
      • 2
      Andy Just make sure that your school has plenty of tiger balm and super glue and all will be well! :)
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Read the question about insurance & "liability"... your answer is freaking out insurance companies everywhere. :)
          • 1
          Andy As long as your school is insured for fire, theft, flood, and random attack from Ninja, Ronin, Zombies, Pirates and large dangerous animals then it is all legally secure and covered. :)
            • 1
            Will - Black Belt Wiki They definitely need insurance for photo-shopped Santas with sake bottles. :)
              • 1
              Andy I think that is covered under indemnity insurarance though I could be very wrong! :)
              • 0 1 vote
            • 1
            Andy Ps you may like to take out extra cover for small dangerous animals such as ferrets, wasps and scorpions! :)
      • 1
      Marius This is a must, need to assist with injuries
      • 1
      John Graden https://martialartsteachers.com/how-2-schools-got-sued-for-over-1-million/
      • 1
      Andrew Brown Yes. Not even a question.
      All fitness coaches should take the First Aid/CPR class at least once per year.
      • 1
      Andrew Patterson We have only ever had minor injuries at our dojo. That said. I am a Nationally Registered EMT, and a Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED Instructor. I would recommend that an Instructor have CPR Training.
        • 2
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi Andrew

        Do you think at least one instructor at a martial arts school should be an EMT? Or is this overkill?

        Perhaps you would also like to tell people what is involved in EMT training (I.e. knowledge, time commitment and expense). Thanks.

        Will
          • 1
          Andrew Patterson EMT Training in Oregon is about 190 hours. The National Standard, if I remember correctly is like 135 or 140. You can expect to do an ER Rotation or 2, a couple ride outs with a local Fire Department or an Ambulance Service. You will read A LOT. Do A LOT of homework and study your butt off to try and pass the College, State and National Registry written exams, plus the College and State Skills assessments. You learn basic anatomy, functions of the body and how to provide life support in true emergencies, as well as rendering aid for non-life threatening injuries and psychological support for disturbed and/or distraught individuals All told, with travel expenses, books , tuition, licensing, etc., it cost me roughly $4,000. No Student loans for me either. Probably overkill to have an EMT on staff at a school my size, but I was a Firefighter/EMT, thus it was a job requirement. :)
            • 2
            Will - Black Belt Wiki 190 hours and $4,000... maybe a little overkill for the average dojo. :) But great for your students!

            Will
      • 1
      Trevor Hill Yes, I've seen a few situations where FA was needed
      • 1
      Will - Black Belt Wiki I have just added some links to various Red Cross CPR, AED & First Aid courses on this community page - http://community.blackbeltwiki.com/post/6128634/cpr-aed-first-aid-training-for-the-dojo-or-home

      Will
      • 1
      Gregory Grove yes
        • 1
        Andy Hi [242745,Gregory Grove] and welcome to the community! that is a very concise and straight to the point answer, I like it :)
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