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Fainting at Cons? am I allowed to give advice?

#1 User is offline   AkaRisu 

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 09:49 AM

Can anyone look this over and tell me if I am giving unsafe first-aid advice in my panel?

In one of my panels, I will talk about binding/corsets/restrictive costumes and other factors that lead to fainting at conventions (and what to do about it). I will be making sure to say very clearly that I am just a dork in a costume (and not a medical professional), so all the advice should be taken with a certain amount of caution, but is there any way someone here could make sure I am giving safe advice?
We'll be demonstrating a safe position to sit/lay when feeling faint (a recovery position, as close to the wall/as far from the walkway as possible)and sharing an acronym (the acronym's mildly inappropriate, actually- we are scheduled to run this panel in the evening. So I'll only list the steps without explicitly saying what it spells... :unsure:/> )- 1.Alert medical staff and your group, 2.move the one fainting to the Floor, 3.Undo bindings/constrictive clothing, 4.Check for circulation (breathing/coughing etc), 5.Keep in safe position (Depending on where this is happening- if you're in a busy hallway, I would think that being on your back with your feet propped wouldn't be as safe as being in a 3/4 prone position, though that's what I've heard is the correct post-faint position)
The big part I'm worried about is advising the audience to carefully consider whether CPR is safe- I say this because A: if the person was bound tightly enough to pass out (and you're sure it's because of the binding), then they likely have a broken rib or two and B: I'm told there will be medical staff available, like, everywhere, so it shouldn't come down to the fainter's group to decide if CPR is needed. I'm also under the impression that the person that fainted should be aware again within seconds/minutes, and if it is serious enough that it takes longer, medical staff would likely be there by that time. Is this safe advice? Is there something I should change or add?
Thanks!

#2 User is offline   Kii 

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:17 AM

If a person has only fainted, they do not need CPR. The best thing you can do for them is to guide them to the ground gently and as you said, if they are wearing a really tight corset or something, loosen it up.

Do not try to prevent the person from falling. This puts both you and the person falling in danger of injury. It happens all the time at nursing homes, and that's how nurses end up with broken bones.

You may want to mention that a lot of fainting at conventions/events happens not because of blood restriction, but because of low blood sugar. If you've got a corset on that tightly it may be hard to eat much (if at all) so make sure you schedule meal and snack times where you loosen that baby up and get some food in you.

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#3 User is offline   garefowl 

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 01:48 PM

I work in the medical field and am CPR certified. You should not perform CPR on anyone that has only fainted--that is for when they are no longer breathing. So in the instance that someone has fainted and is breathing/has a pulse, the most you can do is stay with them to monitor their condition while someone else goes to alert medical staff. Try and get the fainted person to respond by tapping them in the meantime.

When someone has fainted, make sure that they are placed on their back. If possible, raise their legs above the level of their head. This procedure allows blood flow to go back to their brain and should speed up recovery. If they have fallen hard enough to cause injury and there is a wound, apply pressure to any bleeding. Give the victim enough room to breathe and fan them if possible. You may want to tell any crowd of people that are checking out the situation to give the victim space.

If the person whom has fainted becomes alert shortly after, chances are they will try to get back up and go about their way. Most people want to brush the whole situation off, which is something I've done myself on at least two occasions. However, please don't let someone who has fainted get right up within mere seconds of the incident because then they are at risk of having another fall, no matter how "okay" they might feel. Go somewhere clear and have them sit down, give them a cup of water and maybe something light to eat like graham crackers. A good portion of fainting at conventions may be linked with low blood sugar or dehydration, meaning they haven't been eating or drinking as they should.

Also, please don't hesitate to alert staff once someone has fainted, especially if they are unresponsive for a whole minute. Even if the person regains consciousness quickly, there is still a risk of conditions arising later, some which are extremely threatening. If the person falls and hits their head, there is a a chance that they may have a concussion. All of these things need to be taken into consideration before getting up and walking away.

Now, for anyone that feels lightheaded, make sure that they sit down. It doesn't matter how lightheaded you feel--even if it is a LITTLE bit, please go to the side and sit down immediately until you feel better. Only then should you get back up, but do so slowly in order to avoid orthostatic hypotension. Oh, and one little trick you can do while sitting is placing your head between your knees. It may look silly but it's better than fainting, right?

I hope this helps and good luck. :0:

This post has been edited by garefowl: 27 April 2013 - 01:51 PM

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#4 User is offline   Rori 

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:12 PM

View Postgarefowl, on 27 April 2013 - 01:48 PM, said:

Also, please don't hesitate to alert staff once someone has fainted, especially if they are unresponsive for a whole minute.


This!

And specific to ACen (may or may not apply to other cons), there are medics on staff (some smaller cons might not have this though). Just tell the nearest ACen staffer (IRT or otherwise) you need a medic.

This post has been edited by Rori: 27 April 2013 - 03:14 PM

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#5 User is offline   Valkyrie 

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:38 PM

View PostRori, on 27 April 2013 - 03:12 PM, said:

This!

And specific to ACen (may or may not apply to other cons), there are medics on staff (some smaller cons might not have this though). Just tell the nearest ACen staffer (IRT or otherwise) you need a medic.


Indeed. We have a wonderful team of EMRTs who are on hand at all hours. If you don't see an IRT team in your immediate vicinity, find a staffer who can notify someone with a radio. They'll get help straightaway. (Some smaller cons do have medics on hand or on call, or at the very least can contact them through the hosting facility, but this does indeed vary.)
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#6 User is offline   AkaRisu 

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:10 PM

Thank you for all the answers! I do feel like I should mention the existence of the EMRT's when I get to this part of the panel- it's really great that that resource is available.

#7 User is offline   slrphebos 

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 10:54 AM

It should also be mentioned that if you are in a hotel and for whatever reason you do not see an ACen staff member please grab a hotel staff member. Each hotel has a way of contacting ACen dispatch which in turn will get emrt to the needed area.
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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:51 PM

Hello

1.Alert medical staff and your group - you should alert us when ever this occurs. Whether it is from the corset or an actual medical condition can only be determined after we preform an assessment on the patient.

2.move the one fainting to the Floor - if you can, without hurting yourself, guide the patient to the floor. If the patient has fallen and has the possibility of an injury, do not move them as you can cause further injury.

3.Undo bindings/constrictive clothing - only if you can do so without hurting yourself or the patient.

4.Check for circulation (breathing/coughing etc) - you can always visualize if someone is breathing. If you can not visualize chest rise and fall, place your hand close to the patients nose and feel for air flow. If they are breathing never start cpr. By this time my staff will be on scene and able to handle further care. (ACen only)

5.Keep in safe position - create a "bubble" around the patient so we can work. As stated above if you suspect an injury do not move the patient. Let the medical staff do that.

I hope this clears a few things up. If you have questions feel free to ask. If you have questions at con we will be located in the Dulles room in the fish bowl. Any staff member can point you in our direction.

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#9 User is offline   cactusmomma 

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 11:02 PM

Out of curiosity, how are you recommending that people should lace up their corsets? This will also determine their breathing and posturing.

#10 User is offline   AkaRisu 

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:34 AM

The subject of the panel this will be mentioned in is actually Crossplay, so the focus will be on binding more than corsets. Do you have a particular suggestion in mind, though?

#11 User is offline   Jfett 

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:12 PM

Steve's steps pretty much cover everything.

I just wanted to point out:

View PostAkaRisu, on 27 April 2013 - 09:49 AM, said:

A: if the person was bound tightly enough to pass out (and you're sure it's because of the binding), then they likely have a broken rib or two


I'm not sure why this assumption would be made. Aren't most bindings done with an ace wrap?

#12 User is offline   AkaRisu 

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:41 AM

View PostJfett, on 04 May 2013 - 11:12 PM, said:

Steve's steps pretty much cover everything.

I just wanted to point out:


I'm not sure why this assumption would be made. Aren't most bindings done with an ace wrap?


I've always been told that ACE wraps should generally be avoided- they're made to constrict injuries, so they'd be generally unforgiving (and are more likely to cause injury...?). The other problem is when people decide to use Duct Tape (*Cringe*) and wrap too tightly. I don't know the actually likelihood of these things, just that they should be looked out for. Is this something I should modify in my presentation?

#13 User is offline   Jfett 

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:44 PM

View PostAkaRisu, on 05 May 2013 - 11:41 AM, said:

I've always been told that ACE wraps should generally be avoided- they're made to constrict injuries, so they'd be generally unforgiving (and are more likely to cause injury...?). The other problem is when people decide to use Duct Tape (*Cringe*) and wrap too tightly. I don't know the actually likelihood of these things, just that they should be looked out for. Is this something I should modify in my presentation?


Well, I've heard of ACE wraps being used for the purpose. I'm not certain they would cause injury in the way you suggest (I've never heard of an ace wrap causing or contributing to a fracture).
I'm actually going to go out on a limb and suggest that a sports bra or ACE wrap is probably fine, so long as the person wrapping is able to breathe easily. The advantage to the latter is that if you find yourself laboring to breathe, you can always stop at a bathroom and loosen/re-wrap the binding (easier said than done with many costumes, but I'm hoping people make health their priority). The big thing is to not let it get to the point where you are fainting. Don't try to "power through" the feelings of discomfort or difficulty breathing.

Like you, I would strongly recommend against using Duct Tape as a binding material. It's thick, inelastic, and will have to be cut away if bound too tightly. Steve can probably vouch for this opinion as well.

#14 User is offline   AkaRisu 

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 08:51 AM

View PostJfett, on 08 May 2013 - 11:44 PM, said:

The big thing is to not let it get to the point where you are fainting. Don't try to "power through" the feelings of discomfort or difficulty breathing.


That's a good point- a lot of people try to "do it for the costume" and end up getting hurt/uncomfortable (I've really messed up my feet before for that reason). I will mention that in the presentation.

As far as the Ace Bandages go- I think I will mention the risks and benefits, and try to demonstrate safer ways to wear them. All things considered, someone that is already at the con binding that way isn't going to get rid of it because I said so. But I can at least try to make sure they know how to do it as safely as possible.

#15 User is offline   Sapphy 

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 10:39 AM

View PostAkaRisu, on 13 May 2013 - 08:51 AM, said:

As far as the Ace Bandages go- I think I will mention the risks and benefits, and try to demonstrate safer ways to wear them. All things considered, someone that is already at the con binding that way isn't going to get rid of it because I said so. But I can at least try to make sure they know how to do it as safely as possible.


This is good--a lot of novices have the tendency to wrap ACE bandages tight, and when that tightness is around your chest, it can get dangerous quickly.

For binding, another option are to get compressiion/binding shirts. They're typically catered more to the FTM crowd, though, so they're marketed more as a medical thing (and are more pricy than ACE). I've also heard of folks layering sports bras (wearing one normally, and wearing one backwards) but I don't know how this fares for easy breathing nor how effective it looks.
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Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:10 PM

Getting in on this late myself. I would like to add that as being on EMRT we do love to cut things when they are not accessible and the patient's life could be in danger. If you have a cosplay that is designed to be binding in any fashion, you should have some sort of pull cord in easy enough location for you and or friends you are with to be able to access easily. We will not hesitate to cut if there is a possibility of a life threatening injury. I personally try to avoid damaging cosplays when dealing with patients and will work with the patient in this aspect, if they are conscious.


Dulles is the main EMRT HQ, but we also have a First Aid booth and a secondary EMRT post in the ConCenter, located just as you enter the exhibit/AA hall. I will be in charge of the ConCenter side of the operations.


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#17 User is offline   AkaRisu 

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 05:16 PM

I typically advise cosplayers to carry safety scissors in their kits when they go to cons (all sorts of uses besides escaping tight cosplay)- would you advise the person in trouble/their group to cut off the binding first, or to wait for you guys to do so?

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