First Aid Certification Extension

First aid certificate extensions

First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First aid at Work (EFAW) certificates requalification

First aid providers have resumed first aid training and assessment. In some cases, there remains a back log or limited availability.

FAW or EFAW certificates that expired after 16 March 2020 can remain valid until 31 October 2020 or 6 months from date of expiry, whichever is later. All requalification training for these certificates should be completed by 31 March 2021.

To qualify for the extension, employers must be able to demonstrate that:

  • they have made every effort to arrange requalification training as soon as possible and can explain in detail why they have not been able to do so. For example, they must show evidence that staff with expired certificates are booked on to EFAW or FAW requalification courses,  if requested by an inspector
  • they have adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities to give first aid to any employee who is injured or becomes ill at work
  • the level of first aid cover provided remains appropriate for their particular work environment
  • the level of first aid provision necessary in high risk settings is fully maintained, eg in construction, agriculture, engineering and chemicals

Annual refresher training

If first aiders are unable to access annual refresher training face to face during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, HSE supports the use of online refresher training to keep their skills up to date.

HSE still strongly recommends that the practical elements of actual FAW, EFAW and requalification courses are delivered face to face, so that competency of the student can be properly assessed.

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease

Diseases affecting the cardiovascular system are called cardiovascular disease.

Many of these diseases are called “lifestyle diseases” because they develop over time and are related to a person’s exercise habits, diet, whether they smoke, and other lifestyle choices a person makes. Atherosclerosis is the precursor to many of these diseases. It is where small atheromatous plaques build up in the walls of medium and large arteries. This may eventually grow or rupture to occlude the arteries. It is also a risk factor for acute coronary syndromes, which are diseases that are characterised by a sudden deficit of oxygenated blood to the heart tissue. Atherosclerosis is also associated with problems such as aneurysm formation or splitting (“dissection”) of arteries.

Another major cardiovascular disease involves the creation of a clot, called a “thrombus”. These can originate in veins or arteries. Deep venous thrombosis, which mostly occurs in the legs, is one cause of clots in the veins of the legs, particularly when a person has been stationary for a long time. These clots may embolise, meaning travel to another location in the body. The results of this may include pulmonary embolustransient ischaemic attacks, or stroke.

Cardiovascular diseases may also be congenital in nature, such as heart defects or persistent fetal circulation, where the circulatory changes that are supposed to happen after birth do not. Not all congenital changes to the circulatory system are associated with diseases, a large number are anatomical variations.

Scene Survey

When arriving at the scene of an accident it is important to firstly ensure the safety of the casualty, bystanders and the first aiders themselves.

Control the Situation

Stop at the scene, don’t panic and take a deep breath. Act quickly to ensure the safety of all and prioritise the risk of vehicular traffic.

Look for Potential Hazards

Scan the area for anything that could cause harm to you, the casualty or bystanders. Identifying known hazards at this point could prevent further casualties. Examples include the risk of electricity and fast moving water.

Assess the Situation

Gather information from both the casualty and / or bystanders at the scene. Use the principles of History, Signs and Symptoms to identify what is going on.

Protect and Prioritize

Protect yourself and the casualty from cross infection by wearing gloves and using sterile equipment from a first aid kit. Ensure casualty’s are prioritized using the principles of Breathing, Bleeding, Fractures / Bones and other injuries.

Gain as much assistance as possible from bystanders and get the required information to the emergency services. The emergency services won’t come unless you call them and they will not prioritize you unless the required information is given. It is possible to speed this process up (potentially saving the casualty) by being clear, concise and to straight to the point.

What is the skeletal system

The human skeletal system consists of all of the bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments in the body. Altogether, the skeleton makes up about 20 percent of a person’s body weight.

An adult’s skeleton contains 206 bones. Children’s skeletons actually contain more bones because some of them, including those of the skull, fuse together as they grow up.

There are also some differences in the male and female skeleton. The male skeleton is usually longer and has a high bone mass. The female skeleton, on the other hand, has a broader pelvis to accommodate for pregnancy and child birth.

Regardless of age or sex, the skeletal system can be broken down into two parts, known as the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton.

Axial skeleton anatomy

The adult axial skeleton consists of 80 bones. It’s made up of the bones that form the vertical axis of the body, such as the bones of the head, neck, chest, and spine.

Skull bones

The adult skull comprises 22 bones. These bones can be further classified by location:

  • Cranial bones. The eight cranial bones form the bulk of your skull. They help to protect your brain.
  • Facial bones. There are 14 facial bones. They’re found on the front of the skull and make up the face.

Auditory ossicles

The auditory ossicles are six small bones found within the inner ear canal in the skull. There are three auditory ossicles on each side of the head, known as the:

They work together to transmit sound waves from the surrounding environment to the structures of the inner ear.


The hyoid is a U-shaped bone found at the base of the jaw. It serves as a point of attachment for muscles and ligaments in the neck.

Vertebral column

The vertebral column is made up 26 bones. The first 24 are all vertebrae, followed by the sacrum and coccyx (tailbone).

The 24 vertebrae can be further divided into the:

  • Cervical vertebrae. These seven bones are found in the head and neck.
  • Thoracic vertebrae. These 12 bones are found in the upper back.
  • Lumbar vertebrae. These five bones are found in the lower back.

The sacrum and coccyx are both made up of several fused vertebrae. They help support the weight of the body while sitting. They also serve as attachment points for various ligaments.

Thoracic cage

The thoracic cage is made up of the sternum (breastbone) and 12 pairs of ribs. These bones form a protective cage around the organs of the upper torso, including the heart and lungs.

Some of the ribs attach directly to the sternum, while others are linked to the sternum via cartilage. Some have no attachment point and are referred to as “floating ribs.”

The importance of using an AED

There is a lot of research which has shown that prompt CPR and early defibrillation gives better survival. In the UK survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is under 10%. Having an AED at your pitches, clubhouse or with the coaches enables much quicker defibrillation should disaster strike. In many sports areas if you don’t have a AED on site then, on average, it will take between 8 and 16 min to run to a AED and back. If it takes 8 minutes the chance of survival is 20%. With a defibrillator onsite this delay may be more like 2-3 minutes giving a survival rate 70-80%.