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Horse Sense-Safety First by GEMMA O’DONNELL, RN, MSN AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION CPR AND HEARTSAVER INSTRUCTOR S


o, there you are riding your horse through the peaceful quiet of the woods on a beautiful Northern Arizona trail and suddenly, your normally calm horse becomes spooked and you fall off your horse. You are lying on the ground, feeling very thankful for your helmet, but also feeling intense pain in your right arm and lower leg. You quickly notice open skin and blood on your right arm and


lower right leg. You ask yourself, what do I do now?


For anyone who spends a lot of time around horses, it is a good idea to take a first aid course (Blocksdorf, 2018). By doing this you will be much better pre- pared to handle things like fractures, concussions and other types of injuries that may occur when riding or handling horses. Hospitals tend to see many horse related traumas such as crushed toes, severe fractures and worse. It is important to know how to be safe around horses and to know what to do if the worst does occur.


First aid is the immediate care that you give a person with an illness or injury before rescuers with more advanced training arrive and take over (American Heart Association, Heartsaver Student Handbook, 2016). When an individu- al takes a First Aid course, the role consists of specific responsibilities and duties. If you are helping someone else at the time of an injury, you may learn private things about that person, and it is important that you keep their information private sharing any of that information with emergency personnel only.


Some quick safety tips: If a rider requires first aid, tending to the rider first is most important. Ensure to be prepared before a ride and carry a cell phone and ensure you have a first aid kit. It is a good idea to let others know your planned route so that emergency personnel can locate you quickly (Blocks- dorf, 2018).


In the case of the above scenario, it is wise to use the first aid kit that you brought with you. The typical contents of a first aid kit** include items such as:


• Gauze pads- at least 4X4 inches • Two large gauze pads -at least 8x10 inches • Box of adhesive bandages or Band-Aids • One package of gauze roller bandage- at least 2 inches wide • Two triangular bandages • Wound cleaning agent -such as sealed moistened toilettes •


• At least one blanket • •


Scissors Tweezers


Adhesive tape


• Latex gloves and/or non-latex gloves • Resuscitation equipment such as a pocket mask • Two elastic wraps •


Splint


• Directions for requesting emergency assistance- such as important local emergency telephone numbers, as in police, fire department, EMS and poison control center.


**This kit follows the standard of the Occupational Safety and Health Admin- istration (OSHA).


So, you decide to take the steps as needed to address your injuries. If the injury is severe such as a broken bone, call 911 or local EMS (Emergency Medical Services) to ensure that your break is addressed as soon as possible. And if the bone is broken in your leg, keep the limb still until you can be seen by a healthcare provider. You don’t want to cause further damage by walking on a broken leg.


You assess your wounds and see that you have some major breaks in your skin- just some cuts. Luckily no broken bones, you find you can easily move all limbs with no difficulty and no pain. In addition, there are a few tiny twigs


6 DECEMBER 2019 I HORSE & AG MAGAZINE


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