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First aid at work

I am asking a question on behalf of my employer - we have an employee who works for us who has not yet been diagnosed with MS but is suffering neuro-degenerative health problems.

We are trying to support as much as possible - for example we have made physical changes to the work location/layout.

One of the issues that has been raised is whether our site first aiders need any specialist training to understand the condition and provide support.

Can anyone provide any advice?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Hi Melmerby,

I think your first aiders will not require any additional training in regards to MS.

First aid is only a basic knowledge of care in an emergency, to give extra training would be going to far.

Not even GP’s have a knowledge of MS !!! - and always pass you on to a Neuro for clarification.

Regards, Andy

1 Like

Hi, the only thing that I’d say is to understand that MS is so variable, symptoms can sometimes happen very quickly & with little warning.

It’s very good that the company is taking special interest in this, but no extra training is needed…just understanding

Rosina x

I agree with the other replies. Although symptoms of an MS episode, or relapse, can develop quite quickly, they are not usually life-threatening, and I find it difficult to imagine a situation where emergency first aid would be necessary, or, indeed, useful.

People with MS may be more at risk from falls, depending on the degree to which they are affected, but if the person were to have a fall, you would treat it the same way as anybody else having a fall - there are no special precautions for dealing with someone with MS, that you wouldn’t do for anyone who is injured. In some cases, sensation, including that of pain, may be diminished in some parts of the body, so the person might underestimate the seriousness of an injury, or even not notice at all - because it didn’t hurt. So how much pain the person is reporting might not be a reliable indicator of how badly they are hurt. But a good first-aider should know that anyway; they would not rely solely on the patient’s own reports, but would take additional steps to assess the seriousness of the injury.

Tina

Thank you all for your advice.

Your comments support the conclusion I had reached but with my limited knowledge I just wanted to be sure.

Melmerby

Hi Melmerby,

ironic question for me this was, as I’m the lead first aider where I work!

Freckles xxx

Hi Melmerbry,

​This may be useful for your employer

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/private-and-public-sector-guidance/guidance-for-all/pre-equality-act-guidance/guidance-for-employers-pre-october-10

G