Far Far Away First Aid
It’s been almost 9 years since we were blessed with the last Shrek film, and we are eagerly awaiting the release of Shrek 5 this year.
Shrek famously told us in the first film that ogres are like onions and have layers. Sadly, humans (and donkeys) do not have layers, so it is important for us all to have some basic first aid knowledge, in case of an emergency.
Throughout the Shrek saga, there are a lot of different incidents where some first aid awareness would’ve been useful.
Controlling a Bleeding Wound
After meeting Robin Hood and his Merry Men in the first film, Fiona realises that Shrek has been shot with an arrow.
Shrek would have received a puncture wound from being shot, which is when an object enters the skin. Although they can appear small, the depth of puncture wounds can be severe, increasing the risk of infection.
During the film, we see Fiona pulling the arrow out, however, this is poor first aid practice. If the object which caused the puncture wound is still embedded, it should not be removed, as this object may be stemming the bleed and further damage may be caused.
Instead, you should use sterile dressings or bandages to ‘build up’ around the object, providing pressure for the wound and supporting the object. Medical assistance should then be sought to safely remove the object.
Treating a Burn
We are introduced to Dragon in the first film, who guards Princess Fiona’s castle and takes a shine to Donkey as they try to rescue her. However, he is faced with burns as Dragon breathes fire on his tail. We do not see Donkey tending to his burns in the film, but in real life it is vital to treat a burn quickly and effectively to avoid permanent damage to the skin.
A burn is classified by its depth and the damage it does to the skin.
Superficial Burn (First Degree Burn): This type of burn affects only the outer layer of skin and can be tender to touch and may cause swelling.
Partial-thickness Burn (Second Degree Burn): While this type of burn look and feels very similar to a superficial burn, you will experience blistering of the skin.
Full-thickness Burn (Third Degree Burn): A full-thickness burn affects both the epidermis and dermis layers of skin and, as you probably guessed, is the most severe type of burn. A burn like this may look pale, black, charred and waxy and surprisingly will be painless, as the nerve endings will have been burnt away. If you experience this type of burn, you must seek urgent medical attention.
1. The first thing you must do after suffering a burn is cool it down, by running it under cold water for a minimum of 10 minutes.
2. You must remove any jewellery, such as watches and rings, before skin tissue begins to swell.
3. Covering the burnt area with clingfilm will help to protect it from infection, however, if this is not available, a non-fluffy sterile dressing will do a similar job.
4. Treat the casualty for shock.
Responding to a Choking Casualty
While Shrek is eating dinner with his new in-laws in the second film, he ends up choking on a spoon and administering sharp blows to his chest to remove it.
It is vital that we keep airways (nose, mouth, throat and lungs) open, as air travels through airways to reach the lungs, to ensure that oxygen gets transferred into the bloodstream.
Here’s how to respond if an adult starts choking:
- Encourage the casualty to bend forward from the waist and support them with one hand.
- With the other hand, deliver up to 5 sharp back blows with the heel of your hand. This should be done between the choking victim’s shoulder blades.
- If the obstruction isn’t cleared after the back blows have been completed, you must stand behind the casualty and place both of your arms around them. Encourage them to lean forward, as before, and then provide them with 5 abdominal thrusts. This can be done by placing one fist between the belly button and the bottom of the breastbone and the other fist on top of that. Pull the fists sharply inwards and upwards to deliver an abdominal thrust. This should be carried out 5 times too.
- Check the casualty’s mouth for obstructions and repeat 5 back blows and 5 abdominal thrusts up to 3 times. If the airway is still not cleared, call for an ambulance and continue treating the patient until help arrives.
- If they become unresponsive, then you must prepare to resuscitate.
Poison is any substance taken in sufficient quantity that can cause temporary or permanent damage to the body. During Shrek 2, Shrek steals a ‘Happily Ever After’ potion from Fairy Godmother’s potion factory. Although Shrek is not poisoned from drinking the potion, he fails to check the label beforehand.
Depending on the quantity of poison ingested, symptoms can range from mild to severe. In addition to this, poison can enter the body in many different ways: it can be swallowed, inhaled through the nose or mouth, injected or absorbed through the skin or splashed into the eye.
In Shrek’s case, the potion is swallowed. You would recognise swallowed poisons typically through a burning sensation around the mouth and throat, abdominal pain, nausea, difficulty breathing and an impaired level of responsiveness.
To treat this, you must firstly identify the poison and sit the casualty down, while also calling 999 for an ambulance. Be prepared to resuscitate, using a face shield/pocket mask, if they stop breathing.
That’ll do Donkey, That’ll Do
First aid emergencies happen all the time, especially where Shrek is concerned, so it is important to have that basic knowledge and know how to respond effectively. Here at Imperative Training, we offer in-house training, open courses and e-learning to help you get trained in life-saving first aid.
Have a question about first aid? Or can you think of any other first aid incidents in the Shrek film series? Let us know by tweeting us @ImpTraining.