Whether you drive children or adults around in your minibus, or a mix of the two, there’s a chance that one day you’ll be required to administer first aid to one of your passengers.

 

In such an event, knowing the basics of first aid can help to ensure that the passenger receives the necessary help and support in good time, potentially preventing an issue from becoming much more serious.

 

Before we share some first aid best practice for minibus drivers, you need to make sure your vehicle and all your passengers are covered with the right level of minibus insurance. Here at Taxi Insurer we arrange  minibus insurance for drivers over 25 years, with policies available for personal use, private and public hire.

 

The Taxi Insurer team works hard to understand you, your vehicle and unique requirements, so that we can find the most suitable insurance policy.

 

Don’t forget your first aid kit

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has created a useful Minibus Safety Code of Practice guide that’s a must-read for any minibus driver.

 

A first aid kit is an essential piece of equipment for your minibus and it’s your duty to make sure that it’s fully stocked at all times. The kit should include:

 

  • 10 foil packed antiseptic wipes
  • 1 conforming disposable bandage (a minimum of 7.5cm wide)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • A packet of 24 assorted adhesive dressings
  • 3 large sterile unmedicated ambulance dressings (a minimum 15 x 20cm in size)
  • 2 sterile eye pads with attachments
  • 12 assorted safety pins
  • 1 pair of rustproof blunt-ended scissors
  • Disposable gloves
  • Mouth mask for resuscitation

 

You need to make sure that all incidents which require you to use the first aid kit (even minor ones) are recorded in an accident report book. Regularly check that all items are ‘in date’ and replace any items if they’re expired.

 

A first aid kit containing first aid essentials

First aid basics

St John Ambulance's website is a useful resource for first aid advice. It examines a range of common conditions and provides information on how to treat them with first aid. Let’s take a look at four of these conditions and how you should respond to them.

 

Nosebleeds

If a passenger is suffering a nosebleed, ask them to remain in their seat and lean with their head tilted forward (not back, as the blood could trickle down their throat and block their airway). Ask them to pinch the soft part of their nose while breathing through their mouth, and offer them a clean tissue to catch any blood.

 

After around ten minutes they can release the pressure on their nose – they’ll need to pinch it again if it’s still bleeding, for another ten minutes.

 

When the bleeding has stopped, lukewarm water can be used to clear around the nose – they should avoid exertion or blowing their nose for the time being. In the event the bleeding doesn’t stop, or it’s very heavy, call 999 or 112 for help.

 

Choking

If an adult is choking and can’t breathe properly or cough, they need your help straight away. You should:

 

  • Encourage them to cough and remove the obstruction from their mouth. If this fails, give five sharp blows to the passenger’s back, between their shoulder blades, using the heel of your hand. Lean them forwards as you do this, supporting their upper body with one hand. Check back after each blow to see if anything is in their mouth.
  • If this fails, give five abdominal thrusts. Stand behind the passenger, put your arms around their waist and place one hand in a clenched fist between their belly button and bottom of their chest. Grasp your fist and pull sharply inwards and upwards, checking their mouth each time.
  • If the blockage still hasn't cleared, call 999 or 112 for help. Repeat the five blows and five abdominal thrusts until help arrives, continuing to check their mouth each time.

 

Severe allergic reaction

In the event a passenger comes into contact with something they’re allergic to, it’s possible they may suffer what’s known as an anaphylactic shock.

 

Signs and symptoms include: red, itchy rash, or raised area of skin; swollen hands, feet or face; red, watery or itchy eyes; and vomiting or diarrhoea. They might struggle to breathe, have a swollen tongue or be confused or agitated.

 

If you suspect a passenger is having a severe reaction, call 999 or 112 immediately. The passenger may have medication on them, such as an auto-injector – if they do, help them use it or administer it yourself using the instructions.

 

After, get them comfortable in their seat and keep an eye on their breathing and responses until help arrives. You can repeat doses of adrenaline at five-minute intervals if the symptoms return or if the passenger doesn’t improve.

 

A man on the phone to the emergency services

Heatstroke

While summer is relatively mild here in the UK, a passenger still may suffer heat stroke if they have been out in the sun all day and haven’t had enough water (or, have been drinking alcohol). Here’s what you should do if you suspect a passenger has heatstroke:

 

  • Get them to a cool place and remove as much of their outer clothing as possible, phoning 999 or 112 for help. Make sure they’re sat down in a supported position.
  • If possible, wrap them in a damp, cool sheet and keep pouring water on the sheet until their temperature falls under 37.5℃ (place a thermometer under their armpit to check). If you don’t have a sheet, use a fan to cool them down or a sponge with cold water.
  • When their temperature has returned to normal, swap the wet sheet for a dry one. Monitor their level of response and temperature until help arrives – if their temperature starts to rise again, use the methods listed above.

 

Go on a course

These are just four of many different potential conditions a passenger may suffer while on your minibus. It may give you peace of mind and help you to prepare for such events if you take part in a first aid course. There are lots of training providers – the British Red Cross is one of the best.

 

While you learn how to protect your passengers, don’t forget to protect your vehicle and business with minibus insurance from Taxi Insurer. Get a quote today.

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