First Aid and Emergency Protocols

Dealing with emergency situations is in many respects a matter of "common sense". However, by their very nature, emergency situations are unusual, stressful and complicated. As a result what can with hindsight seem straight forward will in fact be difficult to implement at the time. Listed here are some general principles for action that the Club has endorsed.

Members can also access the Club's Risk Assessment and Management Policies for a comprehensive break-down of how we address risk within and to the Club.

General Principles for dealing with an emergency situation

  1. Secure the space so as to remove further danger/risk or minimise the potential for danger or risk.
  2. Stabilise anyone affected by the situation so as to reduce the risk of deterioration
  3. Seek advanced assistance as soon as possible.
  4. Document the incident as soon as possible.
  5. Review the incident and update procedures as necessary.

Application of General Principles to an injury situation

Accidents are an unfortunate possibility of the type of training involved in the martial arts. With good risk management we are able to reduce the likelihood and severity of injury. However, no system is ever 100 per cent efficient.

If there is an injury at the dojo, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Be observant and check for obvious signs of injury. This will provide a first assessment of what needs to be done.
  2. Assume that the injury is potentially worse than it presents. It never hurts to be conservative with your treatment approach and be more, rather than less, cautious with your treatment.
  3. Never assume that it is possible to diagnose the full extent of an injury. The only people qualified to do so are Medical or Nurse Practitioners. Not even paramedics or Registered Nurses are qualified to diagnose (even though they may have from their experience a very good idea of what is wrong).
  4. Be mindful of your own skill and current capacity to provide first aid. Ensure that the most experienced person with the best particular skills is attending the injured person.
  5. First aid is not "committee" work. One person needs to take charge and provide active support to the injured person, and direct others to assist under their orders. This may involve delegating the provision of direct first aid support to another person while another person arranges for advanced care and coordinate by-standers.
  6. While a first aider is not compelled to intervene in a situation, once they commence assistance, they are obliged to continue until more advanced help arrives or they are physically unable to continue.
  7. An injured person requires active monitoring until such time as they are either experiencing significant reductions in their distress or they refuse further assistance. This must be done without pause, as an injured person can deteriorate quickly and unexpectedly.
  8. Emotional/psychological distress is just as important to address as any physical injury — both are elements of the duty of care to the injured person. It is part of the first-aider's remit to minimise the distress that the injured person is experiencing.
  9. Managing bystanders is vital in order to provide the best quality of care to the injured person. An accident can be distressing to bystanders, and well-meaning actions that are not properly coordinated can make the situation worse. Keeping bystanders active by getting them to attend to specific tasks (keeping watch for the ambulance, keeping others away from the injured person, phoning the injured person's emergency contact)  is one way keep bystanders out of the way while giving them a useful task to complete. If possible, continue with the class in order to keep others occupied, unless there are insufficient people to attend to the injured person and direct traffic, or if continuing could risk further injury.
  10. A general benchmark for seeking further care is 15 minutes. There are some circumstances where is is very obvious that the injury is beyond the capacity of a first-aider to treat. In such circumstances, immediate medical attention should be sought. However, if there is not a significant abatement of symptoms within 15 minutes and the injured person is not refusing treatment, then additional aid must be arranged.
  11. Witness statements must be recorded as soon as practicably possible. Statements should be limited to factual observation i.e. what was seen or heard. They should not cover speculation, imputation or extrapolation of the facts, such as inferring someone's motivation, their state of mind or speculation regarding any action that you did not directly witness.

Application of General Principles to a confrontation at the Dojo

While we would like to create a situation where everyone meets the expectations placed on them by holding membership with the Club, there still exists the possibility of an unfortunate incident where there is a public confrontation between two or more people during training or a Club function.

These situations are serious and pose a risk to the individuals involved and the Club. Please note that:

  1. Violent, intimidatory, harassing or offensive behaviour will not be tolerated.
  2. If necessary, action will be taken against individuals who behave in a manner unbecoming. This  can include but is not limited to: removal from a venue; exclusion from participation in Club activities; suspension or revocation of membership; sanction via University of Southern Queensland procedures; or legal proceedings.
  3. Primary responsibility for dealing with these types of situations shall be any Executive members or Instructors present.

If an incident occurs, the standard procedure shall be to:

  1. Attempt to de-escalate the situation by remaining calm and reasonable. 
  2. Ensure that where possible, all interactions are witnessed.
  3. Remove those distressed or in potential danger from the scene as soon as practical.
  4. Avoid "being the hero". If there is a perception that an encounter might realistically become physical, call for police support.
  5. As with a first aid incident, make sure that witness statements are be recorded as soon as practicably possible. Statements should again be limited to factual observation i.e. what was seen or heard. They should not cover speculation, imputation or extrapolation of the facts, such as inferring someone's motivation, their state of mind or speculation regarding any action that you did not directly witness.
  6. Make sure that the Club Executive is informed of the incident as soon as possible so that a review of procedures and any other follow up action may be taken.