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First Aid for someone who fell off a ladder

Autumn is well and truly here. That means leaves everywhere, including in your gutters. Every year thousands of people fall off ladders, trying to clean out their gutters. (A recent Queensland study found men over 55 account for nearly half of all ladder injuries.)

While prevention is better than cure (such as getting a professional gutter cleaner to do the job) there are some simple things you can do to help someone who’s just fallen off a ladder.

Ladder falls can lead to a multitude of serious injuries including:

· Broken Bones (including limbs and even backs)

· Sprains or Fractures

· Head and Neck Injuries

· Internal bleeding from organ damage

· Swelling, bruising, persistent headaches

· Shock, unconsciousness or even death

If you come across someone who has fallen off a ladder, take the following first aid actions.

1. Assess the person for serious injury BEFORE moving them or helping them up. It can take a few minutes for any pain to start showing up so keep them calm as you assess them.

2. If it is comfortable for them, roll them over onto their side. Obviously if they’ve fallen onto a rose bush or are hanging over a fence, you need to get them into a safer, more comfortable position, with as minimum of movement as possible.

3. Gently check with them to see if they can move their arms or legs easily, without pain. Check over for any sides of head injury (bleeding for example). Ask them a couple of simple questions like “what day is it” or “what is your name” or something to check if they’ve had a blow to their head. Ask if they have bad pain in any part of their body.

4. If they are unable to move any body part, are in great pain or appear to be bleeding, dazed or confused, or if you have any other concerns immediately call 000 and ask for an ambulance. If they go into shock, stop breathing or have any other serious reaction, apply CPR and other standard first aid procedures.

5. If they appear to have no serious injuries and can comfortably sit up, help them to do that. Then wait a few more minutes to see if they are OK with sitting and if they are showing no serious injuries or reactions, help them to walk inside and suggest they lay down on the sofa. Monitor them and if they deteriorate call a doctor or ambulance. If they seem “fine” still recommend they go to a doctor as soon as possible for a check up.

If you’d really like to know how to deliver proper and effective CPR & First Aid, book a course online with us at


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