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Sunday 13 July 2008

Random ramblings...

A busy week and I’m behind with my blog – so here are some fairly unconnected ramblings…..

Tuesday we had a presentation regarding the “First Responders” training which is being made available to island residents. A couple of chaps from the Paramedic ambulance service came over with Andy Trevett, our GP, and a representative from Orkney Health Board.

I think the folk who came out to talk to us about the training were surprised by the number of us who are willing to go forward for training – about 15 folk in all. This will involve a two day training course in first aid, but also in how to administer oxygen and use the defibrillator, both of which will be available on the island.

We have an excellent service from our primary care practice in Stromness, but they are across a stretch of water! There have been a few emergencies in the last year or so and I think several of us on the island feel that we’d like to have some training to be able to deal with emergencies while waiting for the professionals to arrive.

The First Responders scheme is organised through the Ambulance service – first responders will be “on call” and when someone phones 999 the ambulance service will notify the on call First responders to go along to the emergency and help assess the situation, administer oxygen etc until the medical professionals arrive.

For Graemsay this will give us a little peace of mind as we have no medical facilities on the island itself. For routine care we go over to Stromness to see the GPs at the surgery, or go to Kirkwall to visit the Balfour Hospital. For some diagnostic tests and treatment it's necessary to travel to Aberdeen to the main hospital there. But accidents and emergencies can be challenging to deal with - it's not possible to bring an ambulance to the island so the GP must come out on the boat and if necessary the Air Ambulance helicopter is called. But in bad weather sometimes there are delays. The Air Ambulance helicopter has to come from Inverness on Mainland Scotland, and even the GP can be delayed in adverse weather.

So it looks like the training will be set for September this year. I’ve put my name down – though I’m not good with blood. Yes I know I’m a health researcher – but blood is rarely involved!

Today the weather has been glorious and I’ve been catching up on jobs outdoors. Cut the grass at the front of the house. The ground staff went on strike I think… but turned out to cut the grass at the back. Tee Hee – only joking as Mick very kindly cuts my grass for me with his ride-on-mower.

I also got two line-fulls of washing dried. I just love the fresh smell that laundry has when it’s been out on the line for a few hours.

I’ve got visitors from London arriving tomorrow so have spent the day preparing for them. Baked another lemon cake as was so pleased with the way the last one turned out. Unfortunately the bread maker misbehaved so the Italian Herby loaf has been given to the hens – they didn’t complain!

Fitzi-cat is improving greatly on his new medication, much to my relief. He is certainly more active. Well it’s all relative really – he’s awake more is probably nearer the truth. His appetite has improved and he is vocalising more loudly – back to his usual self! Getting the medication in him is something of a challenge – one small orange “thyroid” tablet, and one large potassium pill. Both end up crushed into some tuna but he is getting wise to that….. need to find a Plan B!

Time to settle down and watch “Midsomer Murder” before getting on with some ironing in preparation for visitors .

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