In which my first aid training is proved not entirely useless

Though I didn't really do much. At least, nothing that I wouldn't have done even if I hadn't been on the course. But thank you, work, for sending me on it anyway. The old man who fell and broke his nose and teeth this evening at the train station would thank you too, if he wasn't in hospital somewhere.

Story in brief: old man trips over something, goes flying, smashes his nose and teeth. Starts bleeding copiously. French people look on, saying helpful things like "He's broken his nose." "Oh, he's bleeding. Someone should call the ambulance." One actually helpful person went in to get the train station staff to call an ambulance, while we picked the man up and I took him inside, since there was no actual guarantee anyone was calling the man an ambulance, and there's nothing like pooling blood to focus the attention. Also, it was cold and raining, and the old man needed to sit down while he was bleeding copiously. Some nice passers-by did provide us with tissues, and the train staff did call an ambulance, then pretty much ignored us, me and this shaky old man who was incoherent and wondering what the hell happened to him. My advice to the SNCF is to provide first aid training to your staff, so you don't have to rely on random passers-by to dredge up half-remembered stuff. Ken the first aid man wouldn't be pleased with me, though, I completely forgot to check whether the poor old man was concussed or not - still, the paramedics were on the way anyway, so that's ok.

My most difficult task was to get this poor man to focus on keeping his head tilted forward so the blood didn't choke him and try to apply pressure to his nose to stop the bleeding a bit; he kept making feeble attempts to mop up his blood, rather than concentrating on leaning forward and letting someone else deal with the blood later on. (Turns out said someone was me, rather than anyone actually paid to do it. At least one of the train station staff said thanks...) And he kept trying to do things that would probably useful under other circumstances, like closing his briefcase, but at this point were a bit of a waste of effort (I closed it for him, since it was obviously bothering him...)

Poor man, I hope he's ok - he doesn't have any family round here and he didn't remember his kids' phone numbers. And he was clearly in shock and shaking by the time the ambulance arrived. I hope the shaking was just from shock or a stress reaction, rather than anything more serious. And I had to go home with blood on my hands, causing fellow bus passengers to look at me a bit oddly when they noticed.

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