Accidents happen, and it’s hard to be prepared for every situation. These five procedures will help guide you through handling five common medical emergencies:
Some types of bleeding are more severe than others, but your priority as a first responder in all cases is to stop the bleeding.
Start by cleaning dirt from the site of the injury, but leave any large debris or embedded objects in place–removing them may cause more harm.
Using a clean cloth or bandage, apply pressure to the injury. For severe bleeding, make sure the pressure is continuous. If the cloth or bandage is soaked through, don’t take it off; add additional cloth or bandages over top of the existing ones.
To treat burns that affect the surface of the skin, run cold water over the area for 10-20 minutes, then apply a cold compress. Avoid putting anything else on the burn site, including ice or butter, as they promote infection. Pain can be managed with Tylenol or Advil, if you have a first aid kit on hand.
Second and third-degree burns should be treated by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Using the heel of your hand, give five blows to the choking person’s back, between their shoulder blades. If back blows don’t dislodge the obstruction, switch to abdominal thrusts.
Stand behind the choking person. Make a fist and place it just above their bellybutton, then wrap your other arm around them and grab the fist you made. Press hard into their abdomen with an upward motion, as though you were trying to lift them up.
If the object is still obstructing their airway, alternate between back blows and abdominal thrusts.
Helping a Drowning Victim
A drowning person is usually incapable of communicating that they are drowning. Drowning people cannot wave their arms or call for help. Their movement will be minimal, and their head will likely be tilted back, with an open mouth.
Try to reach them from dry land first. If that’s not possible, attempt to get to them with a boat or raft; swimming to them should be a last resort.
Seizures are usually not life-threatening. A specialist from Nutech Safety Ltd advises clearing the area around the person who is seizing, to reduce the chance of injury occurring during sporadic muscle contractions.
Seizures are usually followed by a period of confusion or disorientation. To help someone recovering from a seizure, offer comforting words and keep crowds away.
Learning these steps can help you be prepared for common emergencies. If possible, brush up on your first-aid skills and become a certified aid administrator through an accredited medical training program.