Do you know what to do in an emergency?
The few minutes after an injury occurs or at the onset of a medical crisis are frequently the most important.
The key is knowing what to do, remaining calm, and making a decision to act.
After doing everything you can to prevent emergencies, the next step is to prepare for one. Some basic steps are:
• Keep well-stocked first-aid kits at home, at work and in your car.
• Learn how to recognize emergency warning signs.
• Organize family medical information. Make lists of medications (and dosages) taken by you and your family; include allergies.
• Identify and eliminate safety hazards in your home.
• Take a first-aid class.
• Post emergency numbers near the telephone.
Learn To Recognize
Not every cut needs stitches, nor does every burn require advanced medical treatment.
If you think someone could suffer significant harm or die unless prompt care is received, that situation is an emergency, and call 9-1-1 for help.
Get help fast when the following warning signs are seen:
• Chest pain lasting two minutes or more.
• Uncontrolled bleeding.
• Sudden or severe pain.
• Coughing or vomiting blood.
• Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath.
• Sudden dizziness, weakness or change in vision.
• Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea.
• Change in mental status (e.g., confusion, difficulty arousing).
Decide To Act
Be ready, willing, and able to help someone until emergency services arrive.
Action can mean anything from calling paramedics, applying direct pressure on a wound, performing CPR or splinting an injury.
Never perform a medical procedure if you’re unsure about how to do it.
• Do not move anyone involved in a car accident, serious fall or is found unconscious unless he or she is in immediate danger of further injury.
• Do not give the victim anything to eat or drink.
• Protect the victim by keeping him or her covered.
• If the victim is bleeding, apply a clean cloth or sterile bandage. If possible, elevate the injury and apply direct pressure on the wound.
• If the victim is not breathing or does not have a pulse, begin rescue breathing or CPR.