First Aid in Emergencies
First Aid in Emergencies
First Aid means immediate and temporary treatment of victim of sudden illness or injuries. First aid can be given by any non-expert until the medical expert or emergency service is available. Every common man must have basic knowledge of first aid in emergencies.
Following are some information regarding first aid for common emergencies. You can use these first aids in case the ambulance is stuck in traffic or doctors are not available around or till the emergency services arrive.
- Cardiac arrest (Heart attack) - The person who gets heart attack may have symptoms like pain in chest radiating to arm, shoulders, neck. jaw, tooth or back. Some may not have any pain. Nausea, vomiting, perspiration, dizziness or uncomfortable feeling along with chest pain.
What to do if person has cardiac arrest ?
- First call an ambulance or some emergency services to take the person to hospital.
- Until the ambulance arrives, ask the patient if he has any medicines with him that he can take or you can see his pocket for any medicines prescribed by doctors and tell him to take it.
- If the person is unconscious then start CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) CPR is done by trained person which includes chest compression and mouth to mouth breathing alternately. If you are not trained in CPR not to worry. Just start giving 100 chest compressions until the medical help arrives.
- Chest compression - The rescuer must kneel on right side of the patient, lean over the person and place both hands on top of one other , on the lower part of breastbone and compress the chest deeply to 4-5centimeters. 100 chest compression is given in a minute.
- Choking - Choking can be due to any large object stuck in the windpipe . The object can be large food particle, meat-bone, coin, small ball, toys, etc. Chocking is more common in kids. The common symptoms of choking are unable to breath and coughing. The person may not be able to speak at all and breathing may stop. In such case the small delay may take the life away.
What to do in choking?
- First call the medical help immediately.
- If person is coughing strongly let him cough more as coughing would help in expulsion of the stuck object.
- Abdominal Thrust - If person is not able to cough then give abdominal thrust. The rescuer must stand behind the victim, encircling his arm around the victims abdomen and forming a fist. Keep the fist between breastbone and navel and the fist is then thrust inward and upward for 5 to 6 times or until the object comes out. In case of a child use less during thrust.
- In infants (less than 1 year), abdominal thrust is not given. Rescuer must strike the infants back between the shoulder blades with hands but not very hard. The object usually comes out in 5-6 strikes.
- External bleeding due to wounds - The immediate help is required in case of massive bleeding due to vehicle accidents or suicidal injuries, etc. It can be life threatening if immediate help is not given.
What to do in massive bleeding?
- The main aim in massive external bleeding is to stop the bleeding. First stop the bleeding by firmly pressing the bleeding area by hand for 5 minutes. Use a towel or clean napkin to press if the sterile gauge is not present.
- Later elevate the bleeding part, if there is severe bleeding on arm then elevate that arm.
- If wound is small and not deep then it would stop immediately. Once the bleeding stops, put the dressing and close the wound and visit the hospital for further treatment.
- If wound is deep the bleeding would not stop quickly. Then immediately visit the hospital because the patient may go into shock due to excess blood loss. The stitches may need to close the wound in case of deep injury.
- Burns - Burns is another serious condition which occurs commonly. Burns can be caused by chemicals, thermals( fire or hot liquids) or radiation.
What to do if someone is burnt?
- Immediately remove the person from source of burn.
- Remove the clothing that person is wearing and cover him with blanket.
- Immediately try cooling the burnt skin by applying cold water. But do not apply for longer time.
- Immediately call the medical help or drive him to the nearest hospital for further treatment.
- Poisoning - The most of poisoning is due to suicidal attempt or simple food poisoning. Poisoning causes harmful effect on the body, skin and internal organs. The person who tries to attempt suicide uses either some kind of medicine in larger doses or some animal poison. The symptoms of poisoning is vomiting, dizziness, headach, muscle cramps, blurred vision and unconsciousness.
What to do in case of poisoning?
- First allow the person to vomit as much as possible to remove the toxic material from the body and save the vomitus as doctors may need to investigate.
- Do not give any food to eat or drink as the food may cause interference with the poison.
- Immediately transfer the patient to hospital for further treatment even though the person seems to be fine. Some chemicals show symptoms later and may cause injurious effect to the body.
These are few of the common medical emergencies. If you learn few tips of first aid you can save someone's life.
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