Every year in the US, millions of people are seriously injured in accidents. Many injuries, and even deaths, can be prevented with the proper first aid or specific actions taken before emergency services arrive. Consider ten essential tips to help you handle medical emergencies.
Ten Tips for Accidents and Emergencies
The following are common injuries that need emergency treatment, and how you can deal with them while you wait for medical help:
Do the following in case of an anaphylaxis emergency:
- Call 911 immediately
- Press an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen), if available, into the person’s thigh
- Loosen tight clothing and look for a blanket to cover the person
- Don’t give the person anything to drink. If there is vomiting, turn the person on their side to prevent choking
- Start CPR if there are no signs of breathing
If someone is bleeding heavily, perform the following first aid to prevent further blood loss before the ambulance arrives.
- Call 911 immediately
- Put on exam gloves for your protection
- Apply and maintain adequate pressure to the wound using a clean pad or dressing until bleeding stops
- Once the bleeding stops, use a clean dressing to bandage the wound firmly
Burns and Scalds
Do the following when handling minor burns and scalds. For serious burns and scalding, let the 911 operator provide you with instructions:
- Call 911 if necessary
- Cool the burn promptly with cool running water for at least 10 minutes
- As you cool the burn, remove any clothing or jewelry from the area
- Cover the burn using a clean, dry dressing
If you encounter a choking victim, do the following while someone else calls 911:
- Place one arm across their chest for support and bend the person at the waist to ensure the upper body is parallel to the ground
- Deliver five separate back blows between their shoulder blades using the heel of your hand
- Perform five abdominal thrusts
- Alternate between five thrusts and five blows until the blockage is dislodged
Do the following if someone has been pulled out of the water after a swimming accident:
- Call 911
- If the victim is not breathing, open their airway and give five rescue breaths before doing CPR
- If they are unconscious but still breathing, put them into a recovery position with their head lower than their body
While waiting for medical help after someone has undergone an electric shock, don’t move the person unless he or she is in immediate danger. Don’t touch the person if he or she is still in contact with the current. If it’s possible to do so safely, switch off the source of electricity. If the victim is not breathing, perform CPR. Apply a sterile gauze bandage if needed.
Broken Bones and Fractures
For a broken bone or fracture, do the following:
- Call 911 if the injury is severe
- Don’t try to straighten the bone. Keep it still and elevated using a splint and padding for the limb
- Place a cold pack on the injury. Use an appropriate barrier between the cold pack and the skin to prevent damage
- Give anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil
For sprains, do the following:
- Keep the limb still to prevent further injury
- Apply a cold pack to the injured part
- If you can do so safely, elevate the injured part
- Use NSAIDs for pain
First aid for nosebleeds includes:
- Encourage the person to lean forward and not back
- Gently pinch the nose just below the bridge
- Check after a few minutes to see if the bleeding has stopped. If the bleeding has not stopped, continue pinching until it stops
- Apply a cold pack to the bridge of the nose while pinching.
The first step in CPR is to establish if the person is conscious. If the person is unconscious, call 911 and prepare to administer CPR. The sequence steps are summarized as A, B, and C. A refers to the airway, B to breathing, and C to circulation.
- Open the victim’s airways by placing them on their back, tilting their head, and lifting their chin.
- Check for signs of breathing. If the victim is not breathing, perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Knowing the basics of first aid can come in handy during an emergency. For medical supply needs, visit Simply Medical. We are your one-stop online shop for all your home healthcare products.