The following are simple actions and a little knowledge which may help you
to handle an emergency situation you may face.
Every situation, patient, accident and injury is different, and must be handled
accordingly. Treatment rules and regulations often vary by region and
locality, understand your limitations and regulations, and ALWAYS protect yourself.
If An Emergency Happens
Dont Panic! Whether you or a loved one
is in need of help, just try to relax, breath normally, and remain still. Lie or sit
down, in a position that is comfortable for you. (If it hurts to lie back, for
instance, dont.) Dont smoke, eat or drink - it may complicate diagnosis
at the hospital. Dont feel you have to get dressed in your "Sunday
best" for the ambulance ride - we provide a "come as you are"
service. Provide first aid as best you can. CPR and basic first aid are the
two most important things you and your family can learn.
Call 911 For:
Severe bleeding; Obvious fractures;
Unconsciousness; Severe or large area burns, or burns to the face, hands, feet, chest or
genitals; Seizures; Diabetic emergencies; Poisoning; Chest discomfort (there may be no
pain); Impaled objects; Difficulty breathing; Profuse, unexpected sweating; Choking; Eye
injury; Abdominal pain; High fever; Severe pain
Any time you ask
You probably should!!
Call 911 FIRST
(or your local emergency number)
Dont call your neighbor, or your adult kids, or
your doctors answering service. (You never seem to need a doctor during office
hours!) Call 911 first if you feel you need help. Nationwide, ambulances
average about 7- 9 minutes from call out to response. EMTs and other medical
professionals often respond directly to your home, so we can start care sooner. In a
cardiac arrest, survival depends on how quickly CPR is started. If started within 6-10
minutes, the patients chances of survival are greatly improved.
Calling for HELP
When you dial 911, you reach a central Communications
center. They will send out the necessary people - fire, police, ambulance,
paramedics - based on your information. They ask if you have an emergency, what it
is, your name, phone number, address, patient name, and other vital information.
You must stay calm and answer all of the questions carefully.
An incorrect house number or street name could delay our arrival (for example, Lincoln
Road and Lincoln Mill Road). Make sure they have all of the information they need
before you hang up.
DON'T HANG UP FIRST
Direct pressure and elevation are the best ways to stop
bleeding. Place a "dressing"- a gauze pad or clean cloth - or just your
hand over the wound and apply pressure. Dont keep removing your hand or the
dressing to look at the wound, as it may start to bleed again as you are removing the
blood clot that is beginning to form. Just this simple action will prevent further
blood loss in most cases.
Raising the injury site to a position above the hearts
location, if possible, will also help. A cut finger held above the head will
stop bleeding sooner then if you let your arm dangle and swing at your side.
The use of a tourniquet (a constricting band) applied
immediately above (the heart side) of the wound is discouraged except in extreme cases.
It often causes extensive tissue damage by restricting the blood flow to an
Surprisingly, in many severe injuries, such as an amputation,
there is little bleeding as the blood vessels pull back and constrict.
Burns are measured in degrees - from 1st (least severe) to 4th
First degree burns result in reddened skin, and hurt more then
their severity might suggest. A mild sun burn is an example.
Second degree burns are very painful. The skin will be
red and may "blister" or "weep"; or it may be pink to spotty red, and
Third degree burns are very deep. They appear dry and leathery, and may be pearly
white, cherry red, brown, or yellow. Some areas will be black, hard and dry.
The patient will feel little to no pain as the
nerves are mostly destroyed.
Pre-hospital treatment for all serious thermal burns is the
same. First, stop the burning - remove source of heat and remove or cool burning
clothing, boots, shoes, jewelry, etc. If clothing sticks, do not pull hard to remove
it. Cool with water until skin returns to normal temperatures. Cover with
clean DRY sheet. DO NOT USE ICE as it could damage the
tissue. Make the patient as comfortable as possible, and provide TLC. For any
burns to the face, chest, feet or genital areas, seek immediate medical attention.
Burns can also result from dry or liquid chemicals,
electricity, or lightning. In these cases, additional precautions and actions must