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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.

TOPICS

bulletIf An Emergency Happens
bulletCall 911 For:
bulletCall  911 FIRST
bulletCalling For HELP
bulletSevere Bleeding
bulletHeat Caused (Thermal) Burns
 

 

 

If An Emergency Happens

Don’t 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, don’t.)  Don’t smoke, eat or drink - it may complicate diagnosis at the hospital.  Don’t 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.

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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 "Should I?"
You probably should!!

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Call   911 FIRST (or your local emergency number)

Don’t call your neighbor, or your adult kids, or your doctor’s 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 patient’s chances of survival are greatly improved.

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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

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Severe Bleeding:

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.  Don’t 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 heart’s 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 entire limb.

Surprisingly, in many severe injuries, such as an amputation, there is little bleeding as the blood vessels pull back and constrict.

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Heat Caused (Thermal) Burns:

Burns are measured in degrees - from 1st (least severe) to 4th (very severe). 

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 be dry. 

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 be undertaken.

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