Although it’s highly recommended, in general people do not take out time to formally learn life skills. This could be because we hope bad things, accidents and emergencies won’t happen to us, but unfortunately they do. Almost everyone, at some point in their lives face an emergency situation and those who are prepared usually come out with least damage and loss.
This article will help you administer effective first aid instantaneously for conditions that are life-threatening or very serious. You may take a print out of this and keep with you for reference.
First aid response for an asthma attack
Step 1 – Make the Casualty Comfortable
- Keep calm and reassure the casualty.
- Help her into a position which she finds most comfortable; sitting slightly forwards is usually best.
- Tell her to try to take slow, deep breaths.
Step 2 – Let Casualty Use Inhaler
- Help find the reliever inhaler (it is usually blue).
- Allow the casualty to use the inhaler; it should take effect within minutes.
Step 3 – Encourage Casualty To Breathe Slowly
- If the attack eases within 5—10 minutes, encourage the casualty to take another dose from her inhaler and to breathe slowly and deeply.
- Tell the casualty to inform her doctor of the attack if it is severe or if it is her first attack.
First aid response for choking adult
Step 1 – Give Up To Five Back Slaps
- Ask the casualty to cough and try to remove the obstruction.
- Bend the casualty forwards. Give up to live sharp slaps between the shoulder blades with the flat of your hand. Check mouth. If choking persists, go to step 2.
Step 2 – Hold Casualty From Behind
- Stand behind the casualty
- Put your arms around her; put one fist below her ribcage.
Step 3 – Give Up to Five Abdominal Thrusts
- Join your hands and pull inwards and upwards at the same time
- Check mouth.
Step 4 – Repeat Entire Sequence
- Repeat steps 1—3 until the obstruction clears. If, after 1 cycle, you are unsuccessful call for an ambulance immediately
First aid For Heart Attack
Step 1 – Make the Casualty Comfortable
- Help the casualty to a half-sitting position.
- Support her head, shoulders, and knees.
- If the casualty has tablets or a puller aerosol [or angina, let him administer it himself. Help him if necessary
- Reassure casualty
Step 2 – Call an Ambulance
- Tell the controller that you suspect a heart attack.
- Call ‘the casualty’s doctor also, if he asks you to do so.
Step 3 – Monitor Breathing and Pulse
- Encourage the casualty to rest and keep any bystanders at a distance.
- Monitor and record the casualty’s breathing and pulse constantly.
Step 4 – Give Casualty Aspirin
- Check they are not seriously allergic to it!
- Give the casualty one tablet of aspirin, if available.
- Tell him to chew it slowly.
First aid For Severe Bleeding
Step 1 – Apply Pressure to Wound
- Remove or cut the casualty’s clothing to expose wound.
- If a sterile dressing or pad is immediately available, cover the wound.
- Apply direct pressure over the wound with your fingers or palm of your hand.
Step 2 – Raise and Support Injured Part
- Make sure the injured part is raised above the level of the casualty’s heart.
- Lay the casualty down.
- Handle the injured part gently if you suspect the injury involves a fracture.
Step 3 – Bandage Wound
- Apply a sterile dressing over any original pad, and bandage firmly in place.
- Bandage another pad on top if blood seeps through.
- Check the circulation beyond the bandage at intervals; loosen it if needed.
Step 4 – Dial for An Ambulance
- Give details of the site of the injury and the extent of the bleeding when you telephone.
Step 5- Treat for Shock and Monitor Casualty
- Treat for shock
- Monitor and record breathing, pulse, and level of response.
First aid For Burns
- Call emergency support numbers and ask for the fire brigade.
- Remove the casualty from danger. If it is safe to do so.
Clothing on Fire
- STOP, DROP, WRAP, and ROLL the casualty on the ground; or
- lay the casualty down, burning side upwards, and douse him with water.
Stay clear of the casualty until:
- You have switched oil a domestic current; or
- You have been officially informed that a high-voltage current has been switched off and isolated.
- Protect yourself from corrosive chemicals.
- Make sure that any contaminated rinsing water drains away safely.
- Be aware of the dangers of toxic fumes.
- Seal the chemical container, if possible; ventilate the area.
Lisa Madison writes about first aid training and life safety on her blog, CPR Headquarters. She also conducts first aid training classes in Boston, MA. She can be reached at lisa AT cprcertificationonlinehq.com