The thought-provoking question everyone should ask themselves is, “how well am I prepared for emergency medical care?”
Making sure you are prepared for emergencies is not an activity to be done once, it is continuous learning that one must revisit through regular training. Emergency preparedness saves time and lives.
We all have roles to play in emergency management. By having the knowledge of lifesaving skills, you can prepare for what is within your control. Besides knowing what to do during an emergency, having the confidence to handle the situation calmly and quickly is quite important.
Being familiar with emergency medical conditions and first aid protocols can help you prevent or minimize serious injury so that one can save lives.
There are situations whereby basic knowledge of first aid can help save a life, but in some cases, advanced help needs to be sort for.
What To Do
First, assess your surrounding for potential dangers and ensure it’s safe before going over to render assistance.
Next, send for help. Identify the number of victims involved and call the emergency medical services immediately. Report the situation at hand and answer all questions, clearly stating the extent of the victim(s) condition. The earlier the call is made, the sooner help arrives, and the victim could be saved. Every minute matters.
Assist the victim, but be careful while doing that so as not to harm the victim. If the victim is conscious and their airway is clear, assess how you can help with any injury e.g. by stopping a bleeding area. If unconscious, check for any obstruction in the airways. Avoid trying to bring a person back to consciousness by slapping or shaking.
Check for breathing by looking for chest movements, and listen by putting your ear next to the patient’s mouth and nose. If none, perform CPR immediately (only if you have been trained on how to do so), and do not stop until help arrives or the person starts breathing. If the victim is injured, do not move the victim, especially if you suspect a spinal injury. Always wait for secondary medical personnel.
Remain calm, and keep your patient relaxed in a recovery position to reduce the chances of any further injury or damage. Also, remember not to give the victim any fluid as it may enter their windpipe and restrict breathing or cause suffocation.
In summary, finding oneself in a medical emergency is not something anyone would wish for. While our immediate response to this situation might be panic, keeping calm is very crucial, to administering first aid. Whether the situation refers to an accident, a stroke, a heart attack, or any other serious ailment, the significance of the first few minutes in saving a life is beyond compare. Do remember to call for medical assistance ASAP!