We can do everything to ensure safety and to prevent unplanned medical situations but no matter how great our preventive measures are, the reality is that emergencies happen. That is the fact.
Whereas we cannot tell when these emergencies will happen, to whom they will happen and what nature they will happen in, we can equip ourselves with tips as to how we can best respond and manage them. There are three basic C’s to remember—check, call, and care. When it comes to first aid, there are three P’s to remember— protect/preserve life, prevent deterioration, and promote recovery.
The following seven tips, though not exhaustive, if followed properly, should help manage the situation before the arrival of professional health practitioners or the patient is taken to the nearest health centre.
1. Don’t Panic
You probably know someone who sustained a permanent injury because they wanted to respond to an emergency. Well, may be not. But the point is, stay calm when an emergency happens. You don’t want to see your loved ones hurt and that is perfectly understandable but if you are overly emotional, hysteric, and get hurt yourself while trying to remedy your loved one’s emergency situation, you might be doing more damage than good. So, take a deep breath, calm your nerves before proceeding to tip 2.
2. Investigate the root cause (Check)
Before attempting to help a patient in an emergency, first check for anything unsafe around you then identify the different possible root cause(s) of the emergency. Different situations require different approaches. Try to find out the main cause, such as: Is the person conscious? If they are, you can ask them directly what the problem is. If the patient is unconscious, look for injury marks on the body and look out for insect bites or bleeding. You should also pay attention to the symptoms. For example, a patient suffering from heart attack may be holding their chest or complain of chest pain. Or a patient who is choking on something may look confused and gasping for breath. Ensure that your environment is safe for you and the victim, thereafter you can identify the problem before deciding what is next to take.
3. Call the Emergency Line (Call)
As a preventive measure, you should endeavor to cram an emergency number for easy reach. In cases of emergency, you should call for medical help as soon as possible. Once you call the ambulance and relay some of the fact you garnered from tip 2 above, quickly return to the patient and try to care for them pending the arrival of the health professionals. When you call the emergency line, try to maintain calmness and give the responder any vital information you may have from your quick investigation such as the patient level of consciousness. You should not delay calling the ambulance as getting medical help at the right time can help you save a person’s life. If you are not sure about what the person is suffering from, you can make him lay down in a comfortable position. In case of fractures, you should not try to move the broken limb. In case the patient is bleeding, you can try to lift up the body part above the level of heart as this can help in controlling the bleeding.
4. Get the Medical Kit (Care)
Now that help is on the way. You may need to stop bleeding or perform CPR. Follow the circulation-airway-breathing of first aid. Ask for help if and when necessary. If the victim is stable and you have seated him/her comfortably (or lied him/her down as the case may be), you should look for the medical kit around you. In case of deeper injuries, you can cover the wound with cotton gauze and apply pressure to stop bleeding if the patient is bleeding. Also try to keep the patient conscious by encouraging them. You can try giving the patient basic ORS solution/glucose if he/she is conscious. If the person is diabetic, you should give water instead, because other solutions can have an impact on the sugar levels.
5. Protect and Preserve life
Your first priority as a first responder is to preserve life in any emergency. You may need to perform CPR, stop bleeding or take other action to preserve the victim’s life. Your goal is to prevent the condition from worsening in any way. While aiming for your goal, don’t forget to protect your life and the victim from dangers- be safety minded during an emergency situation. In the case of flood, fire or accident, ensure that you are not vulnerable to attack or exposed to communicable infections. For example, by wearing gloves while trying to dress the wound of the patient, taking the patient away from place of fire. You should also look around for any other injurious or fatal hazards.
6. Prevent deterioration
Do what you can to keep the victim alive and stable prior to the arrival of emergency services which may involve moving the victim to a safer location, applying first aid, stabilizing them, or just staying with the victim and providing comfort.
7. Promote Recovery
Promote recovery by encouraging confidence, providing comfort, and attempting to relieve pain in victims of any medical emergencies.
In an emergency situation, the Evercare Emergency Response is accessible 24/7 and our paramedic will be there to lend their help in record time ever. Simply call 08139850710.