Key Steps to Deal With Health Emergencies

Medical Emergency - CPR Select

Skills on how to handle different emergencies and first aid treatment are quite beneficial. They not only offer you the confidence to act but also inform you of what to do to save your life and those of others in case of emergencies. 

Some emergencies require quick action, especially those involving the loss of life and property. Training related to emergency response, life skills, and first aid is available online for interested persons without any limitations of age or education.

First aid training offers skills on a wide range of health-related emergencies such as choking, burns, cardiac arrest/ heart attack, bleeding, seizures, stroke, sprains, and heat-related injuries.

Here Are the Key Steps to Follow Through at the Face of Emergencies:

Remain calm:

When faced with an emergency, it is necessary to stay calm. The body is in a state of flight or fight. Like any other animal, humans naturally react when threatened. During this period, the individual is unable to think critically. Panicking at the face of an emergency will only make the situation worse—the individual experiences high levels of emotion that drive their decision-making processes.

When frightened, the human body produces cortisol (stress hormone). The hormone goes to the brain and slows down the prefrontal cortex activity. It is part of the brand that is responsible for critical thinking. The functioning of the hippocampus (the brain part is accountable for learning and memory) also goes down. The amygdala (brain part responsible for emotions and fight or flight syndrome) takes up more functions.

The natural reaction of man to danger was more useful during primitive times. At the current age, emergencies require the application of logic to save those involved. Panic allows for emotions that drive away from the ability to reason and make critical decisions.

Be informed:

Panic kicks in when the individual gets the feeling that the situation is out of hand. Skilled persons trust their ability to act and save lives. It is also helpful to have some useful supplies in giving first aid in case of an emergency.

First aid treatment, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and any other life skills are available online. Alternatively, you can also read content and download apps on first aid and life skills. 

Stay focused:

When handling an emergency, it is essential to focus on a single task at a time. When overwhelmed,  it is easy to drift off. Importantly learn to take up a single job at a  time and stay focused on what you are doing at the moment. Remember, you can only save a life at a time.

Breathe:

In the face of an emergency, the body is prepared and packed with adrenaline. Breathing fastens, and so does the heartbeat. Taking a deep breath will help you in staying calm.  

Train yourself to adapt:

It is possible to train yourself on how to adapt to unexpected situations rather than resist. People who readily adapt to unplanned events are less likely to panic in the face of emergencies.

Be brave:

Emergencies call for breaking the norm and taking charge. The rescuer should be bold enough to create and maintain order. The situation might demand you to be the team leader or use items and facilities belonging to others without their approval.

Move yourself and others to safety:

Check for the danger that could cause other health emergencies and relocate to a safe environment. Such threats include unsafe buildings/collapsing structures, explosives, and other potential hazards. When a building is on fire, it is only logical to relocate the victims first to a safe location to avoid further tragedies. 

Also, remember that you should only move injured persons when necessary. Never move persons with spinal and back injuries. When transferring an injured person, make sure you drag them in a straight line. Avoid turning or twisting the person as much as possible. You can move the person by pulling their shirt at the top of their shoulders with the victim’s head safely cradled in your forearms. You can also drag the person by their feet in a straight line. As you move the person, the neck and spine should always remain straight. 

CAB (Chest compressions, airway, and breathing) of life support:

The procedure applies to victims with difficulties in breathing. Check for a pulse and, if not present, call for emergency medical services. If you are CPR certified, start on the procedure immediately. Check the victim for breathing. If no signs of breathing, start the rescue breath process immediately.

For those untrained, it is essential to get someone who is CPR certified to perform the procedure. CPR saves thousands of people annually. Today there are many institutions that are providing Online CPR training and certification classes for both healthcare workers as well as working pofessionals.

Check for bleeding:

If the victim is bleeding, apply direct pressure on the wound by use of a clean cloth or a piece of gauze. Also, make use of protective gloves to avoid direct contact with blood. 

Call a doctor if the victim is bleeding severely or the blood spurts out of the wound. The same should also apply if you suspect internal bleeding. 

The bleeding should stop within 10 minutes of applying firm direct pressure, failure to which the victim should see a specialist. You should only make use of a tourniquet as a last resort.

For deep, jagged, or open wounds, always call a doctor. Face and chest injuries and those a foreign object remains inside should also be attended to by a doctor. 

Medical specialists should also treat animal bites:

If the blood soaks through the cloth you are using to apply pressure, do not remove it. Instead, apply another clean towel on top of the first and keep applying pressure. If the wound is on the arm or leg, place the injured organ on a raised position above the heart to reduce blood flow.  

Remember to wash your hands before giving first aid and immediately after. Also, clean your hands before you start dressing the wound. You can clean the wound with soap and clean, warm water, and rinse out the soap thoroughly.

Do not use iodine or hydrogen peroxide as it could damage the injured tissue. However, you can apply antibiotic cream to prevent the wound from infections before covering it with a clean bandage.

Check for signs of shock, broken bones, and fractures:

Shock occurs when the flow of blood through the body is insufficient. It results from trauma, severe burns, excessive loss of blood, poisoning, heatstroke, and allergic reaction. When the oxygen supply is limited for prolonged periods, the victim might die or incur permanent organ damage. 

Some of the signs you need to watch out for victims under shock include:

  • Agitation, anxiousness and related changes in the victims
  • Fainting and dizziness
  • Bluish tinge on the fingernails and lips
  • Ashen or pale skin
  • Clammy skin
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Rapid breathing and pulse

If the victim is under shock, elevate the legs slightly. Unless doing so might result in further injury or pain. Avoid moving the person unnecessarily and keep him or her still. 

If the victim doesn’t show any signs of life, such as breathing, coughing, and a pulse, the rescuer should immediately start on CPR. 

Loosen any tight clothing the person might be wearing and keep them warm by covering them with a warm blanket.

Don’t let a victim under shock, eat or drink anything. If the victim is vomiting, lay them on their side to prevent choking. The same applies to victims with blood coming from the mouth. Also, do not place victims with signs of spinal injury in this position. 

Broken bones:

Signs of broken bones and fractures include severe pain when pressure is applied and with slight movement. The area suspected might have a deformity, bruising, and bleeding. The victim might be unable to walk or show a reduction in height. In other cases, the bone might be protruding from the skin. Broken bones and fractures are medical emergencies.

You should attempt to stop the bleeding first. If need be, treat the victim for shock by elevating the legs. 

Do not move the broken area or try to realign any broken bones. Don’t try to push back any protruding bones. If the victim shows no signs of breathing, start on CPR.

Call for medical assistance:

See if the victim has any medical identification on him. For all emergencies, call for emergency response as soon as possible and offer as much information as you can.

Summary

Always attend to the most life-threatening emergencies first. These include victims who are in shock and bleeding. For persons who are showing signs of cardiac arrest or heart attack, start on CPR. If you are uncertified on CPR, you can perform the hands-only as you await emergency medical services to take over the situation. It is also essential to learn never to jeopardize your life as you try to rescue others. 

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