There are many different kinds of medical emergencies: chest pain, choking, asthma, allergic reactions, heart attack, strokes, seizures, and diabetic reactions. People should be encouraged to talk about medical conditions that may require or have a special care in emergencies. If someone is working, they need to make sure that their medical information on file is accurate and current.
- Dial 911 and call for help.
- If the victim is alert and responsive – keep him/her calm and in a relaxed position. If the victim is unconscious – check for breathing and a pulse.
- If the victim is not breathing, check for airway obstruction. If the airway is blocked, clear the airway and perform rescue breathing after a blockage.
- If there is still no pulse and no breathing, start CPR with chest compressions.
Occurs when something is lodged in the throat or windpipe and is blocking air from getting out. One should administer First Aid to a choking victim immediately. These following indicators are a way to see a victim is in need of help when choking:
- hands clutched to throat
- inability to talk
- difficult to talk
- wheezing or noisy breathing
- inability to cough forcefully
How can you help a person when they are choking before calling 911? You can do a few back blows on the victim. Back blows: deliver 5 back blows between the person’s shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. Perform the Heimlich Manuever by giving the victim 5 abdominal thrusts. Alternate between the 5 back blows and the 5 Heimlich manuevers until the blockage is dislodged.
If the victim is still unable to breathe, cough, or talk do the following:
- Call 911 or have a bystander call 911
- Lean the victim forward and give 5 Back Blows
- Stand Behind the person, wrap your arms around their waist, tip victim slightly, make a fist with your hand, position your first just above the victim’s navel, grasp your fist with the other hand, and give 5 quick upward thrusts (abdominal thrusts).
- Repeat until the blockage is dislodged.
A blocked airway will cause the victim to pass out. The steps below will help unclog a victim’s airway:
- Lower the victim on his/her back
- Clear the Airway
- If you see a blockage – reach your finger carefully into the victim’s mouth and sweep out the cause of the blockage. Carefully do not push the blockage deeper into the airway.
- If the object remains and the victim does not respond, begin CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)
- Recheck the airway periodically
A severe allergic reaction is also known as Anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is produced by shock and life-threatening respiratory distress. People who are extremely sensitive, anaphylaxis can happen within in seconds to minutes to several hours after exposure. It can happen after almost any causing substance to some that are unseen. Some symptoms include:
- Hives break out
- Eyes/Lips swelling excessively
- Swelling of the throat to the point of difficulty breathing and going into shock
- Mental Confusion
- Abdominal Cramping
Heart Attack & Cardiac Arrest
Heart attack and cardiac arrest are not the same thing. Cardiac Arrest is when the heart stops beating unexpectedly. Heart Attack is when the blood flow to the heart is stopped. This can last for a couple of hours. It starts off slowly and then builds over time. A heart attack in women are different from in men. Women usually start to experience back pain, jaw pain, and vomiting. The longer a victim waits to get treatment after a heart attack, the more damage. Don’t wait. Call 911.
An AED is not a replacement for CPR. An AED analyzes heart rhythm and determines if an electric shock is needed or not. It can give a shock on auto or by a button. NEVER stop CPR until an AED is ready. Guidelines to an AED are as follows:
- Turn on the AED
- Wipe the victim’s chest dry and attach pads to the victim’s bare chest
- Plug in the pads and cable to the AED
- Do not touch the victim
- AED will indicate if a shock is needed
- Tell everyone to stand clear
- Once a shock is sent through, touch the victim and start CPR again
- If you notice signs of life, immediately STOP CPR and monitor breath, airway, and circulation.
Fainting requires medical attention. Fainting can occur when the blood supply to your brain is temporary inadequate. The cause of loss of consciousness can be brief; there could be no medical sign or the cause can be from a serious medical disorder. Always treat loss of consciousness as a serious injury.
Very high diabetes sugar is known as Hyperglycemia and if you encounter a victim with it, call 911 immediately. Symptoms of Hyperglycemia is:
- Warm or dry skin
- Rapid Pulse/Breathing
- Fruit Sweet Breath
- Excessive Thirst
Very low diabetes sugar is known as Hypoglycemia and if you encounter a victim with it, you should find a way to raise their sugar level quickly. Juice and peanut butter are good ways. Symptoms of Hypoglycemia is:
- Irrational Behavior
- Sweating/Clamy Skin
- Muscle Tremors
- Detoriating of response
In a stroke victim, remember these 4 ways to tell: FAST.
- Face – Check the victim’s face and look for drooping on one side or on both. Ask the victim how does their face feel? If they say Numb, tell them to smile while you are looking at their face.
- Arm – Arm weakness. Ask the victim to both of their arms. Does one arm droop lower than the other?
- Speech – Does the victim have trouble speaking? Do they have a slurred, slowing, or stutter when they repeat a simple sentence, such as: “The sky is blue.”
- Time – Call 911 or take the victim to the hospital immediately. Record the time that all of this started.