What Do You Do If You Discover a Fire?
How Do You Use a Fire Extinguisher?
Principles of Providing First Aid
Immediate care that is provided to the victim of injury or illness to minimize the adverse effects until experts take over
Proper first aid can mean the difference between life and death.
When you encounter an emergency:
Evaluate the situation
What you will do depends on the type of injury, environment, others present, etc. – so THINK before you act!!!
The first step is to be alert to the signs of an emergency:
Calls for help
Empty medicine bottle
Damaged electrical wires
Smoke or fire
Clutching chest or throat
Abnormal skin color
Once you determine an emergency exists, take steps to help the victims:
1. Check the scene and make sure it is safe to approach.
2. IF the scene is not safe, call for medical help – do not endanger yourself or others.
3. IF the scene is safe, approach the victim and determine consciousness by gently tapping and calling to him/her.
4. Never move an injured victim unless the victim is in danger.
5. Call the EMS as soon as possible – 911.
6. Be prepared to describe location, telephone number (where you are calling from), assistance required, number of people involved, etc.
7. Try to obtain victim’s permission before providing care. (If parent is present and victim is a child, get parent’s permission.) If person refuses care, do not proceed. If possible, have someone witness the refusal of care.
8. Always attend to life-threatening emergencies first.
If victim is conscious, breathing, and able to talk, reassure the victim and try to determine what happened.
10. Check for injuries – examine the victim thoroughly and note any abnormal signs or symptoms.
11. Report abnormalities when EMS arrives.
12 Obtain as much information as possible regarding the incident and give the information to the correct authorities.
Providing First Aid for Bleeding and Wounds
Injury to soft tissue
Open: break in the skin or mucous membrane
Closed: no break in skin, injury to underlying tissues
Opening wounds can result in bleeding, infection, or tetanus
First aid directed toward controlling bleeding and preventing infection
Abrasion skin scraped off, bleeding limited
Incision cut with sharp object such as knife, scissors, razor blade, etc. If cut is deep, bleeding can be heavy; also can have damage to muscles and nerves.
Laceration tearing of tissues from excessive force, jagged edges. Bleeding may be heavy. Deep lacerations may become infected.
Puncture caused by sharp object (pin, nail, etc.) External bleeding minimal. May lead to infection or tetanus.
Avulsion Tissue torn or separated from the body. Bleeding is heavy; important to preserve the body part because a surgeon may be able to reattach it.
Amputation body part cut off or separated from the body. Bleeding can be extensive. Important to preserve separated part for reattachment. Wrap part in cool, moist dressing (sterile water or saline preferred) and place in plastic bag. Keep bag cool or in ice water and transport with the victim. (Don’t place the body part in direct contact with the ice.)
Control the bleeding!
Arterial bleeding is bright red in color and life-threatening.
Venous bleeding is slower and dark red.
Control bleeding by:
1. Direct pressure
3. Pressure bandage
4. Pressure points
Use protective barrier to control bleeding (gloves) or thick layers of dressings. Avoid direct contact with blood. Wash hands after providing first aid.
Signs and symptoms of wound infection:
Tetanus bacterial infection, most common in puncture wounds. Be sure to find out when victim last had tetanus shot. Advise to consult medical professional about tetanus booster.
Object in wound? If on the surface, remove with tweezers. If object embedded, let a physician remove it.
If a bruise, apply cold
Signs of internal bleeding – pain, tenderness, swelling, deformity, cold and clammy skin, rapid and weak pulse, uncontrolled restlessness, excessive thirst, vomiting blood, blood or urine in feces.
When caring for bleeding/wounds, or any other injury or illness, be alert for signs of shock.
Clinical set of signs and symptoms associated with inadequate supply of blood to body organs, especially the brain and heart.
If not treated, shock can lead to death, even when the victim’s injuries or illness is not life-threatening.
Shock caused by:
Poisoning by chemicals, drugs or gases
Lack of oxygen
Dehydration from burns, vomiting, or diarrhea
Skin pale or cyanotic
Skin cool to touch
Pulse rapid and weak
Respirations rapid and shallow
Victim weak, listless, confused and eventually unconscious
Victim anxious and extremely restless
Victim may complain of excessive thirst
Victim may experience nausea and vomiting
Victim may complain of blurred vision – as shock progresses, eyes may appear sunken and have vacant, confused expression, pupils dilate
Get medical help right away. If possible:
1. Eliminate the cause of shock.
2. Improve circulation to the brain and heart.
3. Provide oxygen.
4. Maintain body temperature.
Positioning patient depends on injuries:
IF NECK OR SPINAL INJURY SUSPECTED – do not move the victim.
How would you position the following victims when treating for shock?
Victim has a broken arm, no other apparent injuries.
Victim is vomiting and bleeding profusely from a lacerated tongue.
Victim has broken hips and is dyspneic
Cover the patient with blankets or additional clothing. Blankets may also be placed between the ground and the victim.
Avoid giving the patient anything to eat or drink. A wet cloth may be used to moisten the lips and mouth.
If help won’t arrive for more than an hour and dehydration is evident, provide fluids.
If poison is ingested, call a poison control center (PCC) or physician immediately. If not available, call the EMS.
Save the label or container of the substance taken.
It is helpful to know/estimate how much was taken and the time the poisoning occurred.
If the victim vomits, save a sample.
IF THE VICTIM IS UNCONSCIOUS – check for breathing. Provide rescue breathing if the victim is not breathing. If victim is breathing, turn victim on his/her side.
If the poison control center tells you to induce vomiting:
Give Syrup of Ipecac.
Tickle the back of the victim’s throat.
Administer warm salt water.
DO NOT induce vomiting if the victim:
swallowed acid or alkali.
has burns on the lips or mouth.