Personal Characteristics

Vomiting only removes half the poison, so you may need to administer activated charcoal to counteract the remaining poison

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Vomiting only removes half the poison, so you may need to administer activated charcoal to counteract the remaining poison.
If poisoning is due to gas inhalation…remove victim from area.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Odorless and colorless gas

  • Before entering the area, take a deep breath and don’t breathe the gas while removing the victim from the area.

  • After the rescue, check for breathing and administer CPR if needed.

  • Obtain medical help immediately.

Chemicals or Poisons Come in Contact With Skin

  • Wash with large amounts of water.

  • Remove clothing and/or jewelry that contain the substance.

  • If poisonous plant, wash with soap and water – use Calamine or Caladryl (or paste made from baking soda and water).

  • Obtain medical help.

For Insect Bite, Sting or Snake Bite

  • If possible, hold part below level of the heart.

  • Remove the stinger and wash the area with soap and water.

  • Apply sterile dressing and cold pack.

  • Monitor the victim and give CPR if needed.

  • Watch for allergic reaction.

  • Treat for shock.

Providing First Aid for Burns
Caused by fire, heat, chemicals, radiation or electricity
First-degree (superficial)

  • Involves only the epidermis

  • Heals in 5-6 days

  • No scarring

  • Skin red, mild swelling

  • Victim feels pain

  • Usually caused by the sun, hot objects or steam, or exposure to weak acid/alkali

Second-degree (partial thickness)

  • Epidermis and dermis

  • Blister or vesicle forms

  • Skin red and mottled with swelling

  • Surface appears wet

  • Very painful

  • Usually caused by sun, sunlamp, contact with hot or boiling liquids, contact with fire

Third-degree (full thickness)

  • Injury to all layers and underlying tissue

  • Area has white or charred appearance

  • Can be extremely painful or painless (if nerve endings destroyed

  • Usually caused by flames, prolonged contact with hot objects, contact with electricity, immersion in hot or boiling liquids

Treatment for burns:

  • Remove source of heat

  • Cool affected skin area

  • Cover the burn

  • Relieve pain

  • Observe and treat for shock

Medical care should be obtained if more than 15% of adult body burned (10% of a child).
DO NOT apply cotton, tissues, ointment, powders, oils, grease, butter, or other substances to the burned area unless you are instructed to do so by a physician.
DO NOT break open blisters. (Why?)
Call for help immediately if 3rd-degree burns.
Dehydration can occur quickly with burns.
Be alert to signs of shock.
Remain calm and reassure burn victim.

Bone and Joint Injuries


  • Break in a bone

  • Closed or simple – does not break the skin

  • Compound or open – accompanied by open wound on skin

Main Facts Regarding Fractures

  1. Signs and symptoms vary

  1. Common signs and symptoms include deformity, limited (loss of) motion, pain and tenderness at fracture site, swelling and discoloration, protrusion of bone ends

  1. Victim may have heard a snap or feel a grating sensation

  1. Treatment includes immobilizing above and below fracture, treat for shock


  • When the end of a bone moves out of the joint

  • Usually accompanied by tearing/stretching of ligaments

  • Signs and symptoms include deformity, limited or abnormal movement, swelling, discoloration, pain, tenderness, shortening or lengthening of affected arm or leg

  • Treatment similar to fractures – immobilize affected area, do not attempt to reduce the dislocation


  • Injury to tissues surrounding a joint when the part is forced beyond its normal ROM

  • Ligaments, tendons and other tissues stretched or torn

  • Usually ankle or wrist

  • Symptoms similar to fracture and dislocation

  • Treatment includes application of cold, elevation of affected part, and rest


  • Overstretching of muscle – frequently the back

  • Signs/symptoms include sudden pain, swelling and/or bruising

  • Treatment aimed at resting effected muscle

  • Providing First Aid for Sudden Illness

Heart Attack

  • Also called coronary thrombosis, coronary occlusion, or myocardial infarction

  • Blood supply to heart is blocked

  • If heart stops beating, CPR must be performed

  • Signs and symptoms may include chest pain or pressure, pain radiating to shoulders, arms, neck or jaw

  • Shortness of breath

  • Cyanosis

  • Weakness and apprehension

  • May also have nausea, vomiting, diaphoresis, loss of consciousness

  • Encourage the victim to relax, place him/her in a comfortable position, and obtain medical help

Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)

  • Also called CVA, apoplexy, or cerebral thrombosis

  • Either a clot in a cerebral artery or hemorrhage of a blood vessel in the brain

  • Signs/symptoms include numbness, paralysis, pupils unequal in size, mental confusion, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and loss of consciousness

Always remember that although the patient may be unable to speak or may be unconscious, he/she may be able to hear and understand what is going on.


  • Temporary reduction of blood supply to the brain

  • Victim regains consciousness after being in a supine position

  • Early signs – dizziness, extreme pallor, diaphoresis, coldness of the skin, nausea, numbness and tingling of hands and feet

  • When symptoms noticed, help the victim sit with the head at the level of the knees

  • If the victim loses consciousness, try to prevent injury, loosen clothing, maintain open airway


  • Seizure

  • Occurs in conjunction with high body temperature, head injuries, brain disease, and brain disorders such as epilepsy

  • Body muscles become rigid followed by jerking movements

  • During the seizure, victim may stop breathing, bite their tongue, lose bladder and bowel control, and injure body parts

  • Face and lips develop a bluish color

  • Victim loses consciousness

  • When victim regains consciousness, he/she may be confused, disoriented and complain of headache

  • First aid directed toward preventing self-injury – remove dangerous objects, provide pillow under the head

  • Do NOT place anything between the victims teeth

  • Do NOT use force to restrain or stop muscle movement

  • When the convulsion is over, allow the victim to rest

  • Obtain medical help if seizure lasts more than one minute or injury occurs

Diabetic Coma

  • Caused by an increase in the level of glucose in the bloodstream

  • A result of an excess intake of sugar, failure to take insulin, or insufficient production of insulin

  • Signs: confusion, weakness or dizziness, nausea or vomiting, rapid, deep respirations, flushed skin, and fruity smelling breath

  • Victim will lose consciousness and die if not treated

  • Obtain medical treatment as quickly as possible

Insulin Shock

  • Caused by an excess amount of insulin (low level of glucose in bloodstream)

  • A result of failure to eat or too much insulin

  • Signs: muscle weakness, mental confusion, restlessness or anxiety, diaphoresis, pale, moist skin, hunger pains, palpitations

  • If victim conscious, give sweetened drink or sugar

  • Avoid giving victim hard candy if confused

  • If victim loses consciousness, get medical help

Dressings and

Dressing = sterile covering over wound or injured part
Bandages = materials to hold dressing in place, secure splints, and support body parts

  • Roller gauze bandages

  • Triangular bandage

  • Elastic (Ace) bandages

After bandage applied, check to be sure it is not too tight

(Check circulation by pressing lightly on nail beds to make them turn white. Color should return to nail beds immediately.)

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