Medical emergencies can arise at any time. Whether you’re at home with your family, on a daytrip, at work, in the shops or anywhere else, there is always a chance that you’ll need to use your first aid skills. Situations like these can be daunting, and it’s easy to get flustered. However, by spending some time going over the basics, you can help ensure that you’re able to cope if disaster strikes. Here are some of the most important things to remember in emergency situations.
Check for danger and call for help
Specialist suppliers such as Steroplast Healthcare now offer an array of first aid products that can make dealing with emergencies easier. However, before you go rushing in with these provisions, it’s important that you check for danger. For example, ask yourself if you’re at risk and if it’s safe for you to approach any casualties. If you or anyone else is in harm’s way, try to make the situation safe before you do anything else.
If someone is seriously ill or injured, always call for an ambulance. For example, if the casualty has lost consciousness, is suffering severe chest pain, has breathing difficulties, has had a heart attack or stroke, or is suffering major bleeding, call 999 or 112 immediately.
However, if the situation is not life-threatening and immediate medical attention is not required, consider other options. For example, if the condition is serious but unlikely to get worse, it may be better to take the casualty to hospital yourself. For more minor conditions, you can call 111 to get medical advice or suggest that the casualty contacts their doctor.
Give first aid
If necessary, you may need to administer first aid. Remember to always prioritise the most life-threatening conditions before moving onto less serious ones, and try to get help from other people if you can.
As well as providing first aid, it’s important that you comfort and reassure casualties. After all, they may be experiencing severe pain, anxiety and confusion. Introduce yourself to them to help win their trust, and if possible, explain what’s happening and why. Also, always say what you’re going to do before you actually do it. This will help to prevent any unwanted surprises.
Watch out for the risk of infection
In the heat of the moment, it’s all too easy to forget about infection control. However, where possible you should avoid touching open wounds without gloves on. You should also try not to breathe, sneeze or cough over a wound or a casualty. If you have access to the relevant supplies, wash your hands or use alcohol gel and wear disposable gloves.
Dealing with medical emergencies is never easy, but by bearing tips like these in mind, you can help ensure you respond in the right way.