Medical emergencies are unforeseen and unfortunate events that are likely to happen at any second. These are serious, dangerous, and possibly life-threatening situations that often need urgent medical care. Therefore, in order to avoid panic and trouble, individuals must be made aware of basic first aid procedures.
The following article will help guide you about some simple precautions and practices you can adopt to potentially save your loved ones or your own life someday.
Practice And Preparation
You’ve probably heard of the saying, “prevention is better than cure.” This statement implies that it is better to be aware and well prepped before facing a complication than dealing with its consequences. Like any other complication, potential medical emergencies require proper preparation. Here are some tips and advice on how to be well-prepped for an emergency.
- Always keep a first aid medical kit with necessary equipment like alcohol, bandages, gauze dressings, tweezers, etc., for quick medical care. It is recommended to keep a pre-prepared kit at home or carry a smaller one with you at all times.
- Memorize and save emergency contacts within your mobile phone for quick access. If you have children at your place, make sure to have them memorize emergency contacts as well and also teach them how to react to any unforeseen event.
- Take a basic first aid training class or an Emergency Medical Responder Course in which you will learn how to perform practices such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the Heimlich maneuver, how to dress serious wounds as well as how to work common medical machines such as artificial external defibrillator (AED) in case of any cardiac issues. Taking such online courses as an ACLS online course is a great way to get started. This is a beginner’s program that covers every rescue procedure related to a cardiac arrest for all of those interested to learn.
- Plaster sheets with emergency numbers and common practices to help injured people around your workplace or house. Revise the directions to your nearest emergency centers or your personal doctor, although it is always better to wait for relevant authorities to perform the transportation of the affected person.
- Educate yourself on symptoms of any health emergency such as a heart attack, stroke, or seizures so that you may be able to quickly identify it before it happens and avoid any unnecessary panic.
What To Do During An Emergency
The following are some of the most common types of medical emergencies and ways in which you can tackle them:
- Choking/ Difficulty of Breathing
- Continuous Bleeding
- Cardiac Arrests
- Suicide Attempts
- Swallowing of Poisonous Substances
- Head or Neck Injuries
- Severe Allergic Reactions
- Burns, Cuts, and Open Wounds
- Electric Shocks
The first and most important step is to stay calm. Unnecessary panic and worry will have you unable to perform anything, which further risks the person’s life. A good way to reduce your anxiety during such events is to close your eyes and slowly count to ten.
Contact Professional Help
Alert your local medical emergency services as soon as possible as well as friends, family members, neighbors, and other people around you for further assistance. Make your conversation brief and to the point to avoid any waste of time.
Place an injured person conscious or unconscious in a “recovery” position. The recovery position is achieved by placing one hand under the head to support it and bending one knee upwards by rolling the person to their side. It can help keep their airway clear and open.
Do NOT engage with the person if the emergency could put you in danger, for example, electric shocks, fire hazards, unstable mental behavior, etc. It is also advised not to perform any help if you have no knowledge of it.
Do A Thorough Check
Perform a check for any broken bones or sources for continuous bleeding to inform the doctors the moment they arrive so that they may operate faster. If they are unconscious, check for their pulse. In the case that they do not have a pulse, perform CPR immediately.
If the person has difficulty breathing and cannot cough, they may likely be choking! When faced with this situation, you need to perform immediate action by wrapping your arms around the person from the back and giving them sets of 5 hard blows with the heels of your hands until the swallowed item is removed. However, make sure not to perform this on pregnant women or very young children as this could be potentially harmful to them.
If someone has severe burns, immediately remove the clothing that does not irritate the skin and run the wound under cool water for twenty minutes. Then, continue to use a clean, wet cloth or cool compresses to press onto the burns in 10-minute intervals until help arrives. Avoid using toothpaste or any other ointments on the skin as they may cause an infection.
When seeing someone suffer from a severe allergic reaction, lay them down flat and inject them with any epinephrine (adrenaline) auto-injector (EpiPen) that they may have on themselves. After which, proceed to call relevant authorities. If there is no response after 5 minutes, further adrenaline may be administered.
If the person has been electrocuted by touching a naked wire, make sure to immediately switch off the mains supply before touching them. Use dry insulating materials to separate them from the source, and DO NOT use scissors or a knife to cut any wires as this will conduct the electricity and put you at risk instead.
Medical emergencies are frightening and panic-inducing circumstances, indeed. In case you encounter a medical emergency, you can use this guide to help the person in danger; however, it is important to keep in mind that regardless of your efforts, it is possible that you still may not be able to save one’s life, therefore always make an arrangement for medical professionals before trying any procedure.
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