We see accidents happen from time to time and wouldn’t know how to save a person. We see someone struggling through a heart attack but wouldn’t know how to take care of him.
We women in general feel emotionally so vulnerable that we refuse to acknowledge the probability of medical emergencies happening to us or to some one close to us. We believe, like everybody else, that things happen only to the others.
Like weather, life’s tips and turns are never predictable. If it can be, we would all be Gods on our own. Hence, it’s important to think of the health emergencies and should equip ourselves in order to face them.
1. Before you try to help others, help yourselves: Protect your hands and skin with gloves, towel, shirt etc. when you are helping a person covered with blood, tissues, body fluids etc. While you are giving first aid to someone, do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth. It is important to avoid getting infected with diseases, when you are trying to help others.
2. First Aid: First aid is the steps that are taken in order to care for a person before the medical help arrives. Because of the lack of first aid so many people die all over the world. In lot many cases, it makes a huge difference between the very life and the death.
3. Cuts and Grazes:
a. At home: Cuts and grazes are easy to handle: wash the wound with soap and water. If it is minor, you could even clean it with Dettol or any other antiseptics. Use clean pad to press on the bleed till it stops. Cover with a sterilized bandage. If it is a minor cut, an ordinary band aid would do. Check on it from time to time. You may change the band aid or bandage in between when you check on it. Once it gets healed, you may remove it. If you feel that it gets infected, a visit to a doctor is a must.
a. Be Calm: Calm down yourself; breathe deeply and understand that you are going to help save someone who is in a critical position and that’s one of the finest things to do in the world.
b. Evaluate the Situation: Evaluate the seriousness of the situation: Check for the
ABC of a person: airway (unobstructed airway), breathing and presence of pulse points in the major body parts, like wrist, carotid artery etc.
c. Get help: Call for emergency assistance, call an ambulance or contact a nearby hospital as the case may be.
d. Do not move the injured person: If it is a case of serious injury, do not move the injured person, unless it is unsafe for the person to be left where he is. Moving a person is more injurious in case of head and spinal cord injuries etc.
e. Calm the victim: Speak to a conscious victim to reassure him; do not to alarm him by talking about the seriousness of his injury.
f. Accident Site: Do not disturb the accident site, except to administer first aid and call for medical assistance.
g. Severe Bleeding: A clean towel, a clean T Shirt or any available clean cloth should be placed on top of the bleeding and the victim or you may press your hand on it to stop the bleeding or to reduce the severity of the bleeding. If possible, raise the wounded area above the level of the heart of the victim. Wait for the help to arrive.
5. In Case of Fracture: Keep the fractured area immobilized. Try to place a small pillow or a folded blanket or some such things between the injured area and the ground. Wait for the help to arrive.
6. In case some one stops breathing: When some one has stopped breathing, place him on his back on the floor. Place your fingertips under his jaw bone, while softly pressing his forehead down, lift his chin pointing upwards. This helps to make sure that his tongue is not blocking his throat way. Keep up this position for 10-15 seconds while you check for the obvious signs of breathing like the rise and fall of his chest, or the breathing from his mouth etc. When he starts breathing, keep him in the same position till the medical help arrives.
If he does not start breathing even after 10 seconds, you may have to give him mouth to mouth resuscitation.
7. In case of a person in shock: Help the person to lie down on his back on the floor with his feet raised so that the blood circulates to his brain.
Keep the person comfortable and warm; if possible, cover him with a blanket or a bed sheet.
Do not give anything to drink as he may get chocked on it.
Wait for the medical assistance to arrive.
8. In case of a burn victim: First and second degree burns can be treated by immersing or flushing with really cool water. Don’t use ice, ointments etc. Do not touch the blisters. Cover the third degree burns with a wet cloth. You may remove clothing and other wearing from the burn, but not the clothing that is stuck to the burns. Wait for the medical help to arrive.
These are just a minuscule part of the medical emergency scenario: this should not be taken as a professional advice. It is always advisable to learn the first aid and medical emergency courses from professionals. Such training should be able to give you confidence and technical knowledge in dealing with such situations.
Q. When I see some one going through some medical emergency situation, even though I would like to help, I am unable to muster the courage to do so. I get extremely nervous, anxious and do not even know how to react. How can I help some one at that point of time?
It is the natural reaction for most of the people. We are used to a certain comfortable way of living; we just can not tolerate when some one goes through so much of pain and suffering in front of us. That’s why there is so much of respect to the doctors, who instead of becoming immobile, spring into action in saving a person’s life.
You should undergo a thorough course on medical emergency and first aid. A professional knowledge shall help you immensely in handling such situations in a much better way.
The recommended contents of first aid box are
A box of adhesive dressing (Plasters) of different sizes for covering small wounds. Blunt-ended scissors, Antiseptic lotion to use with the cotton wool and antiseptic wipes.Cotton wool for cleaning cuts and gauzes. Some triangular bandages Sterile dressings (field dressings) of various sizes for covering wounds. Sterile eye dressings with bandage attached for eye injuries. Aspirin or paracetamol preferably sealed in foil to give longer life. Anti histamine cream for insect bites and stings. Cream for cuts and burns. Tweezers for removing splinters. Tubular gauze bandages for finger injuries and applicator tongs. Two or three crepe or conforming bandages for sprains and for wounds in awkward places such as elbows and ankles.
When there is a medical emergency happening in your presence, don’t get excited, nervous or get frozen in your tracks; take steps to help the affected person.
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
When you had helped some one in their desperate moments of stress, discomfort and pain, probably you have been blessed with a life time of happiness on every single day!