First Aid Basics by liaoqinmei


									                                   First-Aid Basics

Check the scene and person, ask person’s name, ask for consent to help.

When to call 9-1-1?
Person is unconscious. Suspected shock, heart attack, stroke, or fracture.
Uncontrolled bleeding, anaphylactic reaction, severe burn, seizure if person is
diabetic, pregnant, new on-set of seizures, or seizes more than 5 minutes, has
sustained injury (trauma), snake bite from poisonous snake.

If person is conscious, check:
A - airway (choking, trauma, etc.)
B - breathing (asthma, smoke, etc.)
C - circulation (bleeding, shock, etc.)

If able to be resolved, provide care including helping person administer medications, and
provide comfort and reassurance.

Shock can be caused by excessive bleeding, near drowning, hypo/hyperthermia,
trauma, diabetes. Call 9-1-1. Signs and symptoms include signs of restlessness,
irritability or confusion, altered level of consciousness, cool, ashen/pale, moist skin, rapid
breathing and pulse, excessive thirst, nausea or vomiting. Address cause of shock
(applying pressure to bleeding, blankets, ice, juice, etc.) Lift person’s feet 8-12 inches
above head.

Suspected Heart Attack
Call 9-1-1 immediately. Don’t wait. Don’t drive yourself and don’t have a family member
drive you. Signs and symptoms include:
    • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the
        chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It
        can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
    • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or
        discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
    • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
    • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, heartburn, or

As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort.
But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other
common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw

Cardiac arrest strikes immediately and without warning. Here are the signs:
     • Sudden loss of responsiveness (no response to tapping on shoulders).
     • No normal breathing (the victim does not take a normal breath when you tilt the
        head up and check for at least five seconds).
If these signs of cardiac arrest are present, tell someone to call 9-1-1 and get an AED (if
one is available) and you begin CPR immediately.
If you are alone with an adult who has these signs of cardiac arrest, call 9-1-1 and get an
AED (if one is available) before you begin CPR.
Use an AED as soon as it arrives.

Suspected Stroke
If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don't delay. Call 9-1-1.
     • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of
        the body
     • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
     • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
     • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
     • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Call immediately. Every minute counts with a stroke.

Severe Allergic Reaction
Usually occurs quickly after contact with the substance. Signs and symptoms include
contact area swells and turns red, throat swells, hives, itching, rash, weakness, nausea,
vomiting, stomach cramps, dizziness, difficulty breathing. Call 9-1-1. If person has
epinephrine pen, help person auto-inject epi and give pen to EMS.

Asthma Attack
Signs and symptoms include coughing and wheezing, difficulty breathing, shortness or
breath, rapid shallow breathing, sweating, tightness in the chest, unable to talk without
stopping for breath, feeling of fear or confusion. Help person with inhaler - person
exhales, places lips around inhaler, quickly press down inhaler while person inhales
deeply. Have person hold breath for 10 seconds if possible, rinse out mouth. If attack
does not improve, call 9-1-1.

Clear area around person, DO NOT hold or restrain person, DO NOT place anything in
person’s teeth or mouth. Check for injuries, place in recovery position, comfort and
reassure person. Call 9-1-1 if person does not regain consciousness, is pregnant, is
diabetic, has sustained injury, has never seized before, has seizure longer than 5

Signs and symptoms include, breathing difficulty, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, chest or
abdominal pain, sweating, altered level of consciousness, seizure, headache or
dizziness, irregular pupil size, burning/tearing of eyes, abnormal skin color, burns around
the lips, tongue or on the skin. If life threatening, call 9-1-1.

Call National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Do not give person anything to
eat or drink until you have spoken with Poison Control or EMS. If possible, find
poisonous item.

Minor Burns: First-Degree
If the skin is not broken, run cool water over the burned area or soak it in a cool water
(NOT ICE WATER) bath. Keep the area in the bath for five minutes. If the burn occurred
in a cold environment, DO NOT apply water. A clean, cold, wet towel will also help
reduce pain. Burns can be extremely painful, reassure the victim and keep them calm.
   • After flushing or soaking the burn for several minutes, cover the burn with a
       sterile non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth.
• Protect the burn from friction and pressure.
   • Over-the-counter pain medications may be used to help relieve pain; they may
       also help reduce inflammation and swelling.
• Minor burns will usually heal without further treatment.

Severe Burns: Second & Third-Degree Burns
  • DO NOT remove burnt clothing (unless it comes off easily), but do ensure that
     the victim is not in contact with burning or smoldering materials.
  • Make sure the victim is breathing. If breathing has stopped or the victim's airway
     is blocked then open the airway and if necessary begin CPR.
  • If the victim is breathing, cover the burn with a cool moist sterile bandage or
     clean cloth. DO NOT use a blanket or towel; a sheet is best for large burns. DO
     NOT apply any ointments and avoid breaking blisters.
  • If fingers or toes have been burned, separate them with dry sterile, non-adhesive
  • Elevate the burned area and protect it from pressure or friction.
  • Take steps to prevent shock. Lay the victim flat elevate the feet about 12 inches,
     and cover the victim with a coat or blanket. DO NOT place the victim in the shock
     position if a head, neck, back, or leg injury is suspected or if it makes the victim
  • Continue to monitor the victim's vital signs (breathing, pulse, blood pressure).
  • DO NOT apply ointment, butter, ice, medications, fluffy cotton dressing, adhesive
     bandages, cream, oil spray, or any household remedy to a burn. This can
     interfere with proper healing.
  • DO NOT allow the burn to become contaminated. Avoid breathing or coughing on
     the burned area.
  • DO NOT disturb blisters or dead skin.
  • DO NOT apply cold compresses and DO NOT immerse a severe burn in cold
     water. This can cause shock.
  • DO NOT place a pillow under the victim's head if there is an airway burn and they
     are lying down. This can close the airway.

If person can talk, encourage person to cough. If person is unable to talk or is having
difficulty breathing, call 9-1-1. If trained, attempt Heimlich maneuver. Take CPR

If small site, apply pressure until bleeding stops. Clean wound, dress with dry, clean
dressing. If bleeding is excessive, wound shows muscle or bone, or is deep or large, or
object is embedded in wound, wound is on face, human or animal bites, or skin or other
body parts have been torn away, CALL 9-1-1. Apply dressing and pressure while
awaiting EMS.

Insect Bites
Wash wound, cover with gauze band-aid, apply ice or cold pack.
How to remove a tick
   • Use a small pair of curved forceps or tweezers. If possible, wear some sort of
      hand protection such as gloves so you don't spread bacteria from the tick to your

   •   Using the tweezers, carefully flip the tick over onto its back. Grasp the tick firmly
       with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Apply gentle pulling until the
       tick comes free. Twisting or turning the tick does not make removal easier
       because the mouthparts are barbed, not spiraled. DO NOT apply a match, oil or

   •   Once removed, don't crush the tick because you may transmit disease. Rinse it
       down a sink or flush it down a toilet. Consider keeping it in a tightly closed jar or
       taped to a piece of paper. You may need to show the tick to the doctor if you
       become ill from the tick bite.

   •   The area of the bite should leave a small crater or indentation where the head
       and mouthparts were embedded. If significant portions of the head or mouthparts
       remain, they may need to be removed by a doctor.

   •   Thoroughly cleanse the bite area with soap and water or a mild disinfectant.
       Observe the area for several days for development of a reaction to the bite, such
       as a rash or signs of infection. Apply antibiotic cream to the area. Application of
       an antibiotic to the area may help prevent a local infection but does not affect the
       diseases transmitted by the tick.

   •   Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling any tick or instruments
       that touched a tick. Clean and disinfect any instruments that were used.

Signs and symptoms of illness include: redness, itching, and burning-and, rarely,
localized intense pain. The results of the illnesses transmitted by ticks often begin days
to weeks after the tick is gone. Other symptoms include, flu-like symptoms, fever,
numbness, rash, confusion, weakness, pain and swelling in joint palpitations, shortness
of breath nausea and vomiting. Seek medical attention if you suspect illness transmitted
by ticks.

Snake Bites
How are snake bites treated?
Call for emergency assistance immediately if someone has been bitten by a snake.
Responding quickly in this type of emergency is crucial. While waiting for emergency
     • Wash the bite with soap and water.
     • Immobilize the bitten area and keep it lower than the heart.
     • Cover the area with a clean, cool compress or a moist dressing to minimize
         swelling and discomfort.
     • Monitor vital signs.
If a victim is unable to reach medical care within 30 minutes, the American Red Cross
   •   Apply a bandage, wrapped two to four inches above the bite, to help slow the
       venom. This should not cut off the flow of blood from a vein or artery - the band
       should be loose enough to slip a finger under it.
   •   A suction device can be placed over the bite to help draw venom out of the
       wound without making cuts. These devices are often included in commercial
       snake bite kits.

Most often, physicians use antivenin -- an antidote to snake venom -- to treat serious
snake bites. Antivenin is derived from antibodies created in a horse's blood serum when
the animal is injected with snake venom. Because antivenin is obtained from horses,
snake bite victims sensitive to horse products must be carefully managed.

Content taken from American Red Cross, American Heart Association, The Burn Resource
Center (,,

                                     First Aid Kits
                                  Suggested contents

   •   Activated Charcoal (for poisoning emergencies)
•   Adhesive strip bandages - assorted sizes
•   Alcohol - rubbing 70%
•   Alcohol wipes
•   Antacid
•   Antibiotic ointment
•   Calamine lotion
•   Chemical ice packs
•   Chemical hot packs
•   CPR barrier mask
•   Cotton balls
•   Cotton swabs
•   Decongestant tablets & spray
•   Diarrhea medication
•   Disposable latex or vinyl gloves
•   Elastic bandages
•   Face mask for CPR
•   First aid guide
•   Flashlight
•   Gauze pads - various sizes
•   Hot-water bottle
•   Hydrocortisone cream .5%
•   Hydrogen Peroxide
•   Ice bag
•   Insect repellent
•   Insect sting swabs
•   Matches
•   Moleskin
•   Needles
•   Non-adhering dressings [Telfa]
•   Over-the-counter pain medication [aspirin]
•   Paper & pencil
•   Paper drinking cups
•   Roller gauze - self adhering
•   Safety pins
•   Salt
•   Scissors
•   Soap
•   Space blanket
•   Splint
•   Sugar or glucose solution
•   Tape
•   Thermometer - oral & rectal
•   Tongue blades
•   Triangular bandages
•   Tweezers
•   Waterproof tape

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