I’ve been writing down some notes on First Aid lately. They are partly from a medical dictionary, a class I took in high school, and a book on First Aid. I haven’t finished studying yet, but I will put some of my notes here for whom it may concern. I will also warn you in advance that I didn’t take them in as good of an order as I probably should have. There is really no excuse or explanation I have for this. It just happened.
-First and foremost, there is a law (at least where I live) that says you have to ask conscious victims for permission to help them before you start helping. If the person is unconscious you have implied consent and can then help them.
-Treat the most injured victim(s) first.
-Make use of bystanders (“you call for help, you watch for the ambulance,” et cetera).
-Wear sterile rubber/latex gloves if you have them, otherwise avoid touching bodily fluids if possible.
-Call for help with a phone or cellphone if available.
-If you can get help on the phone, follow directions and don’t hang up until the operator tells you to.
-Control severe bleeding.
-If you can’t find a pulse on the victim’s wrist, then you can check the one on their neck.
-If unconscious and not breathing but alive, check if the person has an open airway (gently place your fingers in the area where the lower jawbone meets the ears and slide the jaw forward a bit. The mouth will open by itself).
-Don’t move the victim lest it cause further injury. The exception to this is when they’re in a deadly environment and moving the person is necessary to save their life. These could be places like a burning building, a room filled with carbon monoxide, a docked yet mysteriously sinking boat and so on. If moving the victim is necessary, be very careful so as not to cause them further harm.
-Elevate injured or bleeding limbs if the victim can do this comfortably.
-If the victim is in a cold environment or in shock, put a blanket over them. If they are in shock you should also raise their feet a few inches off the ground to get more blood flow into their brain and internal organs.
-If possible, find out what happened and when. If the victim has a card or bracelet used as medical identification to tell people they have a certain disease or condition, this may be related to what happened. (Have a witness if you are searching for identification so presumptuous people don’t mistake you for a highway robber.)
-Check for changes in the temperature and appearance of the skin.
-Blue skin, lips, and nails indicates oxygen deprivation.
-Pale, clammy skin may indicate that the person is in shock. Raise their feet a few inches in the air and cover them with a blanket.
-Flushed and warm skin accompanied by flu-like symptoms might indicate exposure to carbon monoxide and is more likely if the air smells of rotten eggs and if you start exhibiting these symptoms as well. If this happens, go outside with the victim if possible for some fresh air. If the symptoms clear up after breathing fresh air for a little while, then it was probably carbon monoxide. Don’t light any fires. If it is not possible to get outside, open as many windows and doors as possible to let the air come to you. If you are completely trapped with the victim, try to call or signal for help.
-Don’t move broken bones. A splint or something of the sort must first be created or obtained to keep the limb(s) stabilized. If you’ve already called for help and they’re coming, you shouldn’t have to do this. Just prevent the person from moving too much so their injury doesn’t become more aggravated.
I plan on taking more notes as I continue my studies. If I make my future notes into posts as well, then I might add some sources to this list.
“The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide” Medical Editor: Charles B. Clayman, MD (ISBN: 0-679-41290-5)
“Standard First Aid and Personal Safety” (“Prepared by the American Red Cross”) (ISBN: 0-385-15736-3)