Due to a change in a combination of the weather and my new work schedule, I will be going back to posting a minimum of once a week as opposed to the current two times a week. This change will begin next week (unless this post doesn’t count as a real post, in which case it began this week).

Notes: Back Injuries and Cardiac Arrest

Back Injuries

Assume the possibility of a spinal injury. Bearing this in mind, you must of course avoid bending the victim’s back if he needs to be moved or transported.

If someone was injured while in the water, do not bend the victim’s head forward or put him in the jackknife position.

Carefully float the victim to shore.

Only remove them from the water when rigid support (i.e. a stretcher http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stretcher ) is available.

If possible one should avoid moving the victim until an ambulance arrives.

Cardiac Arrest

This one’s basically a re-run I posted on before, but I just can’t stop repeating it. Copied from my “Notes: Artificial Respiration and Heart Attack” post:

“If the victim is on the ground, unconscious, and has no heartbeat, give them CPR. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiopulmonary_resuscitation#Methods Lace your fingers with one hand over the other as it shows in the picture and have your hands over the person’s heart as you hover over them. Push down around a hundred beats per minute (to the tune of the song “Another One Bites the Dust”). You want their ribcage to go in to make their heart beat, otherwise your pushing won’t reach their heart and the victim will have a smaller chance of surviving. (That again without the coat of sugar: they will most likely die if you don’t push down on their heart hard enough. As a side note: they can recover from a few broken ribs, but they cannot recover from death.)”

I’d just like to add a link here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defibrillation and mention that the patient still doesn’t have a certain chance of surviving even if CPR is done correctly and they receive a couple shocks to the heart in a timely manner. Some people have pace makers to help prevent them from dying this way, but you should always assume there is a good chance that the person will stay dead. It’ll motivate you to try harder to help them and make you feel better if they actually live. Although, if they don’t get enough oxygen to their brain during this time, there is a possibility that they could have permanent brain damage if they survive.


“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)


Notes: Head Injuries and Nosebleeds

Head Injuries

Cuts to the scalp bleed a lot. People who have watched enough professional wrestling know that this technique is sometimes used to make the wrestlers look more hurt than they really are. Attempts to clean the wound can result in even more serious bleeding. Instead, place a sterile dressing on the wound until the bleeding is under control. Then apply a bandage over the dressing to hold it in place and to keep the pressure on it. If the cut isn’t that bad it should be able to just heal itself without someone having to take the victim to a hospital. When in doubt: seek medical attention.

A brain injury may be accompanied by: blood or cerebrospinal fluid (clear, may be blood-tinged) coming out of the nose or ears (the blood may also come out the mouth of the victim), temporary unconsciousness, paralysis, abnormal speech, convulsions, headache, dizziness, vomiting, unequal pupil sizes, loss of bowel and bladder control.

In the event of brain injury: keep the victim lying down, treat for shock, and get medical attention as quickly as possible. Do not move the head as this can cause paralysis if the victim has a neck injury. Don’t give the victim any fluids. Control any external bleeding present (again: be careful of moving the neck).


Tilt the head forward and apply pressure to the nose with some sort of sterile dressing. (Tilting the head back instead of forward can cause the victim to choke to death on his own blood.)


“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)


P.S. Getting fluid in one’s lungs can cause them to fill with fluid even more-so. In this way one can drown on dry land from nothing more than a glass of water. Just a heads-up.

Notes: Stroke


Some things you might notice in the victim: unconsciousness, paralysis/weakness on one side, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, loss of control of the bladder and bowels, unequal pupil sizes, loss of speech or slurring of speech.

As a test to be more sure whether the victim is having a stroke, ask him to close his eyes and raise both of his arms in front of him at the same time. The arms of a stroke victim will raise at a noticeably uneven rate, with one arm raised normally and the other several inches lower or possibly not raised at all. Have the victim lower his arms before opening his eyes (especially if he has a weak heart or known heart condition) to prevent the victim from feeling too distressed (you’d probably be freaked out too if you knew you were having a stroke). Too much panic can cause susceptible victims to have a heart attack, so keep him calm.

If the victim is having too much difficulty breathing, you may need to lay him down on his side and give artificial respiration.

If the victim is breathing fairly well on his own but is having trouble swallowing, lay him down on his side so the fluids flow out of his mouth rather than choking him.

Minor Stroke

Similar to above and you can still do the arm raise test as an indicator.

Some symptoms that might accompany a minor stroke: headache, confusion, dizziness, ringing in the ears, slight difficulty in speech, memory changes (for the worse), weakness in an arm or leg, and there may be slight personality disturbance.

Minor strokes may occur while sleeping.

It is best to check in on the elderly regularly to make sure they are still healthy and happy. This will keep them in touch with the world and will ensure they get the medical attention they need as soon as possible when they need it. It also helps prevent those rare and unfortunate cases when someone has to bust into an old person’s house because they haven’t been paying their bills only to discover that they’ve been dead for a month and a half. That’s really unpleasant for everyone involved.


“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)