Be a part of the Inaugural Hard Hats With Heart on Thursday, October 27, celebrating the life-saving work of the American Heart Association in our community. Our evening of giving features dinner, fun entertainment, CPR demonstrations and a silent auction. With more than 400 guests, you will have the opportunity to network with attendees from the construction industry as well as local survivors of heart disease and stroke. For more info on sponsoring the event, contact Event Chairman TJ Morgan, HIS Constructors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part 1 of this series covered what to do when you initially approach an injured person. Part 2 outlined things that you should never do when providing first aid, as well as the basic treatment for bleeding and shock. In this final section, we will continue our discussion of first aid basics for several common conditions.
- Immobilize the area.
- Numb the pain. Often, this can be done with an ice pack covered by a towel.
- Make a splint. A bundle of newspapers and sturdy tape could do the trick. You could also stabilize a broken finger by taping it to an unbroken finger.
- Make a sling, if necessary. Tie a shirt or a pillowcase around a broken arm and then around the shoulder.
Choking can cause death or permanent brain damage within minutes. The following describes how to use the Heimlich maneuver to clear the airway of a choking victim:
- From behind, wrap your arms around the victim’s waist.
- Make a fist and place the thumb side of your fist against the victim’s upper abdomen, below the ribcage and above the navel.
- Grasp your fist with your other hand and press into their upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Do not squeeze the ribcage. Confine the force of the thrust to your hands.
- Repeat until object is expelled.
Treat first- and second-degree burns by immersing or flushing them with cool water. Don’t use ice, creams, butter or other ointments, and do not pop blisters. Cover third-degree burns with a damp cloth. Remove clothing and jewelry from the burn if possible, but do not try to remove charred clothing that is stuck to the burn.
If the victim has suffered a blow to the head, look for signs of concussion. Common symptoms of concussion include: loss of consciousness following the injury, disorientation or memory impairment, vertigo, nausea and lethargy. Keep the injured person lying down and still.
If you suspect a spinal injury, it is especially critical that you not move the victim’s head, neck or back unless he/she is in immediate danger. Keep the person still. If the victim needs CPR, do not tilt the head back to open the airway. Use your fingers to gently grasp the jaw and lift it forward.
Seizures can be scary. Luckily, helping people with seizures is relatively straightforward. Help the victim lie down to avoid injury, and let the seizure run its course. Following the seizure, check to see if the victim is breathing. If not, perform CPR at once. As soon as you can, write down any details that might help medical professionals diagnose the patient’s condition.
In all situations, use common sense, and call 911 as necessary.
Contractors are required to have at least one person on the worksite who has first aid training, so injured employees can receive immediate help. However, it is a good idea for everyone to have some knowledge of first aid.
Basic first aid refers to the initial process of assessing and addressing the needs of someone who has been injured or is in physical distress due to choking, a heart attack, allergic reactions, drugs or other medical emergencies. You should always seek professional medical help as soon as possible, but following correct first aid procedures can be the difference between life and death.
A simple approach to helping someone who is injured is to remember the three Cs:
Check the surroundings.
Evaluate the situation. Are there things that might put you at risk of harm? Are you or the victim threatened by fire, toxic smoke or gasses, an unstable building, live electrical wires or other dangers? Do not rush into a situation where you could end up as a victim yourself. If approaching the victim will endanger your life, seek professional help immediately. Professionals have higher levels of training and know how to handle these situations. First aid becomes useless if you can’t safely perform it without hurting yourself.
Call for help.
Call authorities or emergency services immediately if you believe someone to be seriously injured. If you are the only person on the scene, try to establish breathing in the patient before calling for help. Do not leave the victim alone for an extensive amount of time.
Care for the person.
Caring for someone who has just gone through serious trauma includes both physical treatment and emotional support. Remember to stay calm and try to be reassuring; let the person know that help is on the way and that everything will be alright.
If a person is unconscious, try to rouse them by gently tickling their bare hands and feet or by speaking to them. If they do not respond to activity, sound, touch or other stimulation, determine whether they are breathing. Look for a rise in the chest area; listen for the sound of air coming in and out; feel for air using the side of your face. If no signs of breathing are apparent, check for a pulse. If the person remains unresponsive, prep for CPR. Unless you suspect a spinal injury, keep the head and neck aligned and carefully roll them onto their back while holding their head. Open the airway by lifting the chin, and begin CPR. If the person begins to vomit, roll them over on their side to help prevent choking.
Keep the person warm as you wait for medical help. Drape a towel or a blanket over them if you have one; if you don’t, remove some of your own clothing (such as your coat or jacket), and use it as a cover until medical help arrives.