Lifesaver Instruction Book
The Philippines would be a better place if we have something like 911 – a responsive emergency hotline for paramedics, police and firemen. And since we don’t, the next best thing is to learn how to face medical emergencies, and hopefully, be instrumental in saving a life. Attacked by a stray dog First, remove the dog’s saliva by washing the bite under running water. Then rinse with soap and cover with a sterile dressing. The dog is presumed rabid until tested otherwise. While catching the perpetrator, try to avoid being the next victim. Almost drowned, unconscious Administer CPR after checking the ABC: Airway. Open the mouth and clear the airway, then tilt the head back. Breathing. Listen closely for a sign of life, see if his chest is moving. Circulation. Check the pulse and the carotid pulse on either side of the neck. Begin immediate CPR – pinch the nose closed and blow hard into the mouth to make his chest rise, at the rate of 12 breaths per minute. According to Dr. Thomas J. Majerski, “Don’t despair and give up too soon. There have been times when victims were revived after hours of rescue breathing.” Electrocuted
Avoid direct contact while separating him from the electrical source. Use an insulated object like a tennis racket – not a golf club –and make sure it’s dry and that you are not standing on a wet surface. If becomes unconscious, do CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
Place him in a 45 degree reclining position. If the pain is agonizing, and “especially if it radiates to the shoulders, arms or neck, you may be dealing with a heart attack,” according to Majerski. Rush him to the hospital. If the pain is tolerable but the subject has a history, the American College of Emergency Physicians advises that “A heart attack may not feel the same as the last one, and it is often confused with indigestion. Get (subject) to the hospital.” Mild burns
“The skin continues to burn even after it is removed from the heat; immersing in cold water will stop the burning and ease the pain,” according to the ACEP. Remove all stuck clothing to avoid infection, use a cold compress, apply a topical solution like Betadyne and do not pop blisters. Severe burns These are critical and it is imperative to rush the victim to the hospital ASAP. “In these cases, cover the burned area lightly with a non-adhesive dressing,” says Majerski. “Third degree burns are easily recognized by their charred or white appearance.” Swallowed poison
Make him drink a gallon of milk or water to dilute the toxins and slow the body’s absorption – then rush him immediately to the hospital.
Do not induce vomiting especially for acid or alkali intake – this will further damage the esophagus. Arm is bleeding
Raise arm above the heart and press directly on the wound. Direct pressure should b enough unless a major artery was cut. Maintain pressure with a sterile gauze. Direct pressure is recommended because pressure points are not easy to pinpoint during emergencies. For arms, it is the artery on the upper inside of the biceps, for legs it’s in the upper inside of the thighs. Tourniquets should be used only as a last resort – it cuts off the blood supply, damages tissues and may even cause permanent damage. Severe abdominal pain
Apply an icepack on the way to the hospital. If it’s appendicitis, the pain would be felt in the entire abdomen. Do not give him anything to eat or drink. “Food and drink may increase the risk of rapturing the appendix and cause the situation to become critical. Do not give laxatives for any type of abdominal pain,” says Majerski.
Give him cold drinks but no stimulants, place him in the coolest spot you can find and lower his temperature with a wet towel. If there is a bath tub, soak him in tepid water, gradually adding ice. The symptoms of heatstroke, or sunstroke, are dry, hot skin and mental confusion. If ignored, it can be fatal. Shock
“See that the victim is warm and lying down with his feet elevated 12 inches higher than his head. This will conserve body heat and aid circulation until an ambulance arrives," says Majerski. Symptoms of shock include pale, clammy skin, rapid pulse and shallow, irregular breathing. Car crash
Do not move him unless absolutely necessary – he may become paralyzed if he has sustained severe injuries in the spine. “If a victim is bleeding from the ears, nose or mouth, he may have a fractured skull. By keeping him still, you’ll reduce the chances of further bleeding or of aggravating his condition,” says Majerski. It is best to call paramedics. In the Philippines, you can call 138 Directory Assistance, and ask for the number of the nearest hospital. Then call their trunk-line and ask to be connected to the emergency ward.
Give him something sweet immediately – soft-drinks, juice, chocolate or even sugar. A diabetic crisis is precipitated by a radical drop in the blood-sugar level, and sugar is crucial to stabilize it. It is not advisable to inject insulin during an attack – too much insulin lowers the level of blood-sugar. Choking
If he can speak, air is getting through and he’ll be able to cough out the plug himself. If he can’t, slam his back between the shoulder blades four times. If that doesn’t work, do The Heimlich: “Stand behind the victim, encircle his waist with your arms, place the thumb-side of your fist above the navel but below the ribcage and – with the other hand over it – give a sharp, upward thrust,” says Stanley Englebardt in a Readers Digest special supplement on The Heimlich. If the person becomes unconscious, roll him on his back, “kneel astride his hips, place the heel of the hand between the navel and the rib cage, put the other hand over it and press quickly with an upward thrust.” For infants, “place the child face up on your lap or on a firm surface, or sit him on your lap away from you. Make a ‘pad’ out of the index and middle fingers of both your hands and position it just under the ribcage. Then, with a quick but gentle motion, apply the important inward-upward push.” Seizure
“The seizure itself isn’t life-threatening and should be allowed to run its course. Putting a spoon in the mouth may only lead to broken teeth,” according to the ACEP. If you’re afraid he might bite his tongue, place your wallet – not your cell-phone – between his teeth. His tongue won’t choke him but his vomit might, so turn him on his side if he does.