BEFORE THE AMBULANCE ARRIVES
After you have called 911
There are several things you can do until Emergency Responders arrive. These simple procedures will greatly aid the Emergency Responders and the patient they will treat.
If you determine that the patient is pulseless and non-breathing, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but only if you have been trained in this life saving technique.
Stay calm; do not get excited. This will reassure the patient that help is on the way.
Make the patient as comfortable as possible.
Gather all the medication that the patient maybe taking. This will help Emergency Responders better determine the medical history of the patient.
Move all furniture or obstacles out of the way so Emergency Responders have easy access to the patient. Make sure all pets are secure in another part of the house.
Remember the time, this is very important. When was the last time you talked to the patient? How long has his/her medical condition existed?
Expose the wound:
- Clothing over and around the wound must be cut away. Avoid aggravating the patient’s injuries. Do not try to remove clothing by pulling the items over the patients head or limbs. Simply lift aside or cut the clothing away from the site of the injury.
Clear the wound surface:
- Remove foreign matter from the surface of the wound with a sterile gauze pad or clean towel. This method will reduce the chance of contamination from your fingers. Do not try to clean the wound or pick out any particles or debris. If bleeding from the wound is controlled, take care not to restart or increase the flow of blood.
Control the bleeding:
- Start with direct pressure at the point of bleeding or with direct pressure and elevation. If the bleeding continues, try pressure point control. A tourniquet should be used as a last resort for life threatening bleeding from a limb.
Prevent further contamination:
- Use a sterile dressing, clean cloth, or clean handkerchief to cover the wound. After the bleeding has been controlled, secure the dressing in place.
Keep the patient lying still:
- Any patient activity increases circulation. Keep the patient lying down, using a blanket or other form of covering to provide protection from the elements.
What can cause a burn?
- Hot Liquids
- The Sun
- Other Corrosives
Becoming a part of an electrical circuit (while grounded)
What can you do?
- Affect a rescue: Remove the person from the source of the potential injury. If the injury involves electricity, insure that the electricity is turned off or that the victim is not in contact with the electrical current. When dealing with chemical or thermal agents, remove the person carefully from the source of the injury and move yourself and the patient to a safe environment.
Stop the burning process:
- Remove the injury causing substance. If the clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP AND ROLL to smother the flames. DO NOT RUN! This will only increase the flames and extent of injury. Remove burned clothing and jewelry which can retain heat and intensify the injury. (SPECIAL NOTE: If the clothing adheres to the skin, leave it in place and cut or tear around it to remove the source of heat.)
Pour cool, clean water over the burned area for 10 – 15 minutes:
- Longer periods are recommended for chemical burns. DO NOT put ice on injured area. This may cause greater injury. DO NOT USE OINTMENTS OR BUTTER, LARD, ETC. These products may cause deeper burning by containing the heat and are a potential source of infection.
Very Minor Burn Injuries:
- Can be treated with commercial antiseptic sprays and covered with a clean, dry dressing. In the event that an infection occurs…seek medical attention immediately.
More severe burn injuries:
- Burns involving chemical and/or electricity should prompt an immediate response from your local emergency medical service or fire department. More sophisticated medical care is mandatory for any type of severe burn.
Paul Lininger, Assistant Chief of EMS
CJCFPD Training and EMS Education Center
4715 W US 40 Highway
Blue Springs, MO. 64015