If your loved one is severely injured, choking, bleeding, or cannot breathe, the first step is to call for help and call (or ask someone else to call) 9-1-1 or an emergency medical services number immediately.
The following steps will help you perform first aid treatment on your loved one in the event of an injury.
- Don’t panic. You will be able to assess the situation more effectively.
- Get professional medical help quickly. Know emergency numbers, such as 0 or 911. Telephone appropriate authorities (rescue squad, ambulance, police, poison control center or fire department) and describe the problem. You may consider putting this information on your refrigerator door or by your telephone, as well as keeping a piece of paper with these numbers in your purse or wallet for easy access. When you call, be sure to give your name, location and the number of persons involved.
- Remember the ABCs of Life Support:
Airways open – Open and maintain your loved one’s airway (throat and mouth).
Breathing restored – If your loved one is not breathing, begin rescue breathing techniques immediately.
Circulation maintained – If no pulse is present, get assistance from a person certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques. You may also read our article on CPR.
REMEMBER, to be able to perform CPR effectively, it is essential to be properly trained.
- Check for bleeding. Apply direct pressure and elevate injured limb.
- Look for signs of shockand broken bones (fractures).
- Check for emergency medical identification on your loved one.
- Loosen any clothing that may restrict your loved one’s breathing or interfere with his or her circulation.
- Never give an unconscious person anything by mouth.
- DO NOT move injured persons unless the situation is life-threatening. Keep your loved one still, quiet and warm (except in the cases of heat exhaustion and sunstroke, where you will want to reduce the person’s body temperature). People with broken bones (fractures) should not be moved until a splint has been properly applied.