Emergency Action Principles: These Will Maximize Your Efforts
First aid is often not nearly as complicated as most people think. Regardless, for all emergencies you should always follow these emergency action principles (EAPs).
- Survey the emergency scene to make sure there are no dangers. If you won't be able to help anyone if you end up getting hurt too.
- If it is dangerous call for help, make the area safer, or move the person from danger.
2. Wake the Person:
- Gently try to see if the injured person can respond. You can do this by calling out to him and gently tapping his shoulders.
- If the person doesn't wake up (or if he is injured) you or someone else must call the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) immediately.
- Place the person on his back, carefully so as to not cause further injury.
- Open the person's airway by tilting his head back and lifting his chin upwards. This will remove the tongue from blocking the airway. Keep the airway open.
- Check for breathing by looking, listening, and feeling for air (10 seconds).
- If the person is not breathing give him 2 breaths, allowing the air to come out in between.
- If the air goes in then go to step “C”.
- If the air does not go in, re-position the head-tilt/chin-lift and try blowing again.
- If the air still does not go in then;
- Do chest compressions (just like CPR) to force the object out.
- Then check the mouth to see if the object came out, take it out if you see it.
- Do the head-tilt/chin-lift and try blowing in, even if you didn't get anything out.
- If the air doesn't go in, reposition the head-tilt/chin-lift and try blowing in again.
- If the air goes in then check for circulation, step C.
- If the air still does not go in then do chest compressions, check the mouth, try blowing in – repeat this entire process until you get air in.
- This step should only be done once you have an open airway and you are able to get air into the casualty's lungs.
- Check for circulation by feeling for a pulse and by looking at the person's skin color, feeling the skin temperature, and by noticing any movement (10 seconds).
- Start CPR if needed (compressions and breaths).
- If there is circulation but no breathing then just do rescue breathing.
- If there is circulation and breathing, then monitor and put the person in the recovery position until the paramedics arrive.
Compressions for CPR:
- Adult: 15 compressions to 2 breaths, 4 cycles, reassess, continue if needed.
- Child and Infant: 5 compressions to 1 breath, 20 cycles, reassess, continue if needed.
- Ask the person if they are choking.
- Ask the person if you can help.
- Step behind him and do abdominal thrusts (chest thrusts if the person is big or pregnant).
- Continue until the food comes out or until the person becomes unconscious.
- If the food comes out make him comfortable and activate 9-1-1 if needed.
- If the person becomes unconscious;
- Lay them down.
- Activate 9-1-1.
- Follow the ABC steps above.
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It is not recommended to turn the casualty over to open the airway. It is usually easy to detect breathing with a face down casualty. It may cause additional injury by turning them unnecessarily.
Turn them if you have failed to identify breathing in the position you have found them.