When it comes to emergencies that involve injuries, the quicker your response, the better. In this article, we’ll explore why this is true and show you how to manage your own emergency injuries in order to get help as soon as possible. We deliberate on a number of areas that you need to be wary of.
No. 1: Be prepared
When it comes to emergencies, being prepared is the number one call. This involves preparation (at a personal level) as a health care provider, all in an effort to avoid surprises. As already said, the quicker your response, the more likely that you will save a life. Always be prepared for the following ways:
- Be prepared for the worst
- Be prepared to handle the emergency
- Be prepared to help those around you
- Be prepared to call for help
No. 2: Assess the scene
After ascertaining your readiness, the next thing to do is assess the scene. What you’re looking for depends on your training and experience, but generally speaking:
- Look for signs of trauma (e.g., blood, broken glass)
- Check if there’s any visible damage from an explosion or other cause of injury (e.g., a building collapse)
- By and large, assess for anything unusual both within the environs of the injured person or on the injured person.
No. 3: Know your limits
It’s important to know your limits. Don’t try to do more than you can, and don’t be afraid of asking for help if you need it.
If an injury happens in the middle of a workday and someone is unavailable (or busy), call 911 immediately so that paramedics can assess the situation and send help as soon as possible. On the other hand, if it’s a minor level injury, consider offering first aid up to the level in which you are trained.
No. 4: Recognize signs of distress
It’s important that while you are intervening, always look out for any signs of distress. These are identifiable by anyone, even by individuals without any formal training in responding to injuries. Look out for the following:
- High-pitched cries: When a child is in distress, it may sound like he or she is crying out for help. In some cases, however, this may be due to the child’s inability to breathe properly or swallow because of an injury.
- Coughing: A cough can indicate that there’s something wrong with your child’s or any adult’s airway or lungs, such as asthma or pneumonia or puncture in the chest, etc. It could also mean they have swallowed something dangerous like a small toy that needs immediate medical attention.
- Gasping for air: If you notice that your infant or an injured person seems distressed and gasping for breath after consuming food or liquid (such as milk), he/she could have aspirated foreign matter into the lungs. This condition requires immediate treatment by a doctor who specializes in treating people with respiratory issues involving blockage of the airway.
It’s important to get help as soon as possible. In addition to the distress signs highlighted before, the following signs and symptoms should also be looked out for.
- Pain in a specific location
- Bleeding from an open wound
- Bruising or swelling around the site of the injury
No. 5: Get emergency help as soon as possible
There is a need to always call for help whenever you deem it necessary. As a principal, consider the following choices when looking for help.
- Call 911 or any other emergency call numbers that may be available to you.
- Call a friend or family member. This will enable social support since you will always need it.
- Get help from a nearby hospital (if you’re able to get there in time). This can be helpful if the injuries are severe enough for the emergency room staff to treat immediately, and it will help ensure that someone else is on hand in case things go wrong during transportation.
- Don’t try to drive yourself to the hospital. You’ll be more likely to cause further damage if you’re moving around with an injured person. This can only be done as a last resort.
In the event of an emergency caused by an injury, it’s important to know what to do and not do as this may mean the life or death of a person. The biggest mistake you can make is getting yourself into a position where you can’t get help, or worse yet, not being able to get help at all. As we covered in our previous articles, there are five things that should be done immediately after any type of injury: stay calm; assess the situation; assess your own and the injured persons’ safety and health; call 911 or other emergency services (such as fire or police), and then follow their instructions on how best to treat your injuries.
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