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Webster Emergency Medical Services (Webster EMS) Massachusetts

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First Aid Tips
from http://www.torontoems.ca

General Tips | Ambulance Emergencies | Bleeding | Broken Bones | Burns | Choking | Heart Attacks | Seizures | Shock | Unconsciousness

In case of emergency, remember... You can't help if you are hurt.

Be certain the scene of an accident is safe before you enter. Don't allow yourself or others to become victims.

Be aware of anything which could cause further injury. If possible, remove the source of danger:

  • Fire: put out the fire
  • Electricity: turn off or remove exposed sources of electricity
  • Traffic: warn oncoming traffic
  • Smoke, Water, or Poison Gas: remove patient from smoke, water, or poison gas.

Do not move patient unless necessary to save his or her life or to prevent further injury.

Webster EMS encourages you to learn the correct first aid/CPR procedures and techniques associated with the emergency situations identified in this document.

Call the Emergency Numbers (In Massachusetts, the emergency number is 9-1-1 for police, fire, and ambulance.)

Record and be familiar with emergency numbers you might need outside Massachusetts (when visiting friends, at the cottage or boat, etc...). Have the following information near the phone:

  • police
  • fire
  • ambulance
  • hospital
  • doctor

After dialing 911, be prepared to give the following information:

  • which emergency service do you require: police, fire or ambulance?
  • the address or location and main intersection
  • the telephone number you are calling from
  • the type of emergency
  • your name.





Ambulance Emergencies

Know when it's an emergency

Sometimes it is difficult to know whether your problem is serious or not. Here are just a few examples* of when you require emergency medical care - and you should call 911 or go to an emergency department.

  • When you are experiencing pains or tightness in the chest
  • When you have severe pain
  • When you have shortness of breath
  • When a person is choking or having difficulty breathing
  • When you think you may have fractured or broken a bone, or have a wound that may need stitches
  • When you have sudden, severe headaches, vision problems, sudden weakness, numbness and/or tingling in the face, arm or leg, trouble speaking, or dizziness
  • If your child has diarrhea and vomiting and won't eat or drink
  • When a baby under six month has a fever over 101°F

*If you have any doubts, call 911. The ambulance will take you to the appropriate emergency department.

Remember:

  • The ambulance can't help you if they can't find you
  • Stay calm - give clear information
  • Clear a path to the patient - move furniture, unlock doors
  • If possible have someone meet the ambulance
  • Be sure your house number is clearly visible from the street
  • If you live in a house - turn on the outside lights at night
  • If you live in an apartment - try to meet the ambulance at the lobby door and have the elevator ready.
  • Do not move the patient, unless life is threatened.

What to do

Be prepared to answer the following questions related to the patient's condition:

  • Consciousness
  • Breathing
  • Bleeding

In Webster, call the emergency number 911 for medical emergencies. Be sure to state your name, address of the emergency and phone number from where you are calling.






Bleeding

For external bleeding, apply direct pressure on wound (except for impaled objects)

Remember, R.E.D.:

  • Rest patient
  • Elevate wounded limb
  • Direct pressure on wound

Do not apply a tourniquet






Broken Bones

Signs and symptoms:

  • Patient heard bone "snap"
  • Deformity at site of fracture - pain at site of fracture
  • Impaired movement of limb

Action:

  • Do not move
  • Help patient find a comfortable position
  • Control bleeding if present





Burns

  • Do not remove any material stuck to the skin.
  • Cover area of the burn with clean, water moistened dressing.
  • Apply clean water to dressed burn, to cool, as required.
  • Never put any medication on burn unless a doctor directs you to do so.
  • Do not use creams, lotions, butter, etc.





Choking

If the patient is coughing or can speak - do nothing.

Infants:

  • Place child over your arm, with head lower than body
  • Deliver four back blows
  • Follow with chest thrusts
  • If unsuccessful, repeat

Choking Sign

A choking patient could collapse in one minute and might die without your help.

Choking patients cannot speak to you; learn the sign for choking - and watch for it.

If the patient is coughing or can speak - do nothing.

If they cannot breath or speak to you, take action:

  • Reassure the patient
  • Support his or her body
  • Landmark and apply abdominal thrusts
  • Repeat until the object is expelled





Heart Attacks

Heart Attack: The #1 Killer

Many heart attacks can be prevented, learn to reduce the risk:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat properly
  • Reduce stress
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly

Symptoms - watch for these signs:
(A conscious heart attack patient can usually speak to you)

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Ashen skin colour
  • Weakness

Action:
Remember, the first two hours are most important. Take positive action. Expect denial - be persistent in giving assistance. If the signals persist for two minutes or longer ... sit the person down, reassure him or her and send for an ambulance.






Seizures

Care for Seizures:

  • Do not attempt to restrain patient
  • Do not attempt to force anything between the patient's teeth
  • Beware of the possibility of the patient causing personal injury by striking surrounding objects, during the seizure (remove objects, if possible)
  • When seizure is over place patient in the recovery position
  • Call 911, if necessary





Shock

Care of Shock:

  • Act immediately
  • Keep patient lying down
  • Reassure patient
  • Elevate patient's legs
  • Keep patient warm - avoid overheating
  • Watch patient carefully
  • Do not give the patient anything to drink - especially alcohol





Unconsciousness

Evaluation is critical

If a spinal injury is suspected, shout into patient's ear for response. Do not shake.

If a spinal injury is not suspected, shake shoulders and shout in ear for response.

If there is no other response:

Look, listen, and feel for breathing.

If patient is not breathing, give mouth to mouth resuscitation (one breath every five seconds).

If patient is breathing, place him or her in the recovery position to prevent choking.