Emergency Response Guide: Medical Emergencies
This is a quick reference guide to medical emergencies; it is not intended to be a substitute for the use of professionally trained medical personnel. Certification in an American Red Cross “First Aid and Personal Safety Course” is highly recommended. Having experience and knowledge in the proper use of a Defibrillator and CPR can save lives. Pratt Department of Public Safety Officers are trained in CPR and AEDs.
Note: If a victim is seriously injured or ill, immediately call 3540 or 718.636.3540. If there is a large scale crisis or emergency that affects the surrounding area, it may take some time before EMS, Police, or Fire can respond. That is why it is important to have qualified personnel trained in first aid who can administer immediate care and provide comfort. It can make a difference between life and death or temporary or permanent disability.
- Try to identify the nature of the medical emergency. If serious, immediately call 3540 or 718.636.3540.
- Treat the most dangerous and life threatening condition first, remembering the four B’s: breathing, bleeding, broken bones, and burns.
- Stay calm; try to keep the victim calm.
- Do not move the victim unless absolutely necessary, especially if there is the possibility of a head, neck, or back injury.
- Check to see if the victim is wearing a medical alert tag on their wrist or around their neck.
- Do not give an unresponsive person anything to drink or eat.
- If the victim is not alert, remember to check the ABC’s: A-airway, B-breathing, C-circulation.
- Wash hands thoroughly before and after administering first aid.
- Designate a location for EMS to triage serious injuries.
Most Common Emergencies
Until EMS can arrive on the scene, the following First Aid techniques may help to stabilize the victim:
- To restore breathing: Carefully tilt victim’s head back and open the airway. Pinch nose closed and give two slow full breaths. Lock for the chest to rise and fall during each breath. Breathe into the victim once every 5 seconds.
- To stop bleeding: Cover wound with a clean cloth, apply direct pressure on the wound. It may be necessary to add another layer of cloth on the wound. Maintain pressure for approximately five minutes. Elevate bleeding arm or leg unless a fracture is suspected.
- Fractures: Do not move victim if back or neck injuries are suspected, or if victim is unconscious.
- Treat breathing, bleeding, or shock first. Immobilize fracture before moving victim.
- Burns: Flush burned area with cold water (unless an electrical burn). Apply a clean, cold, moist cloth. Do not use ice or ointment except on minor burns. Do not break blisters or remove clothes stuck to the skin.
- Choking Indicators: victim cannot speak or breathe, turns blue, and collapses. If victim is conscious use “Heimlich Maneuver;” stand behind victim and wrap your arms around victim’s waist. Grasp your fist with the other hand and press onto the victim’s abdomen with a quick upward thrust. If victim has collapsed and cannot be lifted, apply direct pressure with the heel of your hand to victim’s abdomen and push with quick upward thrust. Repeat if necessary.
- Shock Indicators; pale, clammy skin; weakened condition; fast breathing, rapid weak pulse, confusion. Keep victim warm, lying flat or with legs slightly elevated.
- Fainting: If the individual appears to be weak and ready to faint, prevent them from falling. Help them to sit down placing their head between their knees. Loosen tight clothing If the individual has fainted, try to position him or her on their back with legs elevated above the level of the heart. If victim vomits, turn victim on their side to let fluid drain from their mouth. If breathing stops, initiate CPR, immediately call 3540 or 718.636.3540.