How Would You Handle a Medical Emergency
Life-saving– this is the best word to describe a situation when someone has a medical emergency, and you know what to do. Medical emergencies are life-threatening conditions, and they can happen at any moment. It is vital that you prepare yourself by acquiring knowledge on how to handle the critical situation. Taking first aid training programs can teach you medical emergency preparedness strategies. But if you don't have the time to attend seminars and undergo official training, don't worry. Here are some of the best tips to answer the question, “how would you handle a medical emergency?”
First Things First: The Right Attitude amidst Critical Situations
Is having the right attitude still important during medical emergency cases? Absolutely yes! Knowing how to react can make you more helpful during these unwanted incidents. Here’s how to act and react when a medical emergency happens.
- Stay Calm – Medical emergencies can be very stressful, especially when you find yourself or you see someone's life is in danger. If you stay calm, you can make a solid plan on what's the right thing to do.
- Relax – Yes, you need to relax. Don’t panic. To do this, perform the basic breathing exercises, inhale, count to three, then breathe out slowly. Give yourself a moment to gasp some air. It will help to lower your heart rate, increase your blood flow, and calm you down.
- Self-Evaluation – Check yourself if you're safe and are capable of moving. Take the minute to squeeze all the muscles in your body simultaneously. This is very effective in removing stress.
- Visualize – Close your eyes for a minute. Think that you are somewhere calming in comforting places like a beach or mountains. It is also very effective in lowering your heart rate and slowing your breathing.
- Focus on a Goal –Think of a goal and focus on it. During a medical emergency, the magnitude of things going on can overwhelm many people. Think of the best thing to do and learn to focus on one task at a time. It can secure your safety, plus it enables you to help others.
Emergency preparedness is important. But no matter how prepared you are, if you start to panic, you'll forget all the techniques that you have in your emergency preparedness plan. The way you react during these medical emergencies can either make the rest of the people freak out or influence them to stay calm as well.
7 Important Things to Do in Emergency Medical Situations
Best Effective Ways to Manage a Medical Emergency Crisis
How would you handle a medical emergency successfully? You need to prepare accordingly. Preparing yourself before anything happens can keep you away from great danger. Implementing medical emergency preparedness strategies will help you combat the situation. Below are several ways to prepare and equip yourself to handle a medical emergency:
- Always Keep a Fully-Stocked First Aid Kit
Many people tend to overlook the importance of having a first aid kit, but a first-aid kit should be your best friend. Keeping at least one kit in your home or your car gives you an easy and effective way to respond quickly in a medical emergency. Store them someplace easy to get but is out of the reach of children. Make sure it’s organized and properly stocked. Whether it's a minor or severe injury, to have first-aid kits readily available can help you handle an emergency medical situation.
- Have a List of Emergency Contacts
In the event of a medical emergency, you should know who to call. An emergency contact list is useful in this situation. It's considered a tool to help you reach out to the right people who can professionally handle a medical emergency. An emergency contact list is a list of phone numbers, including the contact information of nearby medical and emergency response facilities. Aside from 911, your emergency contact list should have the number of hospital hotlines, police department, ambulance center, your doctors' phone numbers, poison control center, fire department, and even contact numbers of your neighbors or nearby friends or relatives.
- Get An Emergency Response Procedures Manual
These are manuals or handy booklets that have listed procedures on the basic response during emergencies. These emergency tools have easy-to-understand guidelines designed to provide a plan to manage medical emergencies. Have them in your house and your office. If you have time, read, understand, and familiarize the things stated in the manuals.
- Attend First Aid and CPR Training Classes
First aid and CPR training classes equip you with proper knowledge of handling a medical emergency. You will learn the different techniques and verified procedures to help save a life during critical situations. Course teachings will come directly from authorities and professionals working in the emergency response and medical industry. If you have the time, enroll in these classes. Online training is also available. After completing the course, you will receive a first aid certification. This certificate will serve as proof that you took the healthcare provider course to acquire skills that could save lives.
Again, having the right attitude when a medical emergency happens can help you relax and think properly. But once you are already clear-headed, the next question is, what are the actions you can take to help yourself or other people involved? Here are the seven important things you can do in emergency medical situations.
In every medical emergency, the sooner you call 911, the better. Any delay can worsen the situation. If you’re alone, do the call on your own. But if you’re with someone who is also functional, you can give them the task of dialing 911 while you are assisting the injured person.
Assess the Situation
Check to see if there is any potential hazard that could be dangerous to you or the injured person. If you notice any hazards, do your best to neutralize them.
Assess the Injured Person
If you find yourself unharmed and you see someone is injured, it's okay to help. Assess the injured person by checking if he or she is alert, coherent, and breathing. Find the person’s pulse. If he or she is breathing and has a pulse, keep the person safe and comfortable while waiting for the emergency professionals to arrive.
Prepare to Administer CPR until Professionals Arrive
This is needed if the person injured is not breathing or you can’t find the pulse. This is where taking CPR classes becomes critically important.
Provide Assistance to Professionals When They Arrive
Do not hesitate to continue helping. When the medical professionals or police authorities are already in the scene, help by following instructions closely. Provide them with the information they need and respond appropriately.
Next of Kin Notification
Do this by notifying the injured person's emergency contact. These are the individuals who need to know the situation. It could be a loved one, a relative, or officemate. As a result of this action, someone is going to keep the victim company at the hospital or medical center.
Record the Incident
Once the emergency is over, make a record. Write down or save on your mobile phone the accurate details and memory of the events. This is useful during the investigation and review of what happened. Most importantly, it can help you plan and become prepared for future emergencies.
The Most Common Household Medical Emergencies
Safety begins at home. But medical emergencies are beyond your control. It can happen anytime, to your loved one, and under your roof. Knowing the proper procedures on how you would handle a medical emergency is the best precautionary measure. At this point, we will give you the most common household medical emergencies. Knowing them can help you prepare and learn the right approach to certain given situations.
At home, getting burns is very common. It usually happens when you come in contact with flames, very hot water, corrosive chemicals, and electricity. Two types of burns are minor burn and major burn.
Minor Burn Characteristics
- Skin Blistering
- Surface redness
- Less than 3 inches in diameter
Major Burn Characteristics
- Have patches of black, brown, or white, and skin shows charred appearance.
- Result in dry, leathery skin
- Larger than 3 inches in diameter. It covers the face, hands, feet, buttocks, groin, or a major joint.
First Aid Treatment:
- Remove restrictive items such as jewelry or belt near the affected area of the body as burned areas typically swell quickly.
- Get a clean cloth or bandage and moistened it with cool, clean water. Use it to cover the burned area.
- Remove clothing from the burned areas except for the clothing that’s stuck to the skin.
- Do not immerse the person or burned body parts in water, as it could lead to hypothermia.
- Elevate the burned above the heart of the person if possible.
- For major burns, watch for shock signs such as shallow breathing, pale complexion, and fainting. After applying the first-aid treatment, call for appropriate medical help.
A cut can be a result of a fall or using sharp objects like scissors. Two types of cuts are minor cuts and deeper cuts.
Minor Cut Characteristics
- The cut is not deeper than 1/4 inch.
- Fat or muscle is not visible.
- Bleeding stops on their own.
Deeper Cut Characteristics
- The cut is deeper than 1/4 inch.
- Fat or muscle is visible.
- Bleeding continues and makes the injured area feels numb.
First Aid Treatment:
- Place the injured person in a suitable position.
- Elevate the bleeding part but do not touch if it is a fractured limb.
- Leave any blood clots formed.
- If you see any foreign bodies, remove them. Pick or wipe off using a clean dressing.
- Apply direct and indirect pressure. Maintain this procedure until help arrives.
- Get a clean dressing and bandage and apply it to the wound.
- If the wound is near a joint, immobilize the injured part.
- If the cut continues to ooze and bleed even after applying pressure, call medical care right away.
Common symptoms of a fracture are pain at the seat of fracture, tenderness, or discomfort when there’s pressure over the fractured area, deformity of the limb, and irregularity of the bone.
First Aid Treatment:
- Don’t move the injured person.
- Apply ice to the fractured area.
- Use a bandage or splint to immobilize the fracture area.
- If there's bleeding, apply gentle pressure using a clean cloth.
This is caused by getting in touch with a live and naked wire. The shock can be relatively mild or extremely severe.
First Aid Treatment:
- Switch off the current by removing the plug.
- Remove the patient right away from contact with the electric current.
- Make sure to loosen clothing around the neck, chest, and waist for better breathing.
- Give sips of water, coffee, or any liquid except for alcohol.
- Call for medical help.
There are several causes of seizures. Regardless of its cause, it’s important to attend a person who’s having a seizure right away.
First Aid Treatment:
- Loosen any clothing around a person’s neck.
- Do not restrain or put anything into the person’s mouth.
- Clear the area and stay with the person until the seizure ends.
- Call for medical help if the person is injured during the seizure.
Now that we have provided you the clear steps on how would you handle a medical emergency, you’ll significantly increase the chances of being able to effectively navigate any type of unwanted circumstances. Life can be in danger at any moment. Do not delay providing first aid. If you can do so, act promptly! Self-care and saving lives can give you the best rewarding feeling!
April 15, 2020
by: Joan Allen
One of the crucial items you might want to include in your survival kit or bug-out bag (B.O.B.) is an excellent medical reference book.