Medical Emergency Guide

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Medical emergency guideWhat is the situation?

A co-worker, student or guest complains of feeling seriously unwell, collapses or is injured.

What should I do? 

  • Stay calm and assess the situation. Look for a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace on the person requiring help.
  • Have someone call 9-1-1. If you are alone, yell as loudly as possible for help. If you are unable to summon help, call 9-1-1 first then return and assist the person to the best of your ability.
  • When calling 9-1-1, give the operator as much information as possible, i.e. type of emergency, what help is needed, exact address, building name, room number, telephone number, information from Medic Alert bracelet or necklace, and victim information. Don’t hang up until you are told to do so by the 9-1-1 operator.
  • Provide first aid to the level you have been trained.
  • Do NOT attempt to move an injured person unless necessary to avoid further injury.

If the person is unconscious:

  • Check for unresponsiveness. If there is no response, call 9-1-1 and THEN return to the victim. In most locations the emergency dispatcher can assist you with CPR instructions.
  • Tilt the head back and listen for breathing. If not breathing normally, pinch nose and cover the mouth with yours and blow until you see the chest rise. Give 2 breaths. Each breath should take 1 second.
  • If the victim is still not breathing normally, coughing or moving, begin chest compressions. Push down on the chest 1.5 to 2 inches, 30 times right between the nipples. Pump at the rate of 100 per minute, faster than once per second.
  • Continue with 2 breaths and 30 pumps until help arrives.
    • NOTE: This ratio is the same for one-person and two-person CPR. In two-person CPR the person pumping the chest stops while the other gives mouth-to-mouth breathing.

If the person is choking:

  • Make sure they are coughing and getting air.
  • If the person cannot speak or cough, and you think something maybe lodged in their throat, approach from behind the person, slip your arms around the victim’s waist. Make a fist with one hand and grasp your fist with the other hand. Place your fist right above the navel area. Press into the abdomen with quick upward thrust. Repeat until the object is removed, or the victim starts breathing or coughing.

If the person is bleeding:

  • Use rubber gloves (contained in the first aid kit) and apply pressure to the area.
  • If possible, elevate bleeding area above the level of the heart.
  • There is a First Aid and CPR guide located in all first aid kits. These guides give detailed steps in the event of a heart attack, CPR and infant CPR, choking, bleeding, poisoning and burns, as well as other injuries.
  • EH&S recommends First Aid/CPR training for a handful of building volunteers to assist with medical emergencies associated with building evacuation and emergencies.