Helping Without First Aid

As I mentioned 2 weeks back in my blog, I was taking advanced first aid. It is called Occupational first aid level 2.  As someone that has held some form of first aid I recommend getting at least your basic first aid. It can be a life saving intervention. 

Do you know when to call for help in a health crisis? Call out anyone around that has first aid (I need a first aider). Make sure things are safe for you and the person needing help. Then call 911 to tell them where you are, cross street, address, landmarks. If you are alone, ask for an ambulance and put your phone on speaker. They will give you instructions. Don’t leave the person, even if a person with first aid is there stay with the first aider they sometimes can use your help. Stay calm. (Breath in through your nose out through your mouth)

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

If you are alone and needing emergency medical help, call 911, give them your name and location, if you are able to get to the door unlock it. Let the 911 operator know what is going on, if you have a pet let them know that too so when they come in they know what to expect. Do not get off the phone with 911 unless they advise it.

Find out if they are awake? In a loud voice are hay hay are you awake. If they don’t respond.

It can be as quick as ABC 

Airway – can you hear or see them breathing. Is their breathing gurgly or like something is in there throat? Airways get blocked. Teaching your family the universal sign for chocking. It is putting two hands to the throat.

Breathing – Do they have regular full breaths? Watch and listen for 10 seconds to see and feel if they are breathing. If you don’t have first aid, describe the breathing to 911. Deep or shallow, slow or fast, or almost nothing at all. Because of covid we at the time of this blog are still asked to not do assisted breathing for people outside our immediate family.

Circulation – If you have ever seen someone check a pulse. When we are doing a pulse we are seeing if the heart is beating and how many beats happen in 1 min. You can count the heartbeats for 15 seconds and multiply it by 4. If you don’t know how, that is ok. Here is a link to taking a human pulse.

If you touch the person, note if they are cool, pale and clammy. Tell 911 you don’t have first aid what you noted. Tell them about their breathing and skin if they are normal colour pale or blue, If they are an adult or a child and rough age.

If you note any blood on the person’s clothing or under them.  Tell the 911 person if you see an visible damage to someone body, broken bones, bad wounds that are bleeding, bad burns or large burses.

How much and where you see it. It can be worrisome to see things that need emergency care. 

Keep up the good breathing. 

My guidance is on personal experience and training. I think taking an in person class is the best way to know what you are doing. There is some free online first aid also.

I did pass my Occupational First and Level 2. I’m certified for 3 years, it was a hard week. Once that was done I did my Naloxone training, so I’m also certified in case of an opiate overdose.

I hope you have some basic knowledge to be able to help someone in a medical crisis. Recognizing the need to get medical assistance and calling 911 is the first step. Something to be mindful of is the laws in your area. Different countries and places have different laws about helping someone