Aiding the injured

In an emergency situation, swift action to aid casualties is essential, but the wrong actions can aggravate matters and even cause greater damage, according to St John Brigade.

This organisation enables people to freely give some of their time to the community on special occasions such as sports events, private functions and mass gatherings to assist those in need of emergency assistance.

So, how should the situation be approached? Mahamba listed some of the steps to be followed and the tools that might be needed from your first aid kit.

The first essential step is to ensure the scene is safe for you and the injured person. Then you must request permission to help the injured person and receive the person’s consent before proceeding. Alert someone to call an ambulance (10177 from any landline or 112 from any cellphone). If you do not have a first aid kit with you, send someone to urgently fetch a first aid box. Put on gloves.

Ask the injured person to explain what happen; this will also indicate that the person’s airway is open and clear (not choking). Find out if the injured person is experiencing any pain when breathing, and check for circulation by feeling skin temperature.

Expose any wound and check if any foreign object is embedded in the wound. If embedded, make a ring pad to secure the offending object by using a triangular bandage, and cover the wound with gauze. Carefully place a ring pad over to prevent movement of the object, bandage it in place and make sure the wound is elevated to reduce blood loss.

If no object is embedded, put gauze over the wound, apply a bandage and elevate.

If the injured person has to be transported, enquire about past medical history. Transport the injured person only if it safe to do so; otherwise wait for the ambulance.

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