The best way to treat a casualty is by recognizing the condition he is suffering from. Additionally, in an emergency situation, the rescuer is not allowed to panic; he should be prepared and have an action plan in mind. This is known as the emergency action plan (EAP). The information posted on this page is for information purposes only, to learn to provide CPR and first aid take a first aid training course with St Mark James. The instructions to execute an EAP are as follows:
- Stop and plan
- Seek emergency medical help
- Primary assessment
- Secondary assessment:
- Managing injuries
- Essential signs of review
- Body examination
5. Further management
Stop and plan
At this stage you have to relax and remain calm. Pause and think about what should be done instead of panicking about the situation. The first thing you must do before aiding the casualty is ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the area where the casualty is located a safe zone?
- Do you have personal protective equipment and other necessary equipment including a first aid kit to administer help?
- Do you have a cell phone or any other means of communication to call for help?
- Do you think you will need additional help?
- Do you think the situation is actually an ‘emergency’ situation and will have to call 911 before you administer help?
It is important that you observe the environment and consider safety first before you rush to the situation. An emergency situation does require quick action but stopping and thinking for a few seconds will save a lot of time while performing the remaining steps.
Seek emergency medical help
Make sure you contact emergency services as soon as possible or have someone make the call for you, in case you are in the process of helping the casualty. This part of the emergency action plan should not be delayed, however, in case it is not done before, it can be done at any stage during the action plan. However, calling emergency medical help is mandatory in an emergency situation.
If you ask someone near you to make the call, make sure he reports back to you. The person making the call should remain calm and be prepared to answer some questions that may be asked by the operator to have an idea about the scenario. You can easily remember this by using the four Ps:
Position: The operator will ask you the exact location of where the emergency tool place. You must ensure that the caller is aware of the exact street address and important pieces of information to allow help to easily locate you. You should also provide the operator with the phone number you are calling from.
Problem: Next, the operator will ask about what the problem is that lead to the emergency situation. Simply explain the situation without leaving out any important details.
People: The operator will ask about how many people are affected. Be prepared to give an exact number of people who have been affected, their age, sex and severity of the situation.
Progress: The operator will ask about how much progress you have made or what has been done to aid the situation. The operator may ask if the casualty has been provided with any treatment and if someone is available for help. Do NOT hang up until you are asked to do so. The operator may give you additional information to help you treat the casualty in the emergency situation.
This is where you will start with your evaluation about the severity of the emergency, the danger and the action that needs to be carried out.
Danger: Observe the situation and check for signs of danger that may harm you, the casualty or the people around you.
Response: Observe the casualty and examine his condition by checking for response using touch and talk.
Send: If the casualty is not responding, call 911 immediately.
Airway: Make sure the airway is clear. Allow the casualty to lie down and check his airway. Try to clear any obstructions, if present. If there are no obstructions, allow the casualty to lie on his side to ensure that the airway remains clear.
Breathing: Observe the casualty: Look, listen and feel to check for signs of breathing.
CPR: If the casualty is not breathing or is unconscious, begin CPR immediately. Start with 30 chest compressions after which, you will give the casualty 2 rescue breaths. If you cannot perform rescue breaths, continue with hands only CPR.
Defibrillation: If an automated external defibrillator is available, use it immediately.
At this stage you have to look for conditions, such as signs and symptoms of the problem that were not available while you were conducting primary assessment. If severe, life-threatening conditions have already occurred, do not perform secondary assessment and seek emergency help immediately.
Before you begin the secondary assessment, make sure you follow these steps:
- Make sure you introduce yourself to the victim and ask for their name after explaining your intentions
- Ask for the victim’s permission before treating him
- Respect the victim’s privacy
Once you are sure that the casualty is breathing, look for signs of injuries. Do not interrupt CPR to treat injuries.
Order of treatment
You must always first try to control excessive bleeding after you have completed the primary assessment. After you have controlled the bleeding, you may treat any burns, swellings, fractures, shock or any other injuries.
You must ensure that the casualty does not move or should not be moved to position him into a more comfortable position. If the casualty requires any additional protection to prevent further damage—for example, if he has to be moved from a cold, hot or poisonous gas affected environment, then move him.
Call for further help, if necessary
You may need further assistance or additional equipment to treat the casualty. In this case, you may call for medical help or call 911 to seek assistance.