First Aid: Precautions:Emergency Conditions

First Aid Safety Steps

LOOK around. Is it safe to help? If not, call 9-1-1, have someone else call, or seek medical help. If it is safe to help, stay calm and go to step 2.

CHECK for a response.
  • Gently tap the person. Ask, “Are you okay?” Ask loudly. Call the person by name if you know it.
  • If the person responds or moves, attend to his or her problem, as needed. If the person is injured or the problem is serious, call for emergency medical care. Give first aid as needed, until medical help arrives.
  • If the person does not respond or move, begin CPR.
PROTECT yourself from hepatitis B virus and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

You can get these from an infected person’s blood or other body fluids if they enter your body. These organisms can enter through cuts or breaks in your skin or through the lining of your mouth, nose, and eyes. When you give first aid or do CPR, take these steps, especially if you don’t know the person:

  • Use plastic wrap or a plastic bag that you can throw away whenever you touch another person’s body fluids, blood, or other objects that may be soiled with his or her blood. If possible, have the person apply pressure to the wound with his or her own hand.
  • Cover the person’s open wounds with dressings, extra gauze, or water proof material.
  • Using a mouth-to-mouth barrier device when you give rescue breaths may or may not protect you from picking up an infection. If you are not willing to give mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths during CPR, do Hands-Only CPR.
Wash your hands with soap and water right after you give first aid.
  • Report every incident in which you are exposed to another person’s blood or other body fluids to your doctor, local health department, or EMS personnel. Do this within 1 to 2 hours.
FIND out if the person has certain medical needs.
  • Ask if he or she has prescribed medicine, such as nitroglycerin, to take for a heart condition. Ask where he or she keeps the medicine. Find out how much to give. Ask the person or read the directions on the medicine’s label, if there is one.
  • Ask the person if you can give the medicine to him or her.
  • Look for a medical alert tag to find out about health problems the person has.
Find out if the person is allergic to any medicine.
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Written by American Institute for Preventive Medicine

Explore Wellness in 2021