How you respond to an emergency is extremely important in helping someone to recover and in preventing permanent disability.
The two most important things you can do that will make a difference in an emergency situation is offer care for life-threatening problems, and call emergency personnel as quickly as possible.
It can be a frightening experience when you are faced with someone who has been injured in an accident, or when you have to deal with someone who suddenly becomes ill. When you help a casualty you must act calmly and with confidence and follow a clear plan to ensure that you are effectively managing the situation.
St John Ambulance recommends the DR ABC action plan for first aid management. DRABC stands for:
The plan is a vital aid in assessing if the injured or ill person has any life-threatening conditions and if any immediate first aid is necessary.
The DRABC Action Plan
D check for DANGER to you to others to the casualty
- Make sure that no one else gets hurt. You will not be able to help if you are also a casualty.
- Only proceed if it is safe to do so.
R check for RESPONSE is the casualty conscious?
- Gently shake the casualty and ask: "Can you hear me?" and "What is your name?"
- If the casualty is conscious check for and manage bleeding and other injuries.
- If the casualty is unconscious they should be turned on their side.
A clear and open the AIRWAY; B check BREATHING
- If the casualty is breathing ensure that they are in a stable position on their side, manage shock, control breathing and other injuries.
- If the casualty is not breathing start Expired Air Resuscitation - EAR (mouth to mouth).
C check CIRCULATION feel the pulse at the neck.
- If pulse is present continue EAR.
- If there is no pulse commence CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).
- Seek medical aid