A natural or man-made disaster has happened and you or someone you encounter is hurt – do you know what to do? Have you checked the scene to make sure that it’s safe before you try to help? Are there fallen power lines or other potential harmful situations? Once you see that everything is all clear for helping out, what do you do next? You don’t want to end up in this situation without knowing some first aid basics – especially if you or a loved one are hurt. Keep reading to learn the basics of first aid care in an emergency or disaster situation.
Before you attempt to help anyone, it is important to take steps to protect yourself. So, if you have access to gloves or masks, then put them on before caring for anyone who is injured. And remember to avoid touching bodily fluids with bare skin, if possible, and to clean your hands with soap and clean water as soon as you can when you’re done caring for the injured.
Stop The Bleeding
If someone is injured and bleeding, then the first objective is to control that bleeding. Use some clothing or other clean cloth to cover the wound and apply pressure to it. If you have a medical kit, be sure to dress the wound first.
The bleeding area should be elevated if there does not appear to be any broken bones in the area. This should help to stop the bleeding. However, if the bleeding is not stopping, then apply more dressings to the wound and more pressure. If you can squeeze the artery against the bone, then the bleeding should stop. You’ll probably also need to apply care for shock to the person who is bleeding.
Care For Shock
It is very common for people who are injured like this to go into shock, which is when too little blood reaches the brain. The victim can feel dizzy, faint, or lightheaded due to the lack of oxygen to the brain. Fortunately, you can easily provide care for this. First, avoid giving the victim any food or water. Check for broken bones, and if you don’t find any then lay the victim on their back and elevate the legs approximated 12 inches. And take measures to prevent them from getting overheated or chilled.
Care For Burns
Do you need to treat people who have burns? If so, you can immediately reduce some of the pain by cooling the burned area with cool water poured over it. Make sure that that water is clean to avoid any infections in the burn area. Then, dress the burn wound with dry, clean cloth or other dressings. This helps prevent infections and can reduce pain due to exposure.
If the burn is actually a chemical burn, then you’ll want to flush the area where the chemical residue is to remove it from the victim. Then, you can remove any affected clothing in the area. Just take care not to touch the chemical yourself, lest you get a chemical burn as well.
Care For Muscle, Bone, and Joint Injuries
Before attempting to care for these types of injuries, do a visual inspection for broken bones since you don’t want to further injure anyone who has broken bones. Reduce pain and swelling with an ice pack, if you have access to one. Instruct the victim to prevent any movements that cause pain and to just rest, if possible. If you suspect a fracture, and you need to move the victim, then you can create a makeshift splint with clothes or other cloth you can tie and a piece of wood or other straight, sturdy item. Immobilize it as much as possible before moving to prevent further injury from shifting.