None of us wants to find ourselves in an emergency situation.? Emergencies in Cumbria are something the BEEP Doctors see on a daily basis, but for the general public this can be a frightening and confusing situation.? We?ve pulled together some points, which may help you know what to do first at and emergency in Cumbria before the emergency services arrive.
- Always think of your own safety first.
? Road traffic accidents: ensure that oncoming traffic can see you well ahead and, if necessary, allocate someone to warn approaching traffic of your situation.
? Electrocution: do not touch or approach the patient until you are certain that the electricity has been switched off or is no longer in contact with the patient.
? Fire: do not enter burning buildings, only attempt to fight the fire with available extinguishers if safe to do so. If the patient is on fire themselves, try to get them lying down and extinguish the flames using a fire blanket or coat.
? Ensure that help is on its way.
? Do not assume that because you have asked someone to call 999 that they will have done so. It is important to ensure that they report back to you to confirm that help is on the way.
- When calling 999, you will be asked for the following information:
- The exact location of the incident, giving the nearest junction if the incident is
in the street.
- The phone number that you are calling from ? the dispatcher may need to call
you back for more information.
- What the problem is and what happened.
- How many people are hurt or sick.
The approximate age of the casualty/ies and whether male or female.
- Whether the casualty is awake and is breathing.
- The controller will be using a Priority Dispatch System to ensure the fastest appropriate response to your call. Be prepared to stay on the line to give more information if asked for it.
? Ensure that the emergency services have accurate information on location.
? If the accident has taken place in the home it can be helpful to give the 999 call-taker any extra information that will help them identify the address quickly (for example, opposite a shop).
? Turning on any outside or porch lights may help.
? Send someone outside to look out for the ambulance and to direct the crew to the casualty.
WHAT TO DO
? Leave the casualty where they are unless they are likely to come to more harm:
? Road traffic accidents: Ensure that you and the casualty are not in danger from oncoming or passing traffic. If there is a danger of a fuel explosion, the patient should be moved carefully to a safe distance.
? Fire: If the fire cannot be safely extinguished then the casualty must be removed to a place where they are not in danger from fire or fumes.
? When faced with a person who has been injured:
Ensure that you and others are not in danger.
Send someone to call 999 or do it yourself.
- Do not attempt to move the casualty unless they are in obvious danger.
- Check whether the casualty is awake and able to respond to you.
- Check that the casualty?s airway is clear ? open the casualty?s airway if necessary.
- Look, listen and feel whether the patient is breathing.
ADVICE ON CALL
? The dispatcher at the end of your 999 call will be able to give you advice on what to do until the emergency services arrive. Any instructions will be clear and easy to follow.
? Typical advice will include:
How to clear and maintain an open airway.
How to provide mouth-to-mouth ventilation to a casualty who is not breathing.
How to place the casualty in the safest position while awaiting help.
? The dispatcher will, if necessary, stay on the phone and talk you through each step of the instructions until the emergency services arrive.
For more information on how to deal with common emergency situations, contact your local First Responders or first aid group about training or see:
- First Aid Manual (7th edition) ? Authorised manual of The Voluntary Aid Societies (St John?s Ambulance, St Andrew?s Ambulance Association and British Red Cross). The comprehensive guide and course book for most first aid training.
- Young People?s First Aid ? St John?s Ambulance approved publication. Written in a clear simple style, specifically for young people 10 years +.