Featured Weekly Contributor
Emergencies are totally unforeseen circumstances that nobody wants to deal with. But unfortunately, accidents do happen. These kind of situations are enough to throw even the coolest, calmest individual into a bit of a panic. This is to be expected, naturally, due to the unsettling nature of the circumstances.
But panicking is the worst thing you can do in an emergency. You need to try your best to think clearly and logically, so here are some steps to keep in mind:
1. Take a minute to relax yourself
This is vital. Being calm can make the difference between life and death and will stop the patient from going into a panicked frenzy. Sit down, take a few deep breaths, and just focus on your breathing for a minute or so. Then proceed to deal with the situation effectively and efficiently.
2. Is there anything you can do to help?
If the emergency is something none life-threatening, like a deep cut or gouge, try and keep the patient as comfortable as possible. A damp flannel pressed firmly onto the problem area will slow blood flow and help relieve a little pain.
3. Can you drive them to hospital or do they need an ambulance?
Ambulances need to be reserved for people who cannot wait at all to get to hospital. Even if the patient is injured, if you can drive them quickly and safely to the nearest hospital, try to do so rather than calling an ambulance. Educate yourself on when you should call an ambulance.
4. Know where your nearest hospital is
Although slightly on the morbid side, cluing yourself up on where your local hospital is could help save someone’s life one day. Just a quick look online will tell you where to find your nearest hospital - see AbbottEP.com for details and other useful advice to take on board.
5. Call 999 if needed
Take a deep breath, try to focus on the task at hand, and call 999. You will be asked a series of questions so try to answer them as clearly and well as you can. The emergency services will then know whether to deploy an ambulance to you and exactly what needs to be done to help the person at risk.
6. Try to soothe the patient
If you are not in any danger in the location where the patient is, try and reduce their trauma by simply staying with them. Hold their hand or just let them know that you are there for them. Try to offer soothing words of advice or distract them from pain if possible. If you are not sure what to do, simply being there is very helpful for someone suffering.
7. Inform the emergency services of everything you know