When approaching the casualty, you should first think about your safety, the safety of the casualty and anyone else around you. Is there anything that will cause you or anyone else further harm i.e., Vehicles, fire, equipment, falling debris? If you are to touch the casualty you may need to wear gloves or a face shield if performing CPR or getting close to them to check if they are breathing. Do you have access to a first aid kit, a defibrillator and phone? Are there any bystanders to assist you. Do we know the casualty’s name – is anyone with them? Are they an adult or child?
In the current climate you may wish to think about covid – obviously we do not want you to place yourself under unnecessary risk by placing yourself close to the casualty, this is why we use face shields and face masks. However, if the casualty is not breathing you will need to perform CPR which involves mouth to mouth. This is your choice of course but a vital role within CPR. For further information on First Aid Training in Hertfordshire please visit https://ttclondon.co.uk
Imagine we are walking down the street and we are called in to a busy and noisy shop to assist with an elderly gentleman that has collapsed in the store.
In this example let’s presume the casualty is laying on their back.
To do this we shall conduct what is called, the primary survey.
The “Primary Survey” is made up by following DRABC.
Follow this sequence…
D – DANGER Is it safe for you, the casualty, or bystanders. Think about what has happened and how it has happened.
R – RESPONSE Tap the casualty on their shoulders, pinch their ear lobes. Ask the casualty questions and state your purpose, like “I am David, a first aider, I am here to help you, can you hear me? Can you open your eyes for me? What is your name?”.
Presuming there is no response – we shall move on.
A – AIRWAY Open the casualty’s mouth and look inside, is there anything blocking their airway? (In general we do not want to place anything including our fingers in to a casualty’s mouth unless we have to) If you see a removable object can you remove it using your fingers? If so, then remove it.
At this point we shall also look to open the casualty’s airway. To do this place one hand on their forehead and two fingers from your other hand under their chin and tilt their head back (commonly named head tilt chin lift procedure). Then open their mouth gently with their head tilted gently back.
B – BREATHING With the casualty’s head gently tilted back (Opening their airway) place your ear close to the casualty’s mouth and nose looking down their body (a few inches above) and look, listen, and feel for normal breathing for up to 10 seconds.
Look – Can you see their chest area rising and falling?
Listen – Can you hear them breathing?
Feel – Can you feel their breath on the side of your face?
Let’s assume they are breathing normally but unresponsive. For this example, we shall also state that they have fainted or passed out.
C – CIRCULATION With the casualty breathing normally and not responding we shall now continue to perform a head-to-toe check. We are looking up and down their body to see if there is anything obvious that could be wrong such as bleeding and breaks etc. We can and may need to touch the casualty but, as you do also speak out to explain your actions and reaffirm their responsiveness i.e. “Roger, I am just going to check down your legs to see if there is any bleeding, is that ok”?
This is the “Primary Survey” complete.
To view this as a video please visit – https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/425801253
It goes without saying that when performing first aid whether we are trained or not we shall do it showing dignity towards the casualty. This may mean asking everyone with exception to 1-2 persons to leave the area. We may need to hold up a coat or blanket to help shield the incident from others.
During our next blog we shall look at what if the casualty is “not breathing”. We shall explain to you how to perform CPR.
To know more about First Aid Training in Bedfordshire please visit https://ttclondon.co.uk