Joanna noticed a gentleman lying on the pavement ahead of her. Some people walked past him, while others stood around staring at him and talking quietly.
She checked the area for potential dangers to her and the gentleman before approaching him. She tried to rouse him, but got no response. She checked his mouth to make sure that his airway was clear and found that his false teeth had slipped down, so she removed them and placed them in a bag she had in her pocket, then asked for someone to help her move him into the recovery position.
She asked one of the people standing close by to call for an ambulance and another to make sure that the crowd that was now gathering did not get too close and preferably moved on. She asked if anyone had anything she could use to put under his head or cover him with as they waited for the ambulance to arrive. As they waited, she asked if anyone had seen what had happened so that she could provide the paramedics with as much information as possible when they arrived. Fortunately, she had recently completed a first aid refresher course.
Mary had called in to a friend’s house to pick up some books that the children had left there the day before. She knocked at the door and was horrified when her friend’s husband, John, opened the door clutching his arm to his chest and dripping blood.
She immediately dashed to the boot of her car for the first aid kit she always kept there and then returned to the house. John was pale and shaky, so she seated him in the nearest chair, checking for potential hazards as she did so and asking him how the injury had happened. As she talked to him calmly and soothingly, she gently examined the arm, keeping it elevated above heart level.
She found that one of the fingers on the injured hand had been almost completely severed. She immediately contacted the emergency services for an ambulance, then proceeded to cover the hand with a sterile dressing. Finally, she placed the arm in a shoulder sling to keep the hand elevated as they waited for the paramedics to arrive. She called her friend to advise her of the situation, while also keeping a close eye on John’s condition, looking for signs of shock.
What would you do in these kinds of situations? Would you be able to cope? If not, perhaps you should go on a course to learn what to do.
Jo Nicholson writes on behalf of firstaid.co.uk.