Emergency Response: A Step by Step Guide
Knowing how to do first aid and CPR is an important skill to have in an emergency situation. Of course, you hope that it should never come to that point, but preparation is key.
There are certain steps you should take between finding the person and using an AED to save their life. With all of the information out there on the actions you should take, it can be overwhelming. Thankfully, the reason we get certificated is so that we do know what to do when the time comes. Keeping yourself up to date on the latest and most effective efforts is important when jumping in to save someone’s life. No matter how scary it may be, remember that simply stepping up to assist has increased that person’s chance of survival significantly. Even more so if you use an AED!
Reduce your stress – Here are step-by-step instructions so you are knowledgeable if the time should come!
Emergency Response – Finding the Individual
- DANGER: Search for any dangers that may affect you! It is important that before rushing in you ensure that the area is safe for yourself.
- RESPONSE: Is the person able to respond? If there is no immediate response, use your fingers to tap on their collar bone to see if you get a response and yell “Are you okay?” or “Can you hear me?”. If you get a response that is a good sign! If not, continue…
- AIRWAYS: If the victim is unconscious it is crucial that you check to make sure their airway is open. First check their mouth. They may have choked on something that you can easily remove. If there is nothing in their mouth, gently tilt their head back and lift their chin. This will allow open the person’s airway.
- BREATHING: Check to see if the person is breathing at all. Lean over the person and put your ear to their mouth while facing their chest. Watch for 5seconds. If you can see their chest rise and fall that is a good sign. If you do not see/feel anything it means air is not getting to their brain and the time is ticking.
- CALL 911: Call for help! Instruct someone nearby to call 911 while you begin CPR. If you are the only one, call 911 and put them on speakerphone so you can begin CPR while explaining to them what happened.
- COMPRESSIONS: Begin compressions right away. For compressions, place one hand on top of the other, interlacing the fingers directly between the person’s nipples. The depth of each compression needs to be 1 ½ to 2 inches deep. Don’t know how fast to go? The most common beat to do compressions to is the song Staying Alive by the Bee Gees. Complete 100 compressions and then move to breaths.
- BREATHS: For breaths, mouth-to-mouth is the ideal option – pinch the victims nose with one hand and tilt their chin up with another – give two breaths. If the chest does not rise – readjust the chin to open the airway further. If it does not rise for a second breath, their airway is blocked – check their mouth again for any sign of a foreign object.
With current research, if you are concerned about contracting disease from the person, studies suggest a compression only option. If available you may also use a barrier device to give the breaths – we suggest purchasing a small barrier device for your keychain.
REPEAT UNTIL THE PERSON SHOWS SIGNS OF LIFE OR A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL OR AN AED ARRIVES.
AED Emergency Response
- Open: Open the AED and turn it on as soon as you receive it (even at the very beginning)!
- Apply Pads to Persons Bare Chest: Once turned on, take the pads in the AED kit and remove the sticker covers. Place them on the victim. The placement is illustrated on each pad (one just above the person right breast and one around the ribcage of the person’s left side).
- Analyzing: Wait for the machine to instruct you – it will assess the person’s heart rate and determine whether you need to administer a shock.
- Shock Advised: If a shock is suggested, ensure that everyone is far away from contact with the person. This may be especially important if loved ones are holding on to or touching the person.
- Stay Clear of Patient: Press the button to administer the shock when everyone is clear.
- Shock Advised/Continue CPR: The machine will assess if you should administer another shock or if you should continue with compressions. Wait for the instructions and continue to follow them until help can arrive.
Reviewing these steps ensure you feel prepared and confident to know what to do next. It is always vital to call 911 in any situation so a skilled professional can come and help (the person will need to go to the hospital even if revived before the ambulance gets there). If you are not alone, get help from those around you. CPR can be an exhausting task and you may need to switch out with someone. The most important thing you can do is to take initiative and be decisive.
The fact that you are there helping someone has already increased their chances of survival. Emergency response with the use of an AED their chance of survival has skyrocketed. Do your best and know that the fact that you responded to an emergency is the first step in the right direction. If the location you are in does not have an AED, contact us and let us know. If they purchase, you will get a $100 referral fee.
You know you need an AED for your location, but will the device you purchase have everything you need to save a life? Will it have the accessories necessary to help individuals of all ages? Will it come in a protective case? Take a look at what comes with an AED!