Taking a history from a patient suffering from acute or chronic pain is necessary for correct examination and providing medical care. To identify and characterize the pain symptoms, EMTs or doctors can use SOCRATES rule. SOCRATES is a mnemonic acronym used by emergency medical services and other health professionals to evaluate the nature of pain experienced by a patient following an accident.
• Site: Ask the patient where is the pain? What body part/parts are involved? By identifying the site of pain, you can easily make diagnostic decision.
• Onset: When did the pain start? Ask whether the pain is sudden, rapid or more gradual one.
• Character: Ask the patient to describe the pain. Is it sharp, dull, sore or stabbing?
• Radiating: Does the pain spread into other areas of the body? For example, if the pain is radiating from back to the arms and legs, then the patient may require surgery.
• Associated symptoms: It may happen that the patient experiences other symptoms such as nausea or vomiting with the pain.
• Timing: This is different from the onset of pain. Ask the patient when did he/she feel the pain most? Is it constant or does it happen at specific time of the day? Whether a certain movement is elevating the pain?
• Exacerbating and relieving factors: What makes the pain better or worse? Sometimes, certain physical position or medication can relieve the pain.
• Severity: The patient should be asked to give a number to the pain on a scale of 0–10, wherein 0 being the lowest and 10 being the most severe pain experienced. Emergency medical professionals with first aid and CPR certification are better able to use the SOCRATES rule in assessing pain.
Most people, who experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) at home, work or in a public location, die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from bystanders at the site. As a first responder, now you can help a person in a SCA emergency with the help of this video. The video explains the two steps of hands-only CPR that can help rescuers save lives during SCA emergencies.
Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. The American Heart Association has recommended this CPR procedure for use in people who collapse suddenly in an ‘out-of-hospital’ setting. The two steps of Hands-Only CPR can increase the patient’s chance of survival. The two simple steps are: First – Call 9-1-1 and provide accurate information to the 911 dispatcher. Second – Provide chest compressions to the patient at a rapid rate of 100 compressions per minute. If the hands-only CPR technique is still not clear to you, check out this video to understand how to do this type of resuscitation.
An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) is a battery-operated, portable device that applies electrical therapy, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm in a person suffering from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). The use of AED dramatically increases the chance of survival of the victim to as much as 70% and higher.
When to use an AED?
When a person collapses due to cardiac arrest, the heart goes under the state of ventricular fibrillation. This rhythm is fatal for heart and the victim. An AED is used to stop the fatal rhythm by applying an electric shock to restore the normal rhythm. AED should be used in situations wherein the victim is unconsciousness and doesn’t respond to your voice.
Why to use an AED?
95% of SCA victims die from it, most within minutes. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) performed on the SCA patient improves his/her chances of survival. If the patient is not regaining normal heart beat and breathing, treat him/her with an AED. This can be lifesaving for the patient. AEDs can be used by untrained personnel till medical professionals arrive. AEDs are now commonly available in many public places, such as shopping complex, office buildings, schools, airports, airplanes, sports arenas, and fitness centers.
By taking a CPR course and learning how to use an AED can make the difference for life and death for someone. Using an AED can help save someone’s life.
Did you know around 4,500 fire and burn deaths are recorded every year in the US? Lack of immediate medical help is one of the main factors responsible for these deaths. Many people find themselves ill-equipped to handle medical emergencies.
Knowledge and understanding of first-aid can go a long way when it comes to helping a person who’s suffered a burn injury, heat stroke or any other type of injury. For businesses as well as homeowners, it is important to keep the first-aid kit handy. However, many people have little knowledge of the things that should be kept in the first-aid box. Apart from adhesive bandages and antibiotic ointment packets, it is important to keep many other things in the first-aid kit. These include sterile gauze pads, tweezers, oral thermometer, bandages etc.
Most importantly, it is essential to be well-aware of the first-aid emergency treatments. Awareness about how to treat common medical conditions can go a long way when it comes to saving the life of an individual and helping him recover quickly.
The core principle of first aid is to save a human life by preventing further injury and promoting fast recovery. In case of an accident, first responders give pre-medical care (first aid) to the people, who are ill or seriously (or minor) injured. If they will understand the four B’s concept of first aid, then they can easily prioritize care when there are several injured people:
• Breathing: Check for casualties who are not able to breathe properly. If such victims are not provided first aid within minutes, their brain cells will die as they are not breathing. Immediately check for any airway blockage, breathing, and circulation (A-B-C) and perform CPR.
• Bleeding: If a victim is bleeding heavily, provide first aid care to him/her before emergency help arrives. This may require you to use bandages or other medicines you happen to find at the accident site.
• Broken bones & fractures: A fracture is a broken bone. Fracture can be closed or open and it requires medical attention. If fracture is the result of major injury, call local emergency number first, and take necessary steps to avoid further injury such as stop bleeding, apply ice packs and perform CPR if the victim is not breathing.
• Burns: After covering casualties with above injuries, treat victims with burns. Depending on the level and type of burn injury, treat the patient to cool the affected area.
Young children are at greater risk for many serious injuries than adults. Children have immature physical coordination and cognitive abilities, and are at greater risk of falls, extremity fractures, head injury, minor trauma, etc. However, parents and people taking care of children can take steps to make sure their child is safe and, they must know what to do in the event of an accident.
The most common causes of childhood injuries are:
• Choking, strangulation, and suffocation: Choking, suffocation, and strangulation cause serious unintentional injuries, but they are preventable. Give back blows or do abdominal thrusts when the child is choking or suffocating. Parents and other caregivers should learn pediatric CPR and choking first aid to prevent these injuries.
• Burn injuries: A child’s sensitive skin burns more easily than adults. Burns can be caused by steam or vapour, hot water or any other heat or electrical sources. To reduce the severity of burn injuries, apply cool running water, use a clean dressing, and call doctor.
• Falls & Poisoning: For limiting fall-related injuries, always supervise your child while playing or doing outdoor activities. If your child does have a heavy fall, immediately contact doctor. Poisoning is a common occurrence among children. Prevention is important, particularly with medicines or anything that could harm your child, to limit poisoning cases.
Did you know around 90% of ‘out-of-hospital’ Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) incidents are fatal? The absence of immediate first-aid is one of the major reasons that cause the death of SCA victims. Due to lack of CPR knowledge, many people fail to provide immediate medical help to the patient.
Approved from American Heart Association providing hands-only CPR is an effective way to save the life of a person who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. In hands-only CPR, chest compressions are performed on the patient without mouth-to-mouth breathing. Studies have shown that hand-only CPR can be as effective as conventional CPR. Providing hands-only CPR immediately to the patient can save his life. Apart from giving chest compressions, it is important to call emergency medical care so the medical help arrives on time. Take a look at the below infographic for more information on AHA hands-free CPR and how it can save the life of a patient.
Nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. experience stroke every year, which means one stroke occurs every 40 seconds. A stroke is an acute neurological injury that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, due to blood clot (ischemic) or there is bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic). Stroke is also called ‘Cerebrovascular Accident.’ Due to interruption in blood supply, brain cells begin to die within minutes. So the victim requires emergency care at the first sign of a stroke. First responders need to act ‘FAST’ in case of stroke emergency.
Understanding the F.A.S.T Test • F stands for Face: As a first responder, you need to check the face of the stroke patient. Do you notice any sign of facial weakness? Has their mouth fallen on one side? • A stands for Arms: Check whether the victim can lift his or her both arms? A stroke patient cannot raise his/her arm fully. • S stands for Speech: A stroke victim faces difficulty in understanding and producing speech. If you notice the victim’s speech is slurred and he/she is not able to understand your voice, then it can be a stroke emergency. • T stands for Time: If you see any of these signs immediately call emergency services or take the patient to the hospital.
The F.A.S.T Test and Stroke Emergency
Early treatment saves many lives and reduces the effects of stroke. By learning the FAST test during CPR training, you could recognize the symptoms of stroke and save someone’s life!
The AVPU Mnemonic is an acronym for Alert, Voice, Pain, and Unresponsive. It is a system that can be used by first responders and emergency medical professionals to measure or record a victim’s responsiveness at the time of emergency situation. The four levels of AVPU scale include:
‘A’ stands for Alert: In this state, the patient is fully awake and alert. Though neurologically patient may not respond normally, but they can respond to your voices and follow commands given by first responders.
‘V’ stands for Voice: It may happen that the victim is not alert but you can get them to open their eyes. If the injured person obeys a command given by you or is able to speak to you, then you can say that they are responsive to voice.
‘P’ stands for Pain: In this state, the victim doesn’t talk or respond to your voice. They only respond to a pain stimulus when you try pinching him/her.
‘U’ stands for unresponsive: If the patient is not showing any voice or motor response to your voice or pain stimulus, then they are completely unconscious.
Understanding AVPU Mnemonic for first responders
The 4-points of AVPU Mnemonic help in faster assessment of the injured person’s consciousness level by first responders, EMTs, doctors, and nurses. The AVPU scale is very helpful in determining the level of responsiveness of the victim in an emergency setting.
Sudden cardiac arrest causes about 325,000 deaths in the United States each year and at least one child dies from choking on food every five days in the country. The number of deaths due to cardiac arrest, choking, and drowning can be decreased with immediate CPR treatment. CPR is a lifesaver emergency treatment given to victims to restore the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain. However, CPR may seem to be a modern technique but its use can be traced back almost 275 years from now (2015). The infographic presents a timeline of the development of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and highlights the history of CPR.
The CPR originated in the year 1740 when the Paris Academy of Sciences officially recommended mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for drowning victims, but the first documented chest compression was performed by Dr. Friedrich Maass. When given properly and immediately to a victim, who has stopped breathing, CPR can save lives. If you don’t know how to perform CPR correctly, then join CPR training classes, and see the below infographic to learn more about CPR history.
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