December: First Aid
An emergency can happen at any time and any place. Many public places have a first aid kit and/or an automated external defibrillator (AED) to treat people. On campus, you can find AEDs in many of our buildings. These items can only save lives if someone knows how to use them. Actions you take in the first few minutes after an injury or other medical incident may save someone’s life.
Be prepared to provide first aid while waiting for medically trained personnel or an ambulance.
Most purchased first aid kits contain the following: adhesive bandages, antibiotic/burn ointment, sterile gauze pads, gloves and a first aid reference sheet. This will be sufficient to handle small emergencies. Only use first aid supplies you are trained in using.
AEDs are utilized during a cardiac arrest and are designed for anyone to use. If you are in a situation to use one, stay calm and listen. As soon as you turn on the AED the automated voice prompts will instruct you step by step on what to do. The pads have diagrams that also show you where to place them on a person.
- Send someone to call 9-1-1 and obtain an AED and first aid kid.
- Shout, tap and shout again.
- Check for breathing (stomach or chest rise, nostril flaring).
- If not responding/breathing, begin CPR and use an AED.
- If responding but not awake place/roll the person onto their side.
- Wait for medical personnel.
- Fact: Most people who survive a cardiac emergency are helped by a bystander.
- Take a CPR class to learn how to help someone experiencing a cardiac emergency.
- Even if you are not CPR-certified, you can still provide hands-only CPR.
- Learn Hands-Only CPR from the American Red Cross (video)
- Hands-Only CPR Resources (American Red Cross)
- Confirm the person is choking and confirm they need assistance.
- Bend person over and give five back blows between shoulder blades.
- Stand person upright and provide five abdominal thrusts.
- Continue until person can cough, speak, cry or breathe.
- If person becomes unresponsive, begin CPR.
- Cover wound with a sterile gauze pad and apply direct pressure.
- If blood soaks through first pad, apply a second pad on top and maintain direct pressure until bleeding stops. Repeat with additional pads if bleeding continues to soak through.
- Thermal burn: Remove heat source and hold the area under cool water for at least ten minutes.
- Chemical burn: Remove contaminated clothing.
- Wet Chemical: Flush with cool water for twenty minutes.
- Dry Chemical: Brush off chemical and flush with cool water for twenty minutes.
- Electrical burn: Turn off power source. DO NOT TOUCH THE PERSON until the power has been turned off! Call 9-1-1.
- Cover burn with a sterile dressing/pad.
If you would like to learn more and become trained in AED, CPR or first aid, here are additional resources: