Practical guide to first aidAirway opening control Artificial respiration Mouth-mouth respiration Mouth-nose respiration Cardiac massage Combination of ventilation with cardiac massage Mushroom poisoning Poisoning by altered or infected food Poisoning by ingestion of toxic substances Gas poisoning External bleeding Internal bleeding Simple wounds and grazes Serious wounds Chest wounds Abdomen wounds Face wounds How to make a bandage Bandages for foreign body wounds Limb fractures Column fractures Head injuries Acute cramp Heat stroke Burns Serious burns Mild burns Caustic burns Hypothermia Hypothermia in children Freezing Electrocution Foreign bodies in the airways Foreign bodies in the ear Otorrhagia Foreign bodies in the eye Eye injuries Snake bites Bites of other animals Insect bites Resuscitation maneuvers Artificial respiration Cardiac massage Loss of consciousness Convu Suffocation
- Airway opening control
- Artificial breathing
- Mouth-to-mouth breathing
- Mouth-nose breathing
- Cardiac massage
- Combination of ventilation with cardiac massage
- Mushroom poisoning
- Intoxication by altered or infected food
- Poisoning by ingestion of toxic substances
- Gas poisoning
- External bleeding
- Internal bleeding
- Simple wounds and grazes
- Serious injuries
- Chest wounds
- Wounds in the abdomen
- Wounds to the face
- How to make a bandage
- Bandages for wounds with foreign body
- Limb fractures
- Column fractures
- Head injuries
- Acute cramp
- Heat stroke
- Severe burns
- Mild burns
- Caustic caustic burns
- Hypothermia in children
- Foreign bodies in the airways
- Foreign bodies in the ear
- Foreign bodies in the eye
- Injury to the eye
- Snake bites
- Bites of other animals
- Insect bites
- Resuscitation maneuvers
- Artificial breathing
- Cardiac massage
- Loss of consciousness
In emergency situations, an appropriate and timely intervention can be crucial for the survival of an individual, and vice versa incorrect rescue operations can compromise the positive outcome of subsequent treatments. There is no doubt, therefore, that a greater diffusion of the fundamental notions of first aid in the community would allow the salvation of many human lives.
In this chapter, and in the following pages, the basic rules to which rescuers and people who are assisting sick or injured in unexpected conditions are summarized and illustrated. The primary objectives of these rules, as of any first aid intervention, are on the one hand to keep the injured person alive, keeping his conditions under control pending medical assistance, on the other hand, to avoid errors that could prove fatal . We will first deal with some basic cardiorespiratory resuscitation maneuvers.
It is recommended that this chapter be read when it is not needed; it would also be very important to be able to try the maneuvers with practical exercises and simulations, in order not to be completely unprepared in an emergency situation.
The general rules of conduct that everyone should keep in mind at all times are listed below.
- Stay calm and act quickly.
- Avoid crowding and confusion; give comfort to the injured.
- Request an ambulance service as soon as possible.
- To check:
- if the victim is conscious. If he is not conscious, but breathing, put the person in a safe position; loosen tight clothing, belts and ties;
- if he breathes. If you are not breathing, clear your mouth of any obstructions; keep the airways open; start artificial respiration with 4-5 rapid insufflations;
- if you feel the carotid pulse. If the heart does not beat, or the carotid pulse is not felt, start the external cardiac massage and associate it with artificial respiration. Cardiac massage should always be started after artificial respiration: a non-oxygenated heart does not start beating again. If there is only one rescuer, he will have to alternate 15 chest compressions (at a rate of 80 per minute) with 2 rapid lung insufflations. If there are two rescuers, 1 rapid lung insufflation must be performed every 5 sternal compressions (at a rate of 60 per minute). Cardiac massage and artificial respiration must be continued without interruption until the pulse and spontaneous breathing reappear; at that point the victim must be placed in a safe position;
- if the injured person has serious injuries. If you have serious injuries, check for bleeding and take anti-shock measures;
- if you have spine fractures. If a spine fracture is suspected, do not move the person for any reason; keep body, torso and head in a straight line.
- Cover the injured person (but not excessively) to avoid getting cold.
- Do not move the injured person (except in cases where this is indispensable to save his life or to avoid other dangers).
- Do not bend his head or neck abruptly.
- Do not give him alcohol.
- Do not give anything to drink or eat if the person is to be treated in hospital.
- Never leave her alone if she is unconscious.
In emergency conditions, for example following a road accident, the first thing to do is to check if the injured person is conscious and if he is breathing: you have to shake him gently, calling him out loud. Bring your ear close to his lips: if no breath is perceptible, bring a mirror or a watch glass closer, which will be clouded by the exhaled air, if any.
In the event that the person is not conscious and does not breathe, it is necessary to immediately provide support for vital functions, with a procedure that involves three phases:
- control of the opening of the airways, to eliminate any obstructions;
- artificial respiration, to give oxygen;
- heart massage, to restore blood flow to the brain (Figure 1).
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Airway opening control
- Clear your mouth and throat of any obstructions (Figure 1). In a comatose person, the airways may be blocked by blood or vomiting material, which is not removed due to the absence of normal cough reflexes and swallowing. Mobile dentures represent an obstacle and must therefore be eliminated; fixed prostheses, on the other hand, can be useful to support the contour of the mouth during breathing.
- Place the victim in a supine position with head, neck and chest aligned (Figure 2); then hyperextend the head, placing one hand under the neck and the other on the forehead, and lift the neck (Figure 3). This maneuver is important to avoid airway obstruction in unconscious people: in this condition, in fact, the base of the tongue tends to rest on the posterior wall of the pharynx (due to the relaxation of the neck muscles), hindering the air flow inside. The hyperextension of the head allows a tension of the front of the neck which prevents the fall of the base of the tongue and causes the opening of the lips. If the opening of the mouth is not sufficient, it is necessary to bring the hand that was under the nape to raise the chin, exerting an upward traction.
- With the victim's head kept in hyperextension, move the jaw forward and open the mouth (Figure 4).
- Begin artificial respiration. By performing 3-5 rapid insufflations, check that the pulse is present and proceed at the rate of 1 insufflation every 5 seconds in adults, every 3 seconds in children. If the pulse is absent, get ready to practice cardiac massage.
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