After sustaining an injury, you may have to wait a short time before you can go to have it checked by a doctor. Depending on the scope of your damage, you may need to perform some basic first aid to stabilize it before you go to your local AFC Urgent Care Center. Before you get started, make sure you follow these steps to perform first aid on yourself or someone else safely.
Protect Yourself From Pathogens
Pathogens found in blood can affect your health, causing several types of disease and conditions. If available, coat your hands in hand sanitizer before putting on a pair of sterile gloves. If gloves are not available, use extra gauze or cotton from a shirt to add a protective layer. Avoid making direct contact with another person’s blood to prevent contamination. If you do come into contact with blood, make sure you clean yourself off thoroughly with soap and hot water as soon as possible to avoid illness.
Stop Any Bleeding & Treat Shock
If the victim is unconscious, you will need to make sure they are breathing and have an active pulse. After determining that they are breathing, you will need to take steps to get any bleeding under control and keep the victim calm. Shock is common in victims of trauma, especially after significant blood loss, and can be fatal if left untreated. Use cotton or an article of clothing to apply pressure to a wound to slow down bleeding. Do not attempt to apply a tourniquet if you are not sure of proper technique. Shock can present with some symptoms, including clammy skin, dilated pupils, nausea and vomiting and fast breathing and pulse. Use a calm, soothing voice when addressing the victim and lay them flat on their back, with their feet and ankles elevated up to 12 inches. Do not move the victim if it will cause further injury or more pain.
If the victim is not breathing and is unconscious, begin performing CPR. If you are not trained or have not undergone training in over a year, perform chest compressions only at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute until help arrives. If you have undergone recent training and are confident you will be able to perform CPR correctly, you can try rescue breathing by tilting the victim’s head back at a slight angle, lightly pinching the nose and breathing into their mouth to cause their chest to rise. If they do not begin breathing on their own, continue compressions for 30 seconds before trying again.
After an emergency, it is essential to undergo examination by a professional doctor for any injuries that may have been sustained. Visit your local AFC Urgent Care Center in Springfield or West Springfield for emergency treatment. You can reach us at (413) 782-4878.