This guide has been created basing on the needs of the course participants, which they reported during first aid trainings. Our team has prepared a depiction of the most common accidents with instructions for what to do if they occur.

The guide may complement the training, but it certainly will not replace the skills acquired during the practical exercises and workshops on first aid course, to which you are very welcomed to attend.

Regulations

Conducting first aid to the injured person is not only a moral responsibility of the people present at the scene of accident. The obligation to provide first aid is regulated by Polish law. Legislator provided high penalties for not fulfilling this duty.

Article 162. of Penal Code (Dz.U 97.88.553) § 1. Whoever does not render assistance to a person who is in a situation threatening an immediate danger of loss of life, serious bodily injury, or a serious impairment thereof, when he so do without exposing himself or another person to the danger of loss of life or serious harm to health shall be subject to the penalty of deprivation of liberty for up to 3 years. The exact definition of first aid is included in the Act on the State Emergency Medical Services.

art.3 point 7 of the act of 8 September 2006, of the State Emergency Medical Services (Journal of Laws of 2006, no. 191, pos. 1410.) First Aid – actions taken to rescue a person in a state of sudden health threat, made by a person in the scene of accident, including the use of medical articles and healing products available to the general public. Please note that in the situation that exposes us or others to danger, the granting of first aid can be the mere making a call to the emergency to call for appropriate services. The legislator also anticipated special rights and protection for people providing first aid.

Child safety

The younger the child, the greater our alertness should be. Young children are very fragile, so whenever there is something happening to them and it raises our concern, you should consult your doctor.

A list of alarming signals:

  • child is dejected, lethargic, sleepy or on the contrary – querulous, irritable
  • child is touching the ear, pulling them, rubbing the head on the pillow – it may indicate inflammation of the ear, it can also be a symptom of mumps, inflammation of lymph nodes or there might be a foreign body in their ear
  • child has a fever above 38.5 ° C, the temperature does not react to medicines
  • when the fever persisted with no other symptoms in a child under the age of three, especially in preterm infants, immunocompromised children, children with congenital malformations of various organs – please contact your physician. A visit to the doctor is also necessary if the fever persists for more than 2-3 days
  • child’s body is stiffening, eyeballs turnover up and the limbs are getting flabby and there is high fever – febrile seizures
  • fever and sore throat. Inflammation and enlargement of the tonsils may even lead to a reduction of clearness in the airway, it may later result in the breathing problem

Difficulty in breathing, symptoms are visible to the naked eye on an undressed child:

  • retraction of intercostal space during breathing in
  • wheezing
  • rapid breathing, rhythmic movements of the wings of the nose and neck muscles
  • taking a sitting position (older children), in such position the subjective feeling of dyspnea is much smaller
  • in infants and young children, we can only observe the restlessness, rapid breathing, and rapid heart rate
  • diarrhea that persists or worsens, there are signs of dehydration (not enough pee, child has dry mucous membranes), a fever

Choking

A STATE OF EMERGENCY. WE MIGHT DEAL WITH IT ON AN EVERYDAY BASIS. WHAT TO DO?

Pat on the back? But how?

We all know how easy it is to choke. Fast, greedy eating, swallowing a piece of food that falls not to the “right hole”, a moment of fear, rapid coughing, tears in the eyes, a slightly sore throat and that’s it. Well, at least in most cases.

In the case of choking, coughing should be encouraged.

What about the situation where a foreign body is completely clogging the airways? Natural defenses as a reflex of coughing is not working and strangling person cannot speak, cough or breathe. The man starts to lose consciousness, his life is in danger.

In such situation, it is necessary to implement the appropriate movements and here we come to the question in the title of this article. What to do to release the airways of a foreign body? The most common technique is patting with a flat hand between the shoulder-blades. But is it effective? Imagine a bottle of ketchup and trying to get the content out of it, does a pat on the side of the bottle bring the expected result?

Strokes must be thumping, hand must strike up, between the shoulder-blades. Stand behind the victim, put a leg between his legs, this way you keep him stable. Lean the victim forward and perform 5 strokes in the space between the shoulder-blades towards the head. Mind their thumping character! Impacts must be strong. After each series, check if a foreign body has not transferred into the mouth.

What’s in a situation where the impacts are ineffective? We are left with a maneuver known as the Heimlich Maneuver. Stand behind the victim, place one fist between the breastbone and the navel of the victim, grab a fist with your other hand and pull it up, towards yourself. Repeat 5 times.

If this does not work, continue alternating both methods.

If, despite your efforts, a foreign body removal does not succeed, you will need the knowledge of a sudden cardiac arrest.

Poisoning

How to recognize the poisoning? The answer is quite complex. Symptoms of poisoning are often not very distinctive. If you have contact with an unconscious person and we cannot find any other reason for the state he’s in, we may suspect poisoning.

In such situations, it is important to observe the environment, which the victim is in:

What to look for:

  • place where we found the victim (eg. a garage with a running car engine or a heated with stove – the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, the countryside with farm work – risk of plant protection products poisoning)
  • packs of drugs, chemical agents
  • vomit

What are the symptoms expediting the identification of poisoning:

  • headaches and dizziness
  • nausea, vomiting
  • confusion, drowsiness
  • blurred vision
  • difficulties in breathing
  • chills, fever
  • feeling cold
  • redness of the skin, blisters, burns
  • excessively narrowed or widened pupils

What to do? – rules of conduct

First of all, stay safe, be careful not to poison yourself.

  1. Ventilate the area, move the victim to a safe place.
  2. Check the consciousness of the injured person (do not breathe with the air exhaled by a sick person!)
  3. Call for medical help
  4. Remove the poison from the body by bringing on the emesis, with the exception of the following cases!
  • the person is unconscious
  • the lack of cough reflex
  • people poisoned with acids, bases or other corrosive substances that can damage the esophagus
  • people poisoned with irritants (gasoline, kerosene)
  • people poisoned with oil substances
  1. In case of being poisoned through the skin or eyes, rinse these places with fresh water, remember to wear protective gloves
  2. Protect the packages of, eg. the drugs, chemical agents and vomit

Burns

Burn is a severe injury and that is why it is important to give first aid to the burned person as soons as possible.

Burns can be caused by various factors: high temperature, chemical substance, electricity or friction. Regardless of the factor, we can difference 4 degrees of burns, depending on the depth, the burned area and the number of damaged skin layers.

– first degree burn – it is characterized by local redness of the skin, pain and a small swelling

– second degree burn – the pain is much stronger, the skin is moist and red, there are blisters with clear fluid and noticeable swelling

– third degree burn – symptoms as in second degree burns with additional symptoms of skin necrosis or even deeper layers of the skin in the form of ulcers and scars

– fourth degree burn – skin necrosis reaches deep tissue, followed by charring of scalded body parts

PROCEEDINGS

Regardless of the degree, first aid basic principle is the same:

– cooling the burned place with clean, cold water.

In case of the lighter burns, perform this action for 10-15 minutes, and preferably continue until the greatest cessation of pain stops. Second degree burns need to be cooled up to 30 minutes. With the most severe burns cool it for a few minutes only, do not sink the burned person in the bathtub, do not wrap it with ice – such treatments may make the patient in a state of hypothermia.

– immediately remove jewelry (rings, bracelets) from a burned person (swelling of the body can lead to tissue necrosis)

– after cooling, the patient should be covered, preferably with a clean sheet

– apply a sterile dressing or hydrogel

DO NOT:

– remove clothes right after the burning, there is a risk of skin peeling off with clothing. In less severe cases, clothes can be removed after cooling the patient.

– use alcohol, vodka, egg whites, fat or soap, there is a risk of infecting the wounds and strengthening the patient’s pain

– pierce the bubbles

Chemical burns

– clothes should be quickly removed from the burned person

– immediately flush the substance, which caused the burn, from the surface of the body

– in case of wounds apply a sterile dressing: gauze, tetra

Electric shock

– cut off the victim from the power source

– check vital functions, resuscitate if necessary

– call for medical help

– affixing the wound with sterile dressing

– cover the victim with a blanket (reduces the risk of a shock)

 

What to use in case of lighter burns? (I degree burns and some of II degree burns)

In such situations, it is not necessary to see a doctor. Just use cooling agents, analgesics and agents that accelerate skin regeneration as Termcool, hydrogel dressings, aloe gel, etc.

When visiting a hospital is necessary?

– When a baby is burned – in any case!

– When the eyes, mouth, hands, feet, genitals, joints are burned

– At second degree burns surrounding the joints, due to the risk of contractures

– When burns cover more than 10% of body surface

– The III and IV degree burns

– If you have trouble with breathing or scratching of the throat

– When you see the saliva with soot

– With the onset of symptoms of infection, fever, swelling or purulent blisters

Epilepsy

EPILEPSY, KEEP CALM

Many people panic when they make a contact with a person who has a seizure. This fear is mainly caused by ignorance about epilepsy and how to help. Therefore, it is very important to provide information on this particular subject. A course in first aid provides practical training in a situation in which there is an epileptic attack.

HOW TO HELP?

– Remain calm – only a calm and aware of what to do person can minimize the potential risk the epilepsy attack can cause.

– Protect the victim from falling, bruising, injury, etc.

– Unbutton the collar, loosen the belt, remove the glasses

– Protect the patient’s head, softly shore it up, while avoiding hitting the ground

– After the attack, place the patient on his side to prevent him from choking or suffocation

– If the attack is prolonged or you don’t know the victim, call the ambulance (usually shock lasts for 2-3 minutes)

– Provide the peace and warmth to the patient (attack is very exhausting, both physically and mentally)

DO NOT:

– “revive” by force

– put anything in the mouth, especially a hard object – the risk of choking, breaking teeth

– force open the clenched jaws

– Serve any liquids

– stop the seizures by force, hold down the movements of the victim

– do artificial respiration during the attack (apnea is one of the symptoms)

– wake the patient after attack

Seizures occur with varying frequency. One patient may have attacks several times a day, the other a few times in a lifetime.

The primary function in generating the epileptic seizures is played by nervous system and a malfunction of its relays.

The attacks most often occur spontaneously, but there are some factors that may cause them, such as: alcohol, bright light, rejection of anti-epilepsy drugs, fever, excessive physical activity, etc.