First Aid at a Major Accident


– Hello, I’m Emma Hammett,
the founder and CEO of First Aid for Life
and onlinefirstaid.com. One of the questions I
quite often get asked is, how do you prioritise at a major incident? What on earth do you do when
there are multiple casualties? Well, the most important thing is to make sure that you’re safe. So if there are multiple casualties, then something fairly major has happened, so before you rush in, start by taking a deep breath. So take a deep breath, look around you. That calming element is really important. So take that breath, look
around you and assess quickly whether there is still danger around. If you become injured, then you’re not going to
be able to help anyone, so your safety is of paramount importance. Once you have established that
there is no further danger, then you need to prioritise quickly. Don’t go straight for the noisy ones because the noisy ones
quite clearly have an airway and they are able to breathe. So your initial priorities
is anyone that is quiet. And you want to go over
very quickly and establish whether or not they’re
conscious or unconscious and whether or not they are breathing. So, really important to
work that out quickly. And you do that by speaking to them, and if they don’t respond
when you speak to them, pinch them gently or tap
them on the shoulders and speak to them in a
nice reassuring manner because they’re likely to be scared. And they may as well be people that are pretending to be
dead for their own safety. So do tell them that you are there to help and find out quickly whether or not they are conscious or unconscious. If they are not responding, you then need to tilt
the head, lift their chin to clear the airway,
right back for an adult, just to horizontal for a baby. And then you would put your cheek above their mouth and
nose, look down their body and you look, you listen, and you feel the breath on your cheek to see if they’re breathing. If they are unconscious
and they are breathing, then you would put them
into the recovery position. If they’re unconscious and not breathing, then you would be doing CPR. Now in a major incident,
you also need to be aware of other elements. Now breathing is your number one priority. If they’re not breathing,
then unless you step in and help them quickly, they
are not going to survive. Then, bleeding. Catastrophic bleeding is really important to deal with quickly. In a major incident, it may be that somebody has been stabbed
or they have been blown up or they’ve been shot or
something has happened like that which can lead to major blood loss. And it may be major visible blood loss or it may be internal bleeding. If it is visible blood loss, then you need to try and
stop that bleeding quickly. If it is extremely spurting blood, then that is potentially catastrophic, it’s an arterial bleed, and
you need to get something and apply direct pressure
as firmly as you can. If there is somebody else who can help you then that would be great. If the person is losing
an awful lot of blood, then if you were doing CPR, you will still not be able to help them. So this is one of the few
occasions where bleeding becomes even more of a
priority than doing CPR. So it’s just important
to be able to establish your priorities quickly. So breathing, number one. Sometimes bleeding will come alongside that breathing as a priority. Burns are also serious
and potentially fatal injuries. If somebody has had a serious burn, it can put them into shock very quickly. They lose a lot of fluid. Their body temperature will drop and they can go into shock quickly. Broken bones, honestly,
in a major incident, broken bones are just a distraction, so please do not be
distracted by any limbs in strange directions or whatever. Some people will say that if the limb is in a very strange direction and you are able to just
pull it back to neutral, then you may actually save that limb because there’s potential
lack of blood flow to the end, but if you’re
in a major incident, your priorities really
should be on breathing and on bleeding, I would suggest. Okay, I hope that’s been helpful. There’s plenty more
information on our website, and keep yourself safe. That’s Emma Hammett, First Aid for Life, firstaidforlife.org.uk, and my other website
is onlinefirstaid.com, and there are loads of free
resources on both sites.

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