Unconscious. What would you do?

Here’s a situation that happens far more frequently than you may believe. You get home from work and find your loved one passed out on the floor in your house. What would you do?

911? Yes, of course. A1: Yes. But what can you do until the first responders arrive? What if they’re late or aren’t able to get there at all? It’s possible. You’ll need a procedure: Start with this and then move on to that.

Okay, what’s the first thing you do after phoning for assistance?

Your answer: _______________________

My answer:

  1. Make sure you’re safe. Yes, if it’s someone you care about, you’ll go straight to them; but remember to look around first. What if there’s a robber or a wild animal on the loose? If you’re the next person to be attacked, you won’t be able to help very much. When assisting in a vehicle accident on the side of the road, it’s just as dangerous every year. People are injured each year when they open their door and a automobile smashes into it.

What comes next? (Consider it before you read my advice.)

Your answer: ________________________

My answer:

2. Check for signs of life. How? Examine for breathing; scream, “Hey, are you all right?”; squeeze the face. If you know how to do it, check for a pulse. If not, assume the person doesn’t have a heart if he or she isn’t breathing and start chest compressions as a precautionary measure. Is there any indication of life? Begin chest compressions as soon as possible.

The patient appears to be alive. What now? (Cheating is not permitted.)

Your answer: ________________________

If an unconscious person is having difficulty breathing, you may use this technique to realign their airway without disturbing their neck (in the case of a spinal fracture you would not be aware of).

Place your fingertips on each side of the person’s jaw, just below the ears. Push the jaw forward to create an underbite (be careful not to move the neck). The back of the tongue is moved away from the airway as a result of this.

You may try it on yourself right now, but keep in mind that it will be difficult. It’s simpler when someone is calm and sleeping.

My answer:

3. Examine for immediate threats to life, such as bleeding wounds that require direct pressure to stop the bleeding. If needed, apply firm pressure and know how to use a tourniquet. Reposition the airway if breathing difficulty persists by performing a jaw thrust.

4. However, at the moment, it’s also critical not to move a person unless you’re sure the cause of unconsciousness wasn’t due to a head, neck, or back injury or moving would put them in immediate danger (for example). Moving before you protect your spine might shift any broken bone and trigger paralysis.

Is it daunting? Yes, but learning a few steps can help. Have any concerns? Disagree with me?

Photo by Johnny Cohen/Unsplash

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