Chapter 1 of the textbook has 11 topic summaries (in boxes outlined in red) that are important to know. Pick one of the boxes and answer the following questions in complete sentences. DO NOT refer to boxes 1-2, 1-3, or 1-11.
Although the risk of catching a disease when giving first aid care is very low, whenever you give care, there is the potential to be exposed to an infectious disease. Of particular concern are diseases that are not easily treated and can have long-term effects on your health, should you become infected. Using personal protective equipment (PPE) significantly reduces your risk for catching an infectious disease.
· HIV is a virus that invades and destroys the cells that help us to fight off infections. A person who is infected with HIV may look and feel healthy for many years. However, during this time, the virus is breaking down the person's immune system. Eventually, a person who is infected with HIV may develop acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). A person with AIDS is unable to fight off infections that a healthy person would be able to resist or control. The person can die from one of these infections. Although medications have been developed to help slow the progression of HIV infection, currently there is no cure.
· Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, an organ that performs many vital functions for the body. There are many different types and causes of hepatitis. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are caused by infection with bloodborne viruses. Chronic infection with the viruses that cause hepatitis B or C can lead to liver failure, liver cancer and other serious conditions.
Illnesses Transmitted via Air
(Airborne and Droplet Transmission)
· Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection of the lungs that is spread through airborne transmission from one person to another. Although tuberculosis primarily affects the lungs, it can also affect the bones, brain, kidneys and other organs, If not treated, tuberculosis can be fatal. Treatment is complex and involves taking many different medications over an extended period of time.
· Influenza is a viral illness that is spread when virus-containing droplets are released into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets land on other people's mouths or noses or other surfaces or are inhaled. Symptoms of infection include sudden onset of fever, aches, chills, fatigue, cough and headache.
Complications from the flu are common and can lead to serious infections, such as pneumonia. Every year, thousands of people in the United States die from complications of influenza. There is no cure for influenza, and treatment, including antiviral medication, is focused on lessening the severity of symptoms. However, there is an annual vaccine available that is effective in preventing infection and/or reducing the severity of infection if infected.
The EMS system is a network of professionals linked together to provide the best care for people in all emergencies.
The system begins when someone sees an emergency and decides to take action by calling 9-1-1 or the designated emergency number.
This action allows the EMS dispatcher to take down information about the emergency and provide it to the trained EMS professionals who will respond to the scene.
Many EMS dispatchers are also trained to provide first aid and CPR instructions over the phone to assist the lay responder until the professional responders arrive.
EMS professionals have advanced training that allows them to provide medical care outside of the hospital setting. Once on the scene, these professionals will begin the care of the person, including transportation to a hospital or other facility for the best medical care if needed.
· Screaming, moaning, yelling, crying or calls for help
· Sudden, loud noises such as breaking glass, crashing metal, a thud or screeching tires
· A change in the sound made by machinery or equipment
· Unusual silence
· A foul or unusually strong chemical odor
· The smell of smoke
· The smell of gas
· An unrecognizable odor
· An inappropriate odor (e.g., a sickly-sweet odor on a person's breath)
Unusual Appearances or Behaviors
· A stopped vehicle on the roadside or a car that has run off the road
· Downed electrical wires
· Sparks, smoke or fire
· A person who suddenly collapses or is lying motionless
· Signs or symptoms of illness or injury, such as a person clutching their throat or heart, a person having a seizure, a person with swollen lips, difficulty breathing, sudden weakness on one side of the body, profuse sweating for no apparent reason or an uncharacteristic skin color, pool of blood or blood pulsating or person's limb at an unusual angle or bent in the middle
· Confusion in a person who is normally alert
· Unusual drowsiness
· A person moaning, staggering or slurring their speech or unable to speak
· Personality or mood changes (e.g. agitation in a person who is normally calm, irritability in a person who is normally pleasant)
Do not enter water in an attempt to rescue a person who is in trouble unless you are specifically trained to perform in-water rescues. Instead, get help from a trained responder, such as a lifeguard, to get the person out of the water as quickly and safely as possible or call 9-1-1 or the loc emergency number and wait for help. Never go out onto the ice in an attempt to rescue a person who has fallen through the ice. Because a person has just fallen through it, the ice is unsafe. A responder who rushes out onto the ice is likely to become a victim as well. Instead call or send someone to call 9-1-1 immediately and then attempt a reaching or throwing assist.
Reaching and throwing assists allow you to help a conscious person who is in trouble without entering the water yourself. These types of assists are the safest assists for responders who are not professionally trained lifeguards to perform during an aquatic emergency. They are also the best type of assist to use when someone has fallen through ice. To keep yourself safe, always remember "Reach or throw, don't go!"
When doing a reaching or throwing assist:
· Start the rescue by talking to the person, if possible. Let the person know help is coming.
· Use gestures to communicate with the person if it is too noisy or if the person is too far away to hear.
· Tell the person what he or she can do to help with the rescue, such as grasping a line, rescue buoy or other floating device.
· Encourage the person to move toward safety by kicking or stroking. Some people are able to reach safety by themselves with calm encouragement from a person on the deck or shore.
If the person is close enough, use a reaching assist to help him or her out of the water. To do a reaching assist, use any available object that will extend your reach and give something for the person to grab so you can pull the person in. Items that work well for reaching assists include a pole, an oar or paddle, a tree branch, a shirt, a belt or a towel.
Community or hotel pools and recreational areas often have reaching equipment, such as a shepherd's crook (an aluminum or fiberglass pole with a large hook on one end) located close to the water.
You can perform a reaching assist from the pool deck, pier surface or shoreline. If no equipment is available and you are close enough, you may be able to perform a reaching assist by extending your arm to the person.
You can also perform a reaching assist from a position within the water by extending an arm or a leg to the person, if you are already in the water and you have something secure to hold on to.A throwing assist involves throwing an object to the person so that they can grasp it and be pulled to safety. A floating object with a line attached (such as a ring buoy) is ideal for a throwing assist; however, an object that floats (such as a life jacket or cooler) can also be used. In some situations, you may have to improvise with an object that floats but is not specifically meant for throwing assists. If possible, keep a throwing object with a coiled line in a prominent location that is accessible to the water, so that anyone can quickly access it to throw to someone in trouble. All boats should have rescue equipment onboard for throwing assists.
A wading assist involves wading into the water and using a reaching assist to help pull the person to safety. Only use a wading assist in water that is less than chest deep. If a current or soft bottom makes wading dangerous, do not enter the water. For your own safety, wear a life jacket if one is available and take something to extend to the person, such as a ring buoy, branch, pole, air mattress or paddle.
Being able to communicate and interact effectively with the person who is injured or ill can increase the person's comfort level with you and makes it more likely that you will be able to get the information you need in order to provide appropriate care.
When the Injured or III Person Is a Child
· If the child's parent or guardian is present, remember to get the parent's or guardian's consent to give care.
· Be aware that children often take emotional cues from the adults around them. If the child sees that adults are upset, the child's anxiety and panic may increase. Stay calm and encourage the child's parent or guardian to do the same.
· The child's parent or guardian can be a valuable source of information if the child is not able to speak for themself.
However, if the child is old enough to understand and answer your questions, speak directly to the child using age-appropriate language, rather than addressing your questions to the parent or guardian.
· Think about "not being a monster" when talking to children.
· Don't be loud.
· Don't tower over them; get on their eye level.
· Don't be rough; handle them gently.
· Don't scare them; tell them what you are going to do.
· If the care you need to provide will cause discomfort or pain, describe what the child can expect to feel in terms the child can understand. Never make promises or statements that you cannot support (e.g., do not say that something will not hurt if it will).
When the Injured or III Person Is an Older Adult
· Pay attention to how the person introduces themself. If the person gives a last name, consider addressing the person more formally (e.g., "Mr. Johnson" rather than "Bill") as a sign of respect.
· A family member, caregiver or other person who knows the older adult well can be a valuable source of information if the older adult is not able to speak for themself. However, if the older adult is able to understand and answer your questions, speak directly to them, rather than addressing your questions to others who might be present.
· Speak clearly and loudly enough for the person to hear you, but do not shout. If the person does not seem to understand what you are saying, change your words, not the volume of your voice, unless you spoke too softly.
· When interviewing the person, avoid rushing. Allow the person enough time to process your questions and respond.
· Be aware that in older people, the signs and symptoms of a medical emergency may be very general and nonspecific,and they may not even be noticeable to someone who does not know the person well. General signs and symptoms that could indicate a medical emergency in an older adult include headache, a change in the persons usual level of activity, a change in mental status (such as agitation, the new onselt of confusion, or increased confusion in a person who is already confused), lethargy (extreme drowsiness or sleepiness) and difficulty sleeping.
· Many older adults have impaired hearing, vision or both. If the person seems confused, make sure the "confusion" is not just the result of being unable to hear you or see you clearly. If the person normally wears a hearing aid, make sure it is in place and turned on. If the personusually wears glasses, make sure they have them on.
When the Injured or ILL Person Has a Disability
· Remember, the presence of a physical disability does not mean the person has a cognitive disability. If the person is able to understand and answer your questions, speak directly to them, rather than addressing your questions to others who might be present. However, if they can't speak for themself, a family member, caregiver or other person who knows the injured or ill person well can be a valuable source of information.
· A person with a disability may use a service animal. Be aware that service animals are trained to protect their owners, and both the service animal and the person may become anxious if they are separated. Allow the service animal to stay with the person if possible.
· If the person wears an assistive device (e.g. a leg brace), do not remove the device when you are examining the person unless you have to provide care such as controlling bleeding.
· If the person has an intellectual disability:
· Address the person as you would any other person in their age group. If the person does not seem to understand you, rephrase your statement or question in simpler terms.
· Be aware that being injured or becoming suddenly ill may make the person very upset, anxious or fearful. Take time to explain who you are and what you intend to do and reassure the person.
· If the person has impaired hearing:
· Approach the person from the front.
· Hearing-impaired people who know how to read lips rely on watching your mouth move. Position yourself so that the person can see your mouth and facial expressions. Pronounce your words slowly and clearly and speak in short sentences.
· If the person does not seem to understand what you are saying, change your words, not the volume of your voice, unless you spoke too softly. Shouting sometimes causes the person more distress and they still may not understand what you are trying to say.
· If the person can't hear you and does not seem to be able to read your lips, you can often communicate by using gestures and writing comments and letting them speak or write their responses.
· If the person has impaired vision:
· Speak in a normal voice. It is not necessary to shout.
· As the person may not be able to see what you are doing as you provide care, be sure to describe what you are doing.
When the Injured or III Person Speaks a Different Language
· Speak in a normal voice. It is not necessary to shout.
· Find out if any bystanders speak the person's language and can assist by translating.
· Do your best to communicate nonverbally, using gestures and facial expressions.
· When you call 9-1-1 or the designated emergency number, explain that you are having difficulty communicating with the person, and tell the dispatcher which language you believe the person speaks. The dispatcher may have someone available who can help with communication.
Abuse is the willful infliction of injury or harm on another.
People who depend on others for care, such as children and the elderly, are at the highest risk for being abused. Abuse can take many forms, including physical abuse (deliberately hurting another person's body), emotional abuse (degrading, belittling or threatening another person), sexual abuse (forcing a person to take part in sexual activities of any kind) and neglect (failing to provide for a dependent person's basic needs).
Signs and symptoms of abuse could include:
· An injury whose cause does not fit its explanation.
· Unexplained fractures or dislocations
· Unexplained lacerations or abrasions, especially to the mouth, lips and eyes.
· Injuries in various stages of healing, especially bruises and burns.
· Bruises and burns in unusual shapes, such as bruises shaped like belt buckles or handprints, or burns the size of a cigarette tip.
· Bruises, scratches or cuts around the breasts, buttocks or genitals.
· A withdrawn or fearful demeanor, especially in the presence of the person who is causing the abuse.
Signs and symptoms of neglect could include:
· Lack of appropriate supervision.
· Signs of poor personal hygiene.
· Signs of dehydration and malnutrition. An unsafe living environment.
· Untreated chronic illness.
In a first aid situation, you may have reason to suspect that the person is a victim of abuse. Your priority is to give first aid care for the person's injury or illness, according to the conditions that you find and your level of training. If you suspect abuse, share your concerns with the responding emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, if possible. You can also report your suspicions to a community or state agency, such as the Department of Social Services, the Department of Child and Family Services, Child Protective Services, or Adult Protective Services.
You may be hesitant to report suspected abuse because you do not wish to get involved or are concerned about legal action. In most states, when you make a report in good faith, you are protected from any civil or criminal liability or penalty, even if the report was made in error. In this instance, good faith means that you honestly believe that abuse has occurred or the potential for abuse exists and that a prudent and reasonable person in the same position would also honestly believe that abuse has occurred or the potential for abuse exists. You may have to identify yourself when you report abuse. In some professions, employees are legally obligated to report suspicions of abuse of a person in their care to their supervisor (or to another person in the organization, per their employer's policy). This does not take the place of any mandatory reporting as required by law or regulation and cannot be used as gatekeeper for mandatory reporting.
Call 9-1-1 or the designated emergency number, or tell someone to do so, for any of the following emergency situations and conditions.
· An injured or ill person who needs medical attention and cannot be moved
· Fire or explosion
· Downed electrical wires
· Swiftly moving or rapidly rising flood waters
· Presence of poisonous gas
· Serious motor vehicle collision
· Spilled chemicals
· Unresponsiveness or an altered level of consciousness (LOC), such as drowsiness or confusion
· Cardiac arrest (unresponsive; no breathing or only gasping)
· Choking (cannot cough, cry, speak or breathe; universal sign of choking)
· Anaphylaxis (signs of allergic reaction; history of allergy; swelling of the face, neck, tongue or lips; trouble breathing; shock; change in responsiveness)
· Breathing problems (trouble breathing or no breathing; asthma attack)
· Chest pain, discomfort or pressure lasting more than a few minutes or that radiates to the shoulder, arm, neck, jaw, stomach or back
· Persistent abdominal pain or pressure
· Life-threatening external bleeding (bleeding that spurts or flows continuously from a wound, pools on surfaces, is enough to fill half of a soda can or even less for small children and infants)
· Vomiting blood or passing blood
· Suspected poison exposure
· Signs or symptoms of stroke (e.g., drooping of the face on one side; sudden weakness on one side of the body; sudden slurred speech or difficulty speaking; sudden, severe headache)
· Signs or symptoms of shock (e.g., changes in level of responsiveness; rapid breathing; rapid, weak heartbeat; nausea or vomiting; pale, ashen [grayish], cool, moist skin; restlessness or irritability; excessive thirst)
· Opioid overdose (decreased breathing effort and rate;
· unresponsiveness; bluish or greyish colored skin; small pupils)
· Diabetic emergency (trouble breathing; fast or deep breathing; feeling weak or different; sweating; fast heartbeat)
· Hypothermia (shivering; pale; cold to the touch; disoriented)
· Heat stroke (moist, pale or flushed skin; absence of sweating or some degree of sweating; unresponsive or confused; seizure; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; exhaustion)
· Suspected or obvious injuries to the head, neck or spine
· Suspected or obvious broken bone
Most of the time, you will call first and then give care. But if you are alone, you may have to care first in some situations.
If you are alone and do not have a cell phone, you will usually follow the normal steps of check, call and care. However, for a few conditions you will need to give immediate care, then go to call 9-1-1 or the designated emergency number. These conditions include:
· An unresponsive infant or child younger than about 12 years whom you did not see collapse.
· A person who is choking.
· A person who is experiencing a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) and has an epinephrine auto-injector.
· A person who has life-threatening bleeding.
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