Emergency situations require emergency responses. But not everyone is trained to do so, or has the clarity of mind to always react in the best matter possible when disaster strikes. That’s why we’ve teamed up with OkLater to offer you a brief online primer on how to react in all sorts of emergency situations.
1. Traffic accident
The first thing to do is call the ambulance, or seek someone with medical training in the vicinity. Always take a photo of the number plates of the vehicles in question or try to remember the plates of the perpetrator if it’s a ‘hit and run’. You should also try to identify the victim and try to notify their family. If it’s safe to move a person away from the road – do so.
2. Heart attack
The symptoms of heart attacks are highly variable so it’s difficult to predict it. But if it happens, again: call the ambulance right away. You can’t do much, but if you have an aspirin handy it’s good to give it to the person to chew it, or if you’re so trained, try to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
3. If someone faints
In such a case, it is important to stay close to the affected person, and tell someone else to call an ambulance. It’s better to seek medical aid immediately than trying to shift the person.
4. Injuries by sharp objects
Seek medical help ASAP, and NEVER try to remove the object on your own. It can cause severe bleeding and additional damage.
If the burns are mild and due to heat, you should remove anything that is in the way of the burn, like clothing or jewelry. Then pour cool water over the affected area until the pain is relieved. If it’s a chemical burn (caused by alkaline or acidic substances) you should wash the area with a combination of water and soap (if alkaline burn), or water and baking soda (if acidic burn). Then wrap the area carefully in a loose bandage. Remember: NEVER use iodine, cotton pads, rice or oil. Severe burning demands immediate hospitalization and calling the ambulance.
6. Lightning storms
Here are the rules: never use the phone, go near power lines or near water. Find tall trees and take shelter under them, but make sure there are several trees close together. Another tip is to crouch: that way there’s even less chance of getting, you know, “thunderstruck.”
7. Freezing (hypothermia)
If you fell in cold water, it’s essential to remove the wet clothes. But DON’T put the person, or expose yourself to warm or hot water. Just cover yourself or the person in question with blankets, or put on dry warm clothes. Warm drinks help too, but if the person is unconscious, call the ambulance immediately.
The symptoms include nausea and severe headaches. The solution? Well, drink more water, and make sure you find some shade and cool your body. It may take a while but eventually, the body will regain its harmony. It’s also good to add a teaspoon of sugar and salt in the water respectively, or orange juice combined with a teaspoon of baking soda and salt.
It is crucial to discern if the bleeding occurs from one nostril or both. If it’s coming from one nostril, it’s safe to pinch the nose lightly and tilt the head backward. The amount of blood that will go down the throat and the stomach will be too little to cause upset. But if it’s coming from both nostrils, it’s better to pinch the nose and tilt the head forwards. The amount of blood is too great to let it go down the stomach, which can cause vomiting (which will make everything worse). Holding a pack of ice also helps, and holding the nose for 10 minutes should stop the bleeding. DON’T blow your nose after.
Try to press their belly and flatten it by applying pressure, and then work upwards from there. A wave-like motion with the fist usually does the trick and helps the person expel whatever got stuck inside them. It is crucial that the person’s back is pressed against a chair or a person behind them, which is what makes the pressure effective.
Cover your mouth with a piece of clothing and stay as low as you can, closer to the ground. That way you won’t be suffocated by the fumes and the smoke. Always try to exit the burning premises. Call the fire department. If it’s a small fire and it’s connected to electricity, DON’T use water to put it out.