Thursday, April 14, 2011


Shock occurs when the body's issues do not receive enough oxygenated blood. To understand shock, think of the circulatory system as having three components: a working pump (heart), plumbing (blood vessels), adequate fluid (blood) pumped through the pipes. Damage to any of these components can deprive tissues of oxygen-rich blood and produce a condition known as shock.

Recognizing Shock
The signs of shock include:
  • Altered mental status
  • Pale or bluish, cold and clammy skin, lips and nail beds
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Unresponsiveness

Care for Shock
  1. Place the victim on his or her back
  2. Keep the victim warm
  3. Call 9-1-1

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Recognizing a Stroke

A stroke occurs when part of the blood flow to the brain is suddenly cut off. This occurs when arteries in the brain rupture or become blocked.

Recognizing Stroke

The signs of a stroke include:
  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, an arm, or a leg on one side of the body
  • Blurred or decreased vision
  • Problems speaking
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Sudden confusion
To assess for a possible stroke, use the mnemonic FAST:
Face - Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms - Ask the person to extend both arms out. Does one arm drift downwward?
Speech - Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?
Time - If the person shows any of these signs, time is important. Call 9-1-1.

Care for Stroke
  1. Call 9-1-1
  2. Have the victim rest in a comfortable position
  3. Monitor breathing

Monday, March 21, 2011

Recognizing a Heart Attack

Quick action at the onset of a heart attack is vital to survival and the quality of recovery. Unfortunately this is sometimes easier said than done. Many heart attack victims deny they are experiencing something as serious as a heart attack. Do you know the signs of a possible heart attack?
  • Chest Pressure, squeezing, or pain that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. However, not every heart attack victim will experience chest pain. Just because your chest doesn't hurt doesn't mean you are not experiencing a heart attack.
  • Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck, jaw or arms.
  • Dizziness, sweating, nausea.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe fatigue
  • Upset stomach
Care for a Heart Attack
  1.  Call 9-1-1
  2. Help the victim into the most comfortable resting position.
  3. If the victim is alert and not allergic to aspirin, give four (4) chewable aspirin (81 mg) or one (1) regular aspirin (325 mg)
  4. If the vitim has been prescribed medication for heart disease such as nitroglycerin, help the victim use it.
  5. Monitor breathing.
Angina symptoms are similiar to thjose of a heart attack, but seldom last longer than ten (10) minutes and almost always are relieved by nitroglycerin.

Care for Angina
  1. Have the victim rest
  2. If the victim has been prescribed nitroclycerin, help the victim use it
  3. If the symptoms continue for more than ten (10) minutes and a heart attack is suspected, call 9-1-1.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Abandonment and Negligence

Once you have started first aid, do not leave the victim until another trained person takes over. Leaving the victim without help is considered as abandonment.

Negligence occurs when a victim suffers further injury or harm because the care that was provided did not meet the standards expected from a person with similar training in a similar situation. Negligence involves the following:
  • Having a duty to act, but either not doing so or doing so incorrectly.
  • Causing injury and damages

Consent to Provide First Aid

A first aid provider must have consent (permission) from a responsive (alert) person before providing care. This consent may be given verbally or with the nod of the head (expressed consent). You should tell the person:
  • Your name
  • You have been trained in first aid
  • What you would like to do to help
When a victim is unresponsive, an adult who is not mentally competent, or a child with a life threatening condition whose parent or legal guardian is not available, first aid providers should assume implied consent. This assumes that the victim (or parent/guardian) would want care provided.

Duty to Act

Duty to Act requires an individual to provide first aid. No one is required is required to provide first aid when no legal duty exists. Duty to act may apply in the following situations:
  • When your employer requires it. If you are designated to provide first aid to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements you must act. Examples of occupations that involve a duty to act include law enforcement, athletic trainers, life guards and teachers.
  • When a preexisting responsibility exists. You may have a preexisting relationship with other persons that make you responsible for them.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Layperson CPR

The following steps are the same when providing care for adults, children and infants.

1. Check for responsiveness and look at the chest for signs of breathing.
    - If the victim is unresponsive and has normal breathing, place the victim in
      the recovery position, have someone call 9-1-1, and monitor the victim for
    - If the victim is unresponsive and has abnormal breathing (not breathing or
      only gasping) have someone call 9-1-1 and retrieve an AED.
2. Provide chest compressions
    - Give 30 chest compressions
3. Provide rescue breaths
    - Open the airway
        - Tilt the victims head back and lift the chin.
    - Give 2 breaths
        - Each breath lasts one seconds and should produce visible chest rise 

4. Continue CPR until an AED is available, EMS personnel takes over, or the
    victim starts to move.