ISB » Health Tips » First-Aid Maneuvers
The Boy Scout's had it right when they said "Always be prepared." Truly,
nothing can be a substitute for complete preparation especially when you
are part of InService, where constant vigilance and readiness are the
two most important things in your arsenal.
One of the basic trainings that we receive as InService
comrades as it helps us be ready in case any medical emergencies arise
during events. While not a substitute to actual medical care by a
physician, quick and effective First Aid care can resolve a lot of
damage and sometimes even save lives.
Let's take a look at some useful and helpful techniques we
can use. REMEMBER: Professional medical care and attention is still
referable so if it can be accessed make sure to do so.
Choking occurs when food or other solid objects get trapped
in the throat or esophagus, blocking the airway and causing asphyxiation
(loss of air). If left unattended, the person might lose consciousness
of even die from lack of oxygen.
The Heimlich maneuver is given to people who are choking to
dislodge the blockage and free up the air way. Be careful, when
performing it because it done incorrectly, it can cause more harm and
even injure the person even more.
1. Stay Safe! Remember that persons may panic and accidentally strike out and hit you.
2. Determine if they are really choking. Choking persons
cannot speak, cough, or breathe. DO NOT administer the Heimlich
maneuver to someone who is not choking
3. Stand behind the person.
4. Wrap your hands around the person as if to give a hug.
5. Make a fist with your right hand and place it just above the person's belly button.
6. Grab your fist with your left and thrust inwards and upwards forcefully.
7. Repeat thrusts until the person is able to breathe again - or until the person becomes unconscious.
8. If the person becomes unconscious, begin adult CPR.
CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)
If you have ever watched a hospital show on television, you
have probably seen scenes where CPR is given to an unconscious or
non-breathing patient. CPR is usually given to people whose hearts have
stopped beating (cardio = heart) or who have stopped breathing
(pulmonary = lungs) in order to revive them.
Two things are done during CPR: rescue breathing and chest
compressions. It is VERY IMPORTANT that these are done correctly since,
like the Heimlich Maneuver, it can lead to more severe damage if
1. Attempt to wake person. Briskly rub your knuckles against the person's
sternum (the bone in the middle of the chest). If the person does not
wake, call for help and proceed to step 3. If the person wakes, moans,
or moves, then CPR is not necessary at this time. Call for help and
medical assistance if the person is confused or not able to speak.
*CALL for medical assistance prior to performing CPR. Remember that this is first aid and not actual treatment.
2. Begin rescue breathing. Open the person's airway by
tilting the head back and pulling the chin upward. Put your ear to the
person's open mouth:
• look for chest movement
• listen for air flowing through the mouth or nose
• feel for air on your cheek
3. If there is no breathing, pinch the person's nose; make a
seal over the person's mouth with yours. No air should escape between
your mouths. Give the person a breath big enough to make the chest rise.
Let the chest fall, and then repeat the rescue breath once more.
4. Begin chest compressions. Place the heel of your hand in
the middle of the person's chest. Put your other hand on top of the
first with your fingers interlaced. Compress (push) the chest about
1-1/2 to 2 inches (4-5 cm). Allow the chest to completely draw back
before the next compression. Compress the chest at a rate equal to
100/minute. Perform 30 compressions at this rate.
5. Repeat rescue breaths. Open the airway with head-tilt,
chin-lift again. This time, go directly to rescue breaths without
checking for breathing again. Give one breath, making sure the chest
rises and falls, then give another.
6. Perform 30 more chest compressions. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for about two minutes.
7. Stop compressions and recheck person for breathing. If
the person is not breathing, continue chest compressions and rescue
8. Keep going until help arrives.