The information you gather may prove vital if the person loses consciousness before being fully assessed in the hospital.
The easiest way to find out information is to ask questions of the person who is sick or injured. Leave the person in the position found until you are happy that it is safe to move them into a more comfortable position suited to their injury or illness. Try to obtain a history of relevant events. The types of questions to consider may include:
- What is your name?
- How do you feel?
- Have you had this before?
- What were you doing before this happened?
- Do you have any medical conditions?
- Are you on any medication?
WHAT ARE THEY TELLING YOU? – Ask if they have any medical alert bands, tags or jewellery (remember, many people have such identifiers but don’t wear them). Gathering information helps establish the course of action you need to consider. The person may tell you they have pain or a known condition for which they use medication. They may also notify you it has just started, for example, a feeling they get before a seizure commences. With that information, you can make clear decisions on the steps you wish to take next.
WHAT CAN YOU SEE? – Remain visual and look for signs of danger. Look, listen and feel for clues to any injuries, and use your sense of smell to identify unusual scents. Compare each side of the body, looking for differences, for example, the shortening of a limb. Remember, however, people do have long-term injuries that are not related to the current situation. Look at the person’s movements and listen to their speech for clues of illness or injury.
BASELINE CHECKS – A baseline check is a group of simple observations made while awaiting medical assistance, as outlined below. Regular checks will assist with determining whether a person’s condition is changing.
- Pulse – note the rate, strength and rhythm (increase or decrease) for changes.
- Respirations – note the rate and rhythm for changes. Deep or shallow, quiet or noisy.
- Temperature – feel to see if they are hot or cold to touch.
- Colour – look at the skin and note the colour (red, grey or blue).
All of this information can be handed over to the medical professionals on their arrival. Be clear and concise. If possible, record the information on paper.
Tomorrow – stay tuned for the next question….
For great health information check out Health Navigator New Zealand where you will find expert opinion online.
Currently, there are temporary changes to the steps to be followed in resuscitation. These can be found in the video below or by clicking here to see the New Zealand Resuscitation Council temporary guideline recommendation.
Click the link to go to the New Zealand Resuscitation Council Covid-19 recommended modifications for delivering resuscitation whilst the pandemic remains a threat. Click play to see a short video outlining CPR modifications that should be followed during the pandemic.
To learn more from the experts about previously covered conditions click their logo below.
Data and information are fact-checked against various recognised sources, including the New Zealand Resuscitation Council, Health Navigator New Zealand, St John, and other recognised entities specialising in the specific subject content. It should be noted that variances in protocols exist and where necessary are identified.