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  • Medical Emergencies

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  • Medical Emergencies

    Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

    If you suspect a head or spinal injury, DO NOT MOVE the victim unless there is an immediately life-threatening emergency.

    1. Assess the situation:

    • Is the person conscious or unconscious?
    • If the person appears unconscious, tap or shake his shoulder and ask loudly, "Are you OK?"
    • If the person doesn't respond, follow the steps below and call 911 from a campus phone or 911 AND 218-477-2449 from a cell phone or off-campus phone. Have someone else call if possible, while you proceed.

    2. Locate an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) if one is immediately available. The closest AED location is indicated on the building's posted Emergency Plans.

    • Use the AED as outlined on the device.

    3. To perform CPR if you are trained:

    • Position the person so you can check for signs of response by laying the person flat on their back on a firm surface and extending the neck.
    • Open the person's mouth and airway by gently tilting the head back.
    • Determine whether the person is breathing by simultaneously listening for breath sounds, feeling for air motion on your cheek and ear, and looking for chest motion.
    • If the person is not breathing, pinch his or her nostrils closed, make a seal around the mouth and provide two breaths of air.
    • If there are no signs of response, movement, or breathing - begin chest compressions. Place your hands over the lower part of the breastbone midway between the nipples, keep your elbows straight and position your shoulders directly above your hands to make the best use of your weight.
    • Push down 1-1/2 to 2 inches at a rate of 100 times a minute. The pushing down and letting up phase of each cycle should be equal in duration. Don't jab down and relax. After 30 compressions, gently tilt the head back and breathe into the person's mouth twice.
    • Continue the rescue maneuvers as long as there are no signs of life or response.

    To Control Bleeding

    1. Have the injured person lie down.  If possible, position the person's head slightly lower than the trunk or elevate the legs. This position reduces the risk of fainting by increasing blood flow to the brain. If also possible, elevate the site of bleeding.
    2. Remove any obvious dirt or debris from the wound. Don't remove any large or more deeply embedded objects. Don't probe the wound or attempt to clean it at this point. Your principal concern is to stop the bleeding.
    3. Apply pressure directly on the wound. Use a sterile bandage, clean cloth, or even a piece of clothing. If nothing else is available, use your protected hand or have the victim use their hand to apply direct pressure on the wound.
    4. Maintain pressure until the bleeding stops. When it does, bind the wound tightly with a bandage (or even a piece of clean clothing) and adhesive tape.
    5. Don't remove the gauze or bandage. If the bleeding continues and seeps through the gauze or other material you are holding on the wound, don't remove it. Instead, add more absorbent material on top of it.
    6. Squeeze a main artery if necessary. If the bleeding doesn't stop with direct pressure, apply pressure to the artery delivering blood to the area of the wound. Pressure points of the arm are on the inside of the arm just above the elbow and just below the armpit. Pressure points of the leg are just behind the knee and in the groin. Squeeze the main artery in these areas against the bone. Keep your fingers flat. With your other hand, continue to exert pressure on the wound itself.
    7. Immobilize the injured body part once the bleeding has stopped. Leave the bandages in place and wait for emergency medical service to arrive.


    Chemical Burns

    If a chemical burns the skin, follow these steps:

    1. Remove the cause of the burn by flushing the chemicals off the skin surface with cool, running water for 20 minutes or more. If the burning chemical is a powder-like substance such as lime, brush it off the skin without exposing yourself before flushing.
    2. Remove clothing or jewelry that has been contaminated by the chemical.
    3. Wrap the burned area with a dry, sterile dressing or a clean cloth.
    4. Rinse the burn again for several more minutes if the victim complains of increased burning after the initial washing.

    Minor chemical burns usually heal without further treatment.

    You may not feel any effect from chemical spills, but it's very important to wash quickly and thoroughly.  Many chemicals can cause severe tissue damage that is not apparent until hours later.

    Seek emergency medical assistance if:

    • The victim has signs of shock, such as fainting, pale complexion, or breathing in a notably shallow manner.
    • The chemical burned through the first layer of skin and the resulting second-degree burn covers an area more than 2 to 3 inches in diameter.
    • The chemical burn occurred on the eye, hands, feet, face, groin, or buttocks or over a major joint.

    If you're unsure whether a substance is toxic, call the poison control center at 800.222.1222. If you seek emergency assistance, bring the chemical container or a complete description of the substance with you for identification.