10.23.2017

Someone has collapsed. Don't panic, here is what you need to do

Would you know how to respond if someone collapsed in front of you? Most people won't ever have to deal with this situation, but it is often a reality for many. However, before it happens, not a lot of people have thought about how to respond. You might have some first aid training, which can be very useful in an emergency situation. However, you might have no idea what you should do. It's a good idea to have some knowledge of how you can help, even if it's just knowing when you call for an ambulance. Here are some things you should do if you find yourself in this situation.

Keep Yourself Safe
Before assisting anyone else, you need to keep yourself safe first and not put yourself in any danger. You won't improve the situation by getting yourself in trouble too. Before you move towards someone who has collapsed to try and help them, make sure it is safe for you to do so. This involves checking a few things. For example, could the person have had an electric shock- if so touching them will electrocute you too. Is there structural damage such as buildings that could fall after a fire or earthquake? Is there traffic which could present a danger if the person collapsed on the road? Are there any dangerous chemicals or substances that could burn or suffocate you, or did the person fall into water? Before leaping in to help someone else, make sure you don't make things worse by injuring yourself too.


Call for Help
Calling for help as soon as possible is crucial when someone collapses. Even if they have only being unconscious for a few minutes, it's vital they are checked out at a hospital since there could be a bleed on the brain or other internal damage.  If you're in a difficult to reach location of the injury is very serious, an air ambulance such as Airevac service may be called to get them to the hospital as quickly as possible

Checking Response
One of the first things you should check when someone has collapsed is whether they are able to respond. This could be speaking, or asking them to blink, move or wiggle their toes. Anything so that you know they are hearing and understand you.  If they remain unconscious, immediately check their airways, see if you can feel their breath or put up a pocket mirror to their mouth to check if their breath creates any steam. Put them into the recovery position which will keep their airway open. If they are not breathing, call the emergency services and get ready to administer CPR, they will talk you through what to do on the phone.

Emergency Assistance
If you're in a public place, there might be a defibrillator available or someone who is trained in medicine such as a doctor or nurse. See if you can seek help while you wait for the ambulance to arrive.

Seeing someone collapse can be traumatising especially when their life is at risk. Consider seeking counselling if this is something that continues to affect your afterwards, 

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