Unless we walk around in a suit or armor, we will at one time or another have to deal with minor cuts, scrapes, burns, and sprains. Sometimes these injuries can be a little more severe and first aid will need to be administered. The majority of injuries are not life-threatening but still need treatment. Here are 5 ways to prepare for a medical emergency.
1. Know your potential injuries
Medical emergencies are not just cuts, scrapes, and burns. They can include seizures, overdose, dehydration, diabetic concerns as well as sudden impact injuries. Most people are not equipped to diagnose and treat medical emergencies other than basic first aid. Experience will help you know what some potential emergencies will be. The environment can also help you plan. In a work situation, working with hot materials generally would cause us to be prepared for burns. An environment that has sharp objects would cause us to prepare for bleeding. Use common sense, look around your environment, and know your potential risks.
2. Carry Medical Info with you
It is always important to carry medical information with you. Those who have a medical condition understand the risks and some even wear medical bracelets or necklaces that inform first responders about their condition.
3. Have supplies available
A portable emergency bag or a first aid kit should be available and ready to use. These products should be clean, safe to use, and easily accessible. Be sure to have supplies that address the potential emergencies that could occur where you are. If you are traveling, some additional supplies should be kept that deal with common ailments like fever, nausea, pain, and allergy relief. Sometimes a local drug store might not be available while traveling. If you are not sure where to begin or how to prepare your kit, there is a very good “How To” article about inspecting, sanitizing, and refilling your first aid kit that will help get you started.
4. Understand how to use the supplies
This is much easier than it sounds. The supplies you have available should be easily identified so anyone with common sense can help the injured person. The packaging should be easy to read and open. Having strange unrecognizable items in an emergency bag will only confuse people during an emergency. It is always a good idea to review the items together as a group and talk about what they are and how they are used. Take the emergency bag and remove all of the items and let everyone look them over and ask questions. This will give confidence to the responder and in the long run help treat the victim faster and better. Of course, proper first aid training from a reputable organization is always best.
5. Plan Ahead
How can you plan ahead for a medical emergency? True, emergencies always seem to happen at a time and place when we least expect them. It would be ideal to go through a practice drill and incorporate all of the steps necessary to respond quickly. Knowing the potential injury, knowing the medical background of the victim, having available supplies, and knowing how to use them will guide you through how to plan ahead for most of these emergencies.
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