Compiled by Dr Ellane Simon
First aid should can be offered by anyone but ideally trained personnel to give first aid should offer first aid. When offering first aid always consider your personal safety first. Look out for any dangers and only act when you are confident it is safe to do so.
An unresponsive person is someone not moving or responding when you call them or when gently shaken.
Respiratory emergencies & CPR
- Check if breathing by tilting their head back and looking and feeling for breaths. When a person is unresponsive, their muscles relax and their tongue can block their airway so they can no longer breathe. Tilting their head back opens the airway by pulling the tongue forward. If they are breathing, you will see their chest moving and you may hear their breath or feel it on your cheek. If breathing, move on to step two.
- Move them onto their side and tilt their head back. Putting them in this position with their head back helps keep their airway open. It ensures their tongue falls forward and blood and vomit drain out. It is sometimes called the “recovery position”.
- Call for help or an ambulance as soon as possible.
- If the patient needs CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), place the person on their back on a firm, flat surface and start giving chest compressions aiming for 30compressions in 1minute.
How to do CPR
Hand position: Two hands centered on the chest
Body position: Shoulders directly over hands; elbows locked
Depth: At least 5cm
Allow chest to return to normal position after every chest compression.
5 Give 2 rescue breaths (if equipment to do that available). Ensure each breath lasts about 1 second and makes the chest rise; allow air to exit before giving the next breath.
Gas leak, Fire & Burns
- Turn off gas if safe to do
- Evacuate the area immediately
- Do not switch any lights or start an open flame
- If there is fire use a fire extinguisher to stop the fire from spreading and ring the fire alarm alerting everyone to evacuate the building.
- If someone is on fire remove the person from the source of fire, drop and roll him or her over or cover him or her with a fire blanket.
- Cool burn under running water
- Protect the burn with sterile, non-adhesive bandage (DO NOT APPLY BUTTER OR OINTMENTS)
- Do not break blisters
- Call for an ambulance and send to hospital
- Remove spoiled clothing
- If skin or eyes affected rinse immediately with clean running water
- If ingested do not induce vomiting and do not give water or mi unless told to d so by a health professional.
- If inhaled move the person to fresh air and give oxygen if available.
- After first aid is given send to hospital as soon as possible.
Compiled by Zimbabwe Online Health Centre in partnership with Three Wingers Enterprises
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