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How To Act During The Time Of Medical Emergencies?

While it is a common belief of general practitioners to hold the responsibility of handling emergencies with procedural skills and appropriate medications, individuals are the actual ones to take initial management for certain common cases.

Photo Credit : PTI,

One of the utmost fundamental parts in the country's primary health care, which has received developmental focus during the years, is the implementation of medical emergency preparedness. While it is a common belief of general practitioners to hold the responsibility of handling emergencies with procedural skills and appropriate medications, individuals are the actual ones to take initial management for certain common cases. Therefore, knowing how to act during the time of medical emergencies should be made a must general knowledge for each and every citizen.

A medical emergency is a situation of injuries or illnesses that poses threat to a person's health and may occur at an unexpected time and place - at home, at a workplace or on vacations to be named the most typical. Acute attacks of asthma, heart attacks, anaphylactic shock, hypoglycemic coma, convulsions, and trauma are some of the common emergencies. One critical focus of any medical emergencies are "emergent" – timely or immediately measures since delays are dead point for any medical cases. It is normal to experience tension or anxiety once medical emergencies arise, thus, controlling your emotions, staying calm is extremely crucial and only then one can focus on the victim.

However, Cardiac arrest remains a leading cause of death in India, and 90 per cent of people who suffer from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die. Here, the survival rate depends on receiving immediate CPR. With every minute that goes by without intervention, survival rates drop as much as 10 per cent. The importance of the golden hour cannot be undermined as it enhances the chances of survival of the patient.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving procedure which is useful during emergencies when a person’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. Knowledge to perform CPR on a person could save a life.

Basic Life Support Sequence

1. Ensure scene safety.

2. Check for response.

3. Shout for nearby help. Phone or ask someone to phone 112 or 01140407070 (the phone or caller with the phone remains at the victim’s side, with the phone on speaker).

4. Follow the dispatcher’s instructions.

5. Look for if the person is breathing or only gasping, towards the direction of the dispatcher.

6. Follow the dispatcher’s instructions.

AED indicates automated external defibrillator; and CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

If the victim does not respond, continue with the following steps:

Compressions: Restore blood circulation

1. Put the person on his or her back on a firm surface

2. Kneel next to the person's neck and shoulders

3. Place the heel of one hand over the centre of the person's chest, between the nipples. Place your other hand on top of the first hand. Keep your elbows straight and position your shoulders directly above your hands

4. Use only your upper body weight as you push straight down on the chest at least 2 inches but not greater than 2.4 inches. Push hard at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions a minute

5. Continue chest compressions until there are signs of movement or the emergency medical personnel take over.

Breathing: Breathe for the person

Rescue breathing can be mouth-to-mouth breathing or mouth-to-nose breathing if the mouth is seriously injured or cannot be opened. If you believe the person is unconscious from a heart attack and you have not been trained in emergency procedures, skip mouth-to-mouth breathing and continue chest compressions.

In addition, apart from the above one should keep monitoring the victim's status closely and be vigilant until the ambulance arrives. These details are helpful not only in that moment of time but also for future emergencies. Throughout this whole process, a clear manner and an alert state of mind are of utmost importance because you are tackling problems related to one person's life.

In recent years, the number of accidents is increasing at an alarming rate. Therefore, it is worthwhile to acquire basic medical emergency knowledge in order to assist medical general practitioners. It is the responsibility of the whole community in the contribution to reducing unfortunate deaths.



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