In emergency situations, an appropriate and timely intervention can be decisive for the survival of an individual, and vice versa incorrect rescue operations can jeopardize the successful outcome of subsequent treatment. It is beyond doubt, therefore, that a greater diffusion of the basic notions of first aid in the community would allow the salvation of many human lives.
In this chapter, and in the following pages, the basic rules to be followed by rescuers and people who find themselves sick or injured in unforeseen conditions are summarized and illustrated. The primary objectives of these rules, like any first aid intervention, are on one hand to keep the injured alive, keeping his condition under control while waiting for medical assistance, on the other side, to avoid mistakes that could prove fatal . We will deal first with some fundamental maneuvers of cardiorespiratory resuscitation.
We recommend that this chapter be read when it is not needed; it would also be very important to be able to try out maneuvers with practical exercises and simulations, in order not to be completely unprepared in an emergency situation.
Listed below are the general rules of behavior that everyone should keep in mind on every occasion.
Stay calm and act promptly.
Avoiding overcrowding and confusion; give comfort to the injured.
Ask the car ambulance to intervene as soon as possible.
Check: ITALY if the victim is conscious. If he is not conscious but breathing, put the person in a safe position; loosen tight clothing, belts and ties;
if you breathe. If you do not breathe, free your mouth from any obstructions; keep the airways open; start artificial respiration with 4-5 rapid insufflations;
if the carotid pulse is felt. If the heart does not beat, that is, the carotid pulse is not felt, begin the external cardiac massage and associate it with artificial respiration. Cardiac massage should always be started after artificial respiration: an un-oxygenated heart does not start beating again. If the rescuer is only one, he will have to alternate 15 chest compressions (at the rate of 80 per minute) with 2 rapid lung insufflations. If there are two rescuers, 1 rapid pulmonary insufflation should be performed every 5 sternal compressions (at a rate of 60 per minute). Cardiac massage and artificial respiration must be continued without interruption until the pulse and spontaneous respiration reappear; at that point the victim must be placed in a safe position;
if the injured person has serious injuries. If you have serious injuries, check for bleeding and proceed with anti-shock measures;
if you have fractures to the vertebral column. If a fracture of the column is suspected, do not move the person for any reason; keep the body, torso and head in a straight line.
Cover the injured person (but not excessively) to prevent him from getting cold.
Do not move the injured person (except in cases where this is essential to save his life or to avoid other dangers).
Do not bend his head or neck abruptly.
Do not give him alcohol.
Do not give anything to drink or eat if the person is to be treated in a hospital.
Never leave her alone if she is unconscious.
In emergency conditions, for example following a traffic accident, the first thing to do is check if the injured person is conscious and if he is breathing: you have to gently shake it, calling it out loud. Put the ear close to his lips: if no breath is perceptible, approach a small mirror or the watch glass, which will be blurred by the exhaled air, if any. In the case in which the person is not conscious and does not breathe, it is necessary to provide immediately the support of the vital functions, with a procedure that involves three phases:
control of the opening of the airways, to eliminate any obstructions;
artificial respiration, to give oxygen;
cardiac massage, to restore the blood supply to the brain.