During the Seattle Gathering in July, Betty asked me to do a talk on
Medical Prepardedness in an emergency e.g. earthquake, and to prepare
people to take care of themselves, so as a Nurse here in Australia, I
was given the opportunity to present information to Waves to maybe
help preserve their life. It is basic information to take care of
oneself, and therefore does not cover CPR, unconsciousness, etc. The
possibilities I tackled were - Arterial Bleeding, Burns, Fractures,
Smoke Inhalation, Shock, and although Choking is not really something
one can do on oneself, I was asked, so I will briefly mention that
also. I hope I have mentioned everything satisfactorily, I have gone
over my previous information to make sure it is correct, but make sure
to familiarise yourself adequately with these procedures in
preparation for emergencies. It is an excellent idea to do a First Aid
course to be prepared for any contingency - YOU could save a
life. This information is brief, and as I mentioned above is relevant
Firstly, if you are in a earthquake or similar, the most important
thing to do is to be FOCUSED. Do NOT panic, you need all your wits,
focus and concentration at this time to look around you and see what
possible dangers you could encounter - exposed electrical wires, beams
hanging loosely, etc. Ask for Diving Guidance to be calm and clear.
This is a serious life threatening condition which
is bleeding from an artery, of oxygen rich blood from the heart. It
must be contained immediately. It is characterised by spurts with each
heart beat and is bright red in colour. Direct pressure on the wound
is crucial (like I am demonstrating on Betty on the above picture),
with the wound ABOVE the level of the heart. Betty asked me when this
photo was being taken if a torniquet should be applied - I was unsure,
remembering being told they were not always appropriate because of
complications arising, but my queries since being back are that, IF a
torniquet is used, it must be released every 7 minutes, but the better
treatment is completely immobilising the limb with a full length
pressure bandage. It is IMPORTANT to check the pulse to make sure
circulation is not interrupted. Use whatever you have on hand,
sterility is not important at this time - it is crucial to prevent as
much blood loss as possible and work FAST. Conserve energy - lay flat
on ground, keep calm. Venus bleeding is characterised by a steady flow
and the blood is dark - it is easier to control than Arterial
Bleeding. Capillary bleeding is usually slow and this type of bleeding
has a higher risk of infection than the other types. The aim with
bleeding is to STOP the bleeding, prevent infection and prevent
Use cold running water to cool the area for 20 minutes, as soon as possible. Do not use ice. Take off rings or other jewellery which could restict and cause problems with swelling, and do not pull clothing off which has melted on skin. Leave blisters intact, they are the body's response to the burn. The head and one arm is considered 9 percent - no more than 10 to 20 percent of the body should be cooled at one time, in order to prevent shock. To mitigate problems with fluid and electrolyte imbalance sips of a solution of half a teaspoon table salt and half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate dissolved in a quart of water, IF there is no vomiting or nausea. Wrap in a clean sheet/cloth.
Key points to remember with fractures are - do not move the fractured limb unnecesarily, diagnose and stabilise the fracture and support the limb. The limb can be supported by a splint, rolled up newspaper, or if a leg, padding between the affected and unaffected leg and immobilising both, using the other leg as support. For the collarbone put the arm on that side into a sling with the hand on the opposite shoulder, relieving pressure. Remember the RICE method -
R - Rest
I - Immobilise
C - Cool
E - Elevate - reduces blood flow to area.
Keep calm, use no force and stay as comfortable as possible. Take all precautions against SHOCK.
The pulse can be weak and rapid and breathing may be slow and
shallow. The eyes lack luster and may seem to stare and the skin is
cool and clammy. Stay quiet, lay down, keep warm.
I was asked about
Choking, and what to do. The Heimlich Maneuver is now "out of
date". The new procedure is to -
Partial Blockage - encourage deep breathing and
relaxation (easy to say!!)
Bend well forward and give 4 sharp blows between
If still unsuccessful lay on side on floor
Lay on side on floor
Give 4 sharp blows between shoulder blades
If unsuccessful give 4 quick downward lateral chest thrusts (place your hands on side of chest, below casualty's armpit).
Repeat steps until help arrives.
Drop to the floor keeping as low as possible, covering your mouth/nose with a cloth, preferable damp.
Blessings, light and love to you all
Many thanks to dearest KIM