Medical Emergencies

 

  • General Information
  • Choking
  • Unconsciousness
  • Heart Attack
  • Resuscitation and CPR
  • Poisoning
  • Spilled Body Fluid
  • Overdose

 

General Information

If a client, personnel, volunteer or visitor has a serious injury or medical condition, use the following procedure to
analyze the type of assistance needed. For further assistance refer to the current First Aid Book in the First Aid Kit.

• Assess the situation to the best of your ability.
• If you do not have a First Aid certification, find a First Aid trained staff member to apply appropriate First Aid
• Call 911 to obtain appropriate emergency services.
• Check client, personnel, or volunteer files for medical information that may be important.
• Notify other appropriate personnel to the situation.

AED Locations

Community Services downstairs reception, to the right of the sign in/out board
Foundry

Panic Button Locations

Community Services
The Club
Family Place
Alisa’s Wish
CCRR

Choking

Infant

A baby who is coughing is still able to breathe, do not hinder the efforts to expel the object. Stay with the baby and
watch closely.

In case of choking:

CALL
• Shout for help and try to get the attention of a bystander or a family member to assist you.
• If the baby is making high-pitched noises, is wheezing, can no longer make a sound, or becomes too weak
to cough, have someone call 911. Ask someone to get the AED while you care for the baby.
• If you are alone, immediately begin care for complete choking. Call 911, put the cell phone on speaker and place
it beside you.

CARE
• Sit or kneel while holding the baby.
• Position the baby face down along your forearm, holding their jaw in your hand.
• Rest your forearm on your leg so that the baby’s head is lower than their body.
• Sit or kneel while holding the baby.
• Deliver 5 firm back blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your free hand.
• If the object has not been dislodged, turn the baby face-up, ensuring you support their head.
• Place 2 fingers on the middle of the chest just below the nipple line and quickly deliver 5 firm chest
compressions, pushing 1/3 of the chest’s depth.
• Repeat 5 firm back blows and 5 chest compressions until the object is coughed up, the baby starts to cry,
breathe, or cough, or the baby becomes unresponsive

Child

If the child cannot speak, cough, breathe, or is making high-pitched noises, immediately begin care for choking.
Alternate between any two of the following methods until the object is coughed up.

Back Blows
• Place your arm across the child’s chest.
• Bend the child forward and deliver 5 firm blows to the back between the shoulder blades.

Abdominal Thrusts
• Place your fist just above the belly button.
• Give up to 5 quick, inward and upward thrusts.

Chest Thrusts
• Place your fists in the middle of the child’s chest with your thumb facing upward, and place your other hand over
your fist.
• Give up to 5 chest thrusts by pulling straight back.

If the child becomes unresponsive, call 911 and begin CPR, starting with chest compressions.

Adults

If the person can speak or cough, encourage coughing, but do not strike the person on the back.
• If the person cannot speak or cough but is conscious:
• Wrap your arms around the person’s waist while standing behind them.
• Make a fist with one hand, grasp that hand with the other hand, and place both hands above the navel to
avoid the lower tip of the breastbone.
• Give one quick upward thrust.
• Repeat upward thrusts until airway is clear, or until the person becomes unconscious.
• If the person is unconscious, use resuscitation measures.

Unconsciousness

• To determine whether the person is unconscious, shout or gently shake their shoulder.
• If there is no response, check for breathing: look for chest movement, listen for breathing, lean in and feel for
breath on your cheek.
• If the person is unconscious but still breathing, place them in the recovery position and monitor the airway,
breathing and circulation until the ambulance arrives.
• If the person is breathing but injuries are apparent, do not move the person and wait for an ambulance or first aid
attendant.
• If the person is not breathing, begin resuscitation

Heart Attack

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

• Feeling of heavy pressure or squeezing pain in chest, arms or jaw.
• Shortness of breath, pale skin, sweating and weakness.
• Nausea and vomiting.
• Abdominal discomfort with indigestion and belching.
• Apprehension or fright.
• Denial of impending heart attack.

Actions When You Suspect a Heart Attack

• Ensure prompt medical attention by making appropriate calls to emergency numbers. Reassure the victim that
help is on the way.
• Assist victim to take ONLY THE DOSE OF MEDICATION PRESCRIBED FOR THE CONDITION.
• Help patient to rest, sitting or lying in most comfortable position.
• Loosen victim collar, belt and other light clothing.
• Keep patient quiet but avoid physical restraint

Resuscitation and CPR

ABC – Airway, Breathing, Circulation

Airway

• If you suspect neck injury, do not move victim onto their back.
• Place on hand on victim’s forehead to tilt head back and fingers of other hand under chin to lift the jaw.

Breathing (Artificial Respiration)

• Look for chest movement, listen for breathing.
• Feel for breath on your cheek.
• If not breathing, start artificial respiration immediately:
• Keep head well back,
• Pinch nostrils,
• Place your mouth over victim’s mouth,
• Give two full breaths,
• Continue with one breath every 5 seconds until victim breaths normally or help arrives (ventilation)
• If air does not enter victim’s chest during artificial respiration:
• Reposition head and attempt artificial respiration again.

• If successful, go to section “C” of Resuscitation.
• To clear ariway, place heel of one hand on top of heel of other hand just above the navel but well below the
tip of the brestbone. Press upper abdomen with 6-10 quick thrusts. If this fails, open patient’s mouth by
grasping tongue and lower jaw between thumb and fingers and lift chin. Insert index finger of other hand
deep into mouth and use finger sweep to dislodge and remove foreign body.
• Attempt to ventilate, if unsuccessful, repeat sequence (abdominal thrusts, finger sweeps and attempts to
ventilate) until obstruction is cleared.

Circulation – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

• Call 911 or ask someone else to do so.
• Try to get the person to respond; if he/she is unable, roll the person onto his/her back.
• Start chest compression. Place the heel of your hand on the center of the victim’s chest. Put your other hand on
top of the first with your fingers interlaced.
• Press down so you can compress the chest at least 2 inches in adults and children and allow the chest to
completely recoil before next compression
• Compress the chest one hundred times a minute (That is about the same rhythm as the beat of the Bee Gee’s
song “Stayin’ Alive”. Perform 30 compressions at this rate. If you are not trained in CPR, continue to do chest
compressions until help arrives.
• If you have been trained in CPR, you can now open the airway with a head tilt and chin lift.
• Pinch closed the nose of the patient. Take a normal breath, cover the patients mouth with yours to create and
airtight seal, and then give two, one second breaths as you watch for the chest to rise.
• Continue compressions and breaths – 30 compressions, two breaths – until help arrives.

Resuscitation of Infants and Small Children

• Cover baby’s mouth and nose with your mouth and use small breaths.
• In an infant (younger than 1 year) place 2 fingers on the sternum below the nipples, compress the chest 1/2″ to
1 1/2″. After every 5 compressions, give 1 ventilation.
• Continue until help arrives

Poisoning

Procedure in all cases:

For Swallowed Household Chemical Poisons

• For conscious victim:

• Call the local Poison Control Centre. (604-682-5050)
• Only induce vomiting on advice from the Poison Control Centre or Physician.
• Give milk or water. For adult 1-2 cups; for child 1/2 – 1 cup.
• To avoid inhalation of vomit, place victim’s head lower than body.
• If poison is corrosive, DO NOT induce vomiting, but give milk or water.

• For unconscious victim:

• Place victim in recovery position.
• Monitor breathing. Begin CPR if necessary.
• If victim is unconscious, DO NOT induce vomiting.
• Ensure there is no further danger.
• If possible, identify the poison and container. Most containers provide information on dealing with swallowed
contents. Read the label and follow directions.
• Call the local Poison Control Centre. (604-682-5050)
• If required, call ambulance. Send container and contents with victim to the hospital.

For Inhaled Poisons

• Be sure you don’t also become a victim: remove the source of the fumes if possible.
• Move victim to fresh air.

For Poisons in Contact with Skin or Eyes

• Flood area with cold running water for at least 15 minutes (flush eyes gently)
• Remove contaminated clothing.
• Do not use chemical antidotes

For Swallowed Household Chemical Poisons

• For conscious victim:
• Call the local Poison Control Centre. (604-682-5050)
• Only induce vomiting on advice from the Poison Control Centre or Physician.
• Give milk or water. For adult 1-2 cups; for child 1/2 – 1 cup.
• To avoid inhalation of vomit, place victim’s head lower than body.
• If poison is corrosive, DO NOT induce vomiting, but give milk or water.

• For unconscious victim:
• Place victim in recovery position.
• Monitor breathing. Begin CPR if necessary.
• If victim is unconscious, DO NOT induce vomiting.

Spilled Body Fluid

Universal precautions are steps we should take to protect ourselves when we come into contact with blood or body
fluids of other people. The purpose of universal precautions is to stop the spread of germs to others.
Since we often can’t tell if a person is infected with communicable disease, including AIDs and Hepatitis B or C, it’s
best to treat the blood and body fluids of every person as potentially infectious. Potential infectious body fluids
include blood, semen, saliva, and vaginal secretions.

The Basics of Universal Precautions

• Before preparing food.
• Before eating.
• After coughing or sneezing.
• Before breastfeeding.
• After using the washroom or changing diapers.
• Before and after providing first aid.
• After handling blood or body fluids.

Hand washing:

Hand washing is the single best way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in a workplace. Wash hands
frequently and thoroughly, especially after contact with any body fluid or contaminated surface.
Wet, soap. And lather hands for at least 10 seconds. Rinse hands thoroughly and dry.
Always wash hands:

Gloves:
Wear latex, vinyl or rubber disposable gloves when handling blood, body fluids or when cleaning cuts, scrapes and
wounds. Gloves are also necessary when disinfecting contaminated surfaces. Wash hands after removing gloves
and dispose of the gloves in a plastic bag. Add gloves to your first aid kit so that they are always ready.

Needle-stick injuries:
Go to the nearest Health Unit or Hospital Emergency Department for treatment or assessment.

Personal Articles:
Never share toothbrushes, razors or any other personal articles that can transmit even small amounts of blood or
body fluid from one user to the next. Dispose of such items carefully.

Sharp Objects:
Any sharp object which might be contaminated with blood or body fluids should not be handled with bare hands.
They should always be picked up using latex gloves, a pair of tongs and disposed of in a SHARPS container. Once
the sharp item is placed in the container using appropriate safety measures, the container must be disposed of at
a pharmacy. The Pharmacist will take the SHARPS container and a new one must be purchased.

SHARPS Container Locations

Community Services Upstairs
Community Services Downstairs
The Club
Family Place
Alisa’s Wish
CCRR
FOUNDRY

Clean up of spilled blood and body fluids

If a client, personnel, volunteer, or visitor is exposed to blood or infectious body fluids through a break in the skin,
an open wound or across mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth, they must IMMEDIATELY report to the
nearest Hospital Emergency Department. Contact Program Supervisor and completed required agency
documentation.
• Wear disposable latex gloves at all times when dealing with blood or body fluids.
• Avoid getting another person’s body fluids in your eyes, mouth, open sores or wounds.

When clean up is required:

• Refer to Universal Precautions BC Ministry of Health.
• Wipe up blood or body fluids with absorbent paper towels.
• Clean and rinse with usual disinfectant.
• Clean up spilled fluids with freshly made solution of one part bleach to nine parts water (1:10).
• Place contained fluids and clean up materials in a plastic bag, seal the bag and place it in a plastic lined garbage.
• Wash soiled clothing separately in hot soapy water and dry in a hot dryer or have clothes dry-cleaned.
• Wash hands after gloves are removed with soap and water using an alcohol based hand rub.
• Ventilate the room well when using bleach solution.

Exposure to Blood and Body Fluids:
If exposed to blood or infectious body fluid through a break in your skin or an open wound:

• Gently encourage bleeding.
• Wash well with soap and water.
• If you can safely pickup/transport the contaminated object take it with you.
• Report to the nearest Hospital Emergency Department.
• Report to your Program Supervisor. The Program Supervisor will support the client, personnel, volunteer, or
visitor to ensure they receive immediate assistance. The Program Supervisor will complete an incident report form
and forward the information to the Executive Director and the Risk Management Committee.

Overdose