Every year in the UK, thousands of people die or are seriously injured in incidents. Many deaths could be prevented if first aid is givenbefore emergency services arrive.
If someone is injured you should:
Use hands-only CPR if you aren't trained to perform rescue breaths.
The adverse reaction can be very fast, occurring within seconds or minutes of coming into contact with the substance the person is allergic to (allergen).
During anaphylactic shock, it may be difficult for the person to breathe, as their tongue and throat may swell, obstructing their airway.
Call 999 or 112 immediately if you think someoneis experiencing anaphylactic shock.
Check if the person is carrying any medication. Some people who know theyhave severe allergies may carryan adrenalineself-injector, which is a type of pre-loaded syringe. You can either help the person administer their medication or, if you'retrained to do so, give it to them yourself.
After the injection, continue to look after the person until medical help arrives.All casualties who have had an intramuscular or subcutaneous (under the skin)injection of adrenaline must be seen and medically checked by a healthcare professional as soon as possible after the injection has been given.
Make sure they're comfortable and can breathe as best they can while waiting for medical help to arrive. If they're conscious, sitting upright is normally the best position for them.
If there is, take care not to press down on the object.
Instead, press firmly on either side of the object and build up padding around it before bandaging, to avoid putting pressure on the object itself.
If nothing is embedded:
If a body part,such as a finger,has been severed, place it in a plastic bag or wrap it in cling film and make sure it goes with the casualty to hospital.
Always seek medical help for bleeding unless it's minor.
A tourniquet is a band that's wrapped tightly around a limb to stop blood loss. Haemostatic dressings and tourniquets should only be used by people who have been trained to applythem.
If someone has a burn or scald:
For chemical burns, wear protective gloves, remove any affectedclothing, and rinse the burn with cool running water for at least 20 minutes to wash out the chemical. If possible, determine the cause ofthe injury.
In certain situations where a chemical is regularly handled, a specific chemical antidote may be available to use.
Be careful not to contaminate and injure yourself with the chemical, and wear protective clothing if necessary.
Call 999 or 112 for immediate medical help.
Read what to do if a baby under one year old is choking.
If the airway is only partly blocked, the person will usually be able to speak, cry, cough or breathe. In situations like this, a person will usually be able to clear the blockage themselves.
If choking is mild:
If coughing doesnt work, start back blows (see below).
If choking is severe, the person wont be able to speak, cry, cough or breathe, and without help theyll eventually become unconscious.
To help an adult or child over one year old:
Abdominal thrusts shouldn't be used on babies under one year old, pregnant women or obese people.
To perform abdominal thrusts on a person who is severely choking and isnt in one of the above groups:
The aim is to get the obstruction out with each chest thrust, rather than necessarily doing all five.
If the obstruction doesn't clear after three cycles of back blows and chest thrusts, dial 999 or 112 to ask for an ambulance, and continue until help arrives.
The person choking should always be seen by a healthcare professional afterwards to check for any injuries or small pieces of the obstruction that remain.
If someone is in difficulty in water, don't enter the water to help unless it's absolutely essential.
Once the person is on land, if they're not breathing, open the airway and give five initial rescue breaths before starting CPR. If you're alone, perform CPR for one minute before calling for emergency help.
Find out how to give CPR, including rescue breaths.
If the person is unconscious but still breathing, put them into the recovery position with their head lower than their body and call an ambulance immediately.
Continue to observe the casualty to ensure they don't stop breathing or that their airway becomes obstructed.
If someone has had an electric shock, switch off the electrical current at the mains to break the contact between the person and the electrical supply.
If you can't reach the mains supply:
Afterwards, seek medical help -unless the electric shock is very minor.
It can be difficult to tell if a person has a broken bone or a joint, as opposed to a simple muscular injury. If you're in any doubt, treatthe injuryas a broken bone.
If the person is unconscious, has difficulty breathing or is bleeding severely, these must be dealt with first, by controllingthe bleeding with direct pressure and performing CPR.
If the person is conscious, prevent any further pain or damageby keeping the fracture as still as possible until you get them safely to hospital.
Assess the injury and decide whether the best way to get them to hospital is by ambulance or car. For example, if the pain isnt too severe, you could transport themto hospital by car. It's always best to get someone else to drive, so that you can deal with the casualty if they deteriorate for example, if they lose consciousness as a result of the pain or start to vomit.
Don't give the casualty anything to eat or drink, because they may need an anaesthetic (numbing medication)when they reach hospital.
You can read more about specific broken bones in the following pages:
Aheart attack is one of the most common life-threatening heart conditions in the UK.
If you think a person is having, or has had, a heart attack, sit them down and make them as comfortable as possible, and call 999 or 112 for an ambulance.
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
Sit the person down and make them comfortable.
If they're conscious, reassure them and ask them to take a 300mg aspirin tablet to chew slowly (unless you know they shouldn't take aspirin for example,ifthey're under 16 or allergic to it).
If the person has any medication for angina, such as a spray or tablets, help them to take it. Monitor their vital signs, such as breathing,until help arrives.
If the person deteriorates and becomes unconscious, open their airway, check their breathing and, ifnecessary, start CPR.Re-alert the emergency services that the casualty is now in cardiac arrest.
Poisoningis potentially life-threatening. Most cases ofpoisoning in the UK happen when a person hasswallowed a toxic substance, such as bleach, taken an overdose of a prescription medication, or eatenwild plants and fungi.Alcohol poisoning can cause similar symptoms.
If you think someone has swallowed a poisonous substance, call 999 or 112 to get immediate medical help and advice.
The effects of poisoning depend on the substance swallowed, but can include vomiting, loss of consciousness, pain or a burning sensation. The following advice is important:
If the person becomes unconscious while you're waiting for help to arrive, check for breathing and, if necessary,perform CPR.
Don't perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if the casualty's mouth or airway is contaminated with the poison.
Don't leave them if they're unconscious because they may roll onto their back, which could cause them to vomit. The vomit could then enter their lungs and make them choke.
If the casualty is conscious and breathing normally, putthem into therecovery position and continue to monitor their conscious state and breathing.
Signs of shock include:
Seek medical help immediately ifyou notice that someone has any of the abovesigns of shock. If they do, you should:
The FAST guide is the most important thing to remember when dealing with people who have had a stroke. The earlier they receive treatment, the better. Call for emergency medical help straight away.
If you think a person has had a stroke, use the FAST guide:
Find out what to do in emergency situations such as anaphylaxis, bleeding, burns and scalds, choking, drowning, electrocution, fractures, heart attacks, poisoning, shock and stroke.
Find out what to do if someone is injured in an incident. First, make sure both you and the casualty are safe. Next, check the casualty's airway, breathing and circulation.
Find out how to safely use cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for adults, children over one year of age and babies under one year of age.