What is an emergency?
When it comes to your health or the health of a friend or
somebody in your family, it is often obvious if the person
is seriously ill and needs immediate emergency care. An emergency
is a critical or life-threatening situation. It is hard to
distinguish between what is and isn't an emergency. Below
are some examples of what an emergency could be:
- Heavy bleeding
- Suspected broken bones
- Suspected heart attack
- Difficulty in breathing
- Head injury
Important note: If you are ever in any doubt it is better to be safe than sorry.
Ring NHS DIRECT:
0845 46 47
How can you help somebody
in an emergency?
The way to help someone very often depends on what is wrong
with them. Sometimes the best thing to do is to take the
person to the nearest accident and emergency department. This
will vary from area to area as it does depend on how close
your local hospital is. However, even if your
hospital is fairly close, you should still call an ambulance and
not move the patient if:
- You think they may have hurt their back or neck, or
have any other injury that may be made worse by moving them.
- The person is in shock and needs your constant attention;
- The person has severe chest pain or difficulty breathing
This web site offers you basic information and tips on how
to help somebody in an emergency situation. If you would like
to learn more and gain valuable experience on how to help
somebody in an emergency then contact the St John's Ambulance,
you can book a first aid course and learn how to SAVE A LIFE!
The Recovery Position
If the person is unconscious, there is a safe position
to put them in which allows them to breathe easily and
stops them choking on any vomit.
- Once you have checked that they are breathing normally,
- Lay them on one side (with a cushion at their back
- Bring their knee forward
- Point their head downward to allow any vomit to
escape without them swallowing it or breathing it
REMEMBER - When moving the person onto their side make sure their neck and back are kept as still as possible.
The ABC of Resuscitation
When you find somebody who appears to be unconscious or suffering
from a heart attack it is very important to phone for an ambulance
and go through the ABC OF RESUSCITATION. Even if you don't
know what to do, any attempt will give the person a better
chance of recovery.
- Position the airway and clear it of any obvious obstructions
- Look for signs of the person breathing, this may be if
their chest is rising up and down, put your ear to their
nose and feel for any air coming out. If there are no signs
of breathing you will need to give mouth to mouth.
- Look and feel for signs of circulation, check for the
pulse of the person either on their neck or the wrists.
If you cant feel a pulse than you will have to start chest
If you are not sure what to do, get help from somebody, the
chances are they might know how to give first aid. If you
would like to know more on how to give mouth to mouth and
start chest compressions please click on the links below: