Listed below are the basic guidelines for simple first aid solutions one could encounter on the job. Keep in mind that these guidelines are just the general overview and that you should never try to treat an injury if you do not have the proper knowledge or training.
- Amputation – If a limb or appendage is severed, it is imperative to adequately protect the limb or appendage so that it can possibly be reattached. After the victim has been taken care of wrap the limb or appendage in sterile gauze,or clean material, and then place it in a clean plastic bag or something equivalent. Pack ice around the limb or appendage on the OUTSIDE of the bag to keep the limb cold and call ahead to alert emergency room staff of the dilemma.
- Animal bites – Wash the wound with soap under running water thoroughly and apply antibiotic ointment and dressing.
- Burn – See Burns for how to treat burns.
- Chemical in the eye – With the victim’s head tilted back, flush the inside corner of the eye with sterile water, letting it run to the other side to remove chemicals. Keep flushing until medical help arrives or cover with sterile dressing and transport to the hospital.
- Choking – See picture above for instructions.
- Foreign body in the eye – Do NOT rub eye! If they object can be seen, touch object with moistened corner of sterile handkerchief. If it can’t be seen or doesn’t come out after a few attempts, get medical attention.
- Fractures and Sprains – For sprains, apply ice to reduce swelling. Do not try to straighten or move broken limbs unless properly trained, then it is okay to apply a splint to immobilize the injured area when the victim must be transported.
- Frostbite – Do NOT rub frostbitten areas and handle frostbitten ares carefully. Soak affected area in water no warmer than 105°F and seek medical attention.
- Hyperthermia, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat stroke – Remove victim from heat. Loosen any restricting clothing and apply cool damp cloths to the skin. Give cool, but not frigid, water for the victim to drink slowly. If they refuse water, vomit, or drift out of consciousness, seek medical attention immediately. They are most likely experiencing Heat Stroke.
- Hypothermia – Move the patient to a warm place and remove any wet or damp clothing and dry them, if necessary. Warm the patient gradually by wrapping the person in warm clothing and/or blankets and once they have (dry) clothing/blankets on apply heat pads or other heat sources if available. Give the victim warm, sweet liquids and call an ambulance if breathing slows or stops or if the pulse is slow or irregular.
- Minor cuts & lacerations – Wash the cut with soap and warm water, then apply antiseptic and cover with sterile bandage.
- Moderate Bleeding – Elevate the wound and apply pressure to the wound with a sterile compress until bleeding stops.
- Poisoning – Call an ambulance and the Poison Control Center and follow their directions exactly (DO NOT induce vomiting unless instructed to do so).
- Poisonous Bites – Seek medical attention. For snakebites, use a snakebite kit if available. For all bites, keep the victim calm and either have you or the victim attempt to safely identify the snake, spider, scorpion, etc. so you can give that information to the medical attention. Look for distinguishing features of the creature that bit you. For example, if you were bitten by a Brown Recluse spider you might tell the emergency personnel that the spider was dirt brown or sandy brown in color, has a violin shaped body, and has six eyes.
- Shock (injury-related) – Keep the victim lying down on their back. Maintain normal body temperature. For example, if the weather is hot provide shade and if the weather is cold place blankets or or extra clothing over and under victim.
Note: On the job you should always have a first aid kit and fire extinguisher available to the technician just in case of emergencies.