DIY Guide to saving lives.

Despite the way it might feel at times, gravity carries on working in much the same way as normal, as do things like fire, sharp objects and so on, no matter how much of a good time you've been having.

Sometimes you'll see people injuring themselves and, like it or not, the first person on the scene can sometimes be the only hope the casualty has of survival, it does happen, quite a lot actually.

Sometimes as well, that first person on the scene just turns out to be you or me. If that happens, this is what you should do.

What to do if someone:

1:  Is unconscious 
2:  Has broken bones
3:  Suffers burns 
4:  Suffers cuts  

Shock for the accident victim:

Shock can be caused by blood loss, loss of body fluid and severe pain amongst other things. If the person is going into shock, they will look pale or grey, their skin will feel cold and clammy and they'll sweat a lot. Also they might feel sick (and might be sick), complain of thirst and feel anxious, the pulse speeds up and gets shallower, breathing becomes shallow and rapid. They may lose consciousness.

Shock is very serious.

Treat the injury and lay the casualty down, if he's gong to be sick, place in the recovery position. If he complains of thirst, moisten the lips with water but don't give them a drink. Don't let them smoke and don't give them any drugs. Get them off to hospital as quickly as possible. If someone can comfort the person it will help, talk in a low voice, cradle his head. Keep the environment calm, move the onlookers away, if there's loud music get it turned off.

Shock for the first aider

If you're involved in a nasty accident (especially if you see it happen), then you are likely to suffer a form of shock yourself, its called "post traumatic stress disorder".  It will catch up with you sometime later and you'll know when you get it, you'll have nightmares and a strange guilty conscience. This is quite natural and it will pass. The best way to deal with it is to have someone to talk to, better is to take the name of the accident casualty at the time of the accident and make contact with them afterwards. This bad feeling is much reduced if you know in your heart you did everything you could do at the time.


Knowing basic first aid like this really can mean the difference between life and death, the other difficult bit though is actually going through with it, but you'll be surprised at what you can do if you have to.

Sometimes you may come under pressure to move the casualty to somewhere else. If you think the injury is serious - particularly with falls and serious cuts where there is a lot of blood loss - stand your ground and don't let anyone try to move him or her. As the first aider, you are in charge, be firm, stand your ground.

As soon as someone who knows what they're doing turns up - stay around to help, but don't get in the way.

First though - the most important bit. If you think you need an ambulance - get one, it will go away again if its not needed and no-one will complain, but do stay around to explain what happened to the crew.

The biggest and by far the most important thing you can do in an emergence is to get things under control. If people are panicing, things are likely to get much worse. Getting the situation under control is 90% of solving the emergency, so do it.

If you shout "Help this guy's dying" it might upset the person you're trying to help and panic everyone else, so stay calm. It might help to keep saying to yourself - “Don't panic”.

What usually happens in a situation like this is people gather around to "rubber neck" - to see what happens, then half a dozen people start giving advice all at the same time. The best thing to do AT ONCE is to assume control, clear people away from the accident and don't let anyone touch the person till you've found out what's happened and have checked them out. If there is anyone there who knows better than you do, they'll make themselves known in a quiet way, accept their help. Ask everyone if they know the person, if a friend is there, ask them to stay and if possible, help.

It's times like this a mobile phone comes in useful, so if you don't have one a good thing to ask people as they gather round to look  is “has anyone got a mobile?”. Before making the phone call though, check the situation out so you know what to tell the operator and be sure you know where you are so you can give the address clearly. Believe it or not, you don't actually know where you are most of the time - at lest not well enough to describe over the phone - so get that sorted before making the call.

If you have to make a choice between two injured people, go to the quiet one first, someone making a lot of noise is still alive.

If the casualty has fallen or been hit by something or there's a lot of blood - don't move them yet.

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