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primeros auxilios

First Aid

First aid is the first and immediate assistance given to any person with either a minor or serious illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery. It includes initial intervention in a serious condition prior to professional medical help being available, such as performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while waiting for an ambulance, as well as the complete treatment of minor conditions, such as applying a plaster to a cut. First aid is generally performed by someone with basic medical training.

There are many situations that may require first aid, and many countries have legislation, regulation, or guidance; which specifies a minimum level of first aid provision in certain circumstances. This can include specific training or equipment to be available in the workplace (such as an automated external defibrillator), the provision of specialist first aid cover at public gatherings, or mandatory first aid training within schools. First aid, however, does not necessarily require any particular equipment or prior knowledge and can involve improvisation with materials available at the time often by untrained people.

 

REMEMBER, in case of gravity or doubt call 1-1-2

First Aid Guide
PROTECT, ALERT, RESCUE

 

Before administering any first aid we must make sure that the area is safe in order not to expose ourselves, the victim or any bystanders to risk. After that, ask a colleague for help. He/she is going to look for medical assistance on board. Finally, you must assess the victim's state of health and apply rescue actions.

                                                     

BASIC LIFE SUPPORT
A. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

 

La parada cardíaca en los adultos tiene en la mayoría de las ocasiones un origen cardíaco, pero también puede ser respiratorio. En cualquier caso, el tratamiento recomendado es iniciar rápidamente la reanimación cardiopulmonar o RCP. El inicio inmediato de la RCP puede cuadruplicar la supervivencia tras la parada cardíaca.

Cómo reconocerlo: 

Sospecharemos un Paro Cardiaco, y debemos comenzar RCP, si la víctima no responde y no respira con normalidad.  VIDEO

Actuación: 

Una vez que se ha producido el Paro Cardíaco, detectarlo rápidamente es fundamental para activar a los Servicios de Emergencias Médicas (112) e iniciar rápidamente la RCP.
Si son capaces, los reanimadores formados en RCP deben realizar el masaje cardíaco externo junto con las respiraciones de rescate.

Cuando una persona que no sabe hacer RCP llama al 112, el operador telefónico de emergencias médicas le indicará que haga RCP solo con compresiones torácicas, sin respiraciones, mientras espera la llegada de ayuda profesional.

El proceso de RCP con uso del DEA (Desfibrilación externa automatizada) se detalla en el siguiente vídeo.

B. Choking
heimlich

 

Choking

A foreign object that is stuck at the back of the throat may block the throat or cause muscular contraction.

The following information is for choking in adults. There is separate advice on how to stop a child from choking.

Mild 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:

  • Encourage the person to cough to try to clear the blockage.
  • Ask them to try to spit out the object if it's in their mouth.
  • Do not put your fingers in their mouth if you can't see the object, as you risk pushing it further down their mouth.

If coughing doesn't work, start back blows.

Severe choking 

If choking is severe, the person won't be able to speak, cry, cough or breathe, and without help they'll eventually become unconscious. If coughing doesn't work start back blows.

How to do back blows

To help an adult or child over 1 year old:

  • Stand behind the person and slightly to one side. Support their chest with 1 hand. Lean the person forward so the object blocking their airway will come out of their mouth, rather than moving further down.
  • Give up to 5 sharp blows between the person's shoulder blades with the heel of your hand (the heel is between the palm of your hand and your wrist).
  • Check if the blockage has cleared.
  • If not, give up to 5 abdominal thrusts.

 

Do not give abdominal thrusts to babies under 1 year old or to pregnant women.

To perform abdominal thrusts on a person who is severely choking and isn't in one of the above groups:

  • Stand behind the person who is choking.
  • Place your arms around their waist and bend them well forward.
  • Clench 1 fist and place it just above the person's belly button.
  • Place your other hand on top of your fist and pull sharply inwards and upwards.
  • Repeat this up to 5 times.

The aim is to get the obstruction out with each chest thrust, rather than necessarily doing all 5.

If the person's airway is still blocked after trying back blows and abdominal thrusts:

  • Dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. Tell the 112 operator that the person is choking.
  • Continue with the cycles of 5 back blows and 5 abdominal thrusts 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.

 

C. The recovery position
PLS

 

If a person is unconscious but is breathing and has no other life-threatening conditions, they should be placed in the recovery position.

Putting someone in the recovery position will keep their airway clear and open. It also ensures that any vomit or fluid won't cause them to choke.

  • With the person lying on their back, kneel on the floor at their side.
  • Extend the arm nearest you at a right angle to their body with their palm facing up.
  • Take their other arm and fold it so the back of their hand rests on the cheek closest to you, and hold it in place.
  • Use your free hand to bend the person's knee farthest away from you to a right angle.
  • Carefully roll the person onto their side by pulling on the bent knee towards you.
  • Their bent arm should be supporting the head, and their extended arm will stop you rolling them too far.
  • Make sure their bent leg is at a right angle.
  • Open their airway by gently tilting their head back and lifting their chin, and check that nothing is blocking their airway.
  • Stay with the person and monitor their condition until help arrives.

 

VIDEO

 

Spinal injury

If you think a person may have a spinal injury, do not attempt to move them until the emergency services reach you.

If it's necessary to open their airway, place your hands on either side of their head and gently lift their jaw with your fingertips to open the airway. Take care not to move their neck.

You should suspect a spinal injury if the person:

  • has been involved in an incident that's directly affected their spine, such as a fall from height or being struck directly in the back
  • complains of severe pain in their neck or back
  • is not able to move their neck
  • feels weak, numb or unable to move (paralysed)
  • has lost control of their limbs, bladder or bowels

 

 

BLEEDING
hemorragia

 

If someone is bleeding heavily, the main aim is to prevent further blood loss and minimise the effects of shock.

First, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance as soon as possible.

If you have disposable gloves, use them to reduce the risk of any infection being passed on.

Check that there's nothing embedded in the wound. 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.

Do not try to remove it because it may be helping to slow down the bleeding.

If nothing is embedded:

  • Apply and maintain pressure to the wound with your gloved hand, using a clean pad or dressing if possible. Continue to apply pressure until the bleeding stops.
  • Use a clean dressing or any clean, soft material to bandage the wound firmly.
  • If bleeding continues through the pad, apply pressure to the wound until the bleeding stops, and then apply another pad over the top and bandage it in place. Do not remove the original pad or dressing, but continue to check that the bleeding has stopped.

If a body part, such as a finger, has been severed, place it in a plastic bag or wrap it in cling film. Do not wash the severed limb.

Wrap the package in soft fabric and place in a container of crushed ice. Do not let the limb touch the ice.

Make sure the severed limb goes with the patient to hospital.

Always seek medical help for bleeding, unless it's minor.

Find out how to treat cuts and grazes and how to treat nosebleeds.

FIRST AID KIT
botiquin

 

It's important to have a well-stocked first aid kit in your home so you can deal with minor accidents and injuries.

Your first aid kit should be locked and kept in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children.

Many people also keep a small first aid kit in their car for emergencies.

A Basic First Aid Kit may contain

  • plasters in a variety of different sizes and shapes
  • small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings
  • at least 2 sterile eye dressings
  • triangular bandages
  • crêpe rolled bandages
  • safety pins
  • disposable sterile gloves
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • alcohol-free cleansing wipes
  • sticky tape
  • thermometer (preferably digital)
  • skin rash cream, such as hydrocortisone or calendula
  • cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings
  • antiseptic cream
  • painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant paracetamol for children), aspirin (not to be given to children under 16), or ibuprofen
  • antihistamine cream or tablets
  • distilled water for cleaning wounds
  • eye wash and eye bath

It may also be useful to keep a basic first aid manual or instruction booklet with your first aid kit.

Medicines should be checked regularly to make sure they're within their use-by dates.

 

EPILEPSY
EPILEPSY

 

Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures.

Seizures are bursts of electrical activity in the brain that temporarily affect how it works. They can cause a wide range of symptoms.

Symptoms of epilepsy

Seizures can affect people in different ways, depending on which part of the brain is involved.

Possible symptoms include:

  • uncontrollable jerking and shaking, called a "fit"
  • losing awareness and staring blankly into space
  • becoming stiff
  • strange sensations, such as a "rising" feeling in the tummy, unusual smells or tastes, and a tingling feeling in your arms or legs
  • collapsing

Sometimes you might pass out and not remember what happened.

Generalised Onset Seizure with Motor Features (Tonic-Clonic, Tonic, Clonic, Atonic)

  • Stay calm and time the seizure
  • Don’t restrain the person - unless they are in danger
  • Let the seizure run its course
  • Put nothing in the mouth (but do wipe away saliva)
  • Protect the head if necessary
  • Turn the person on their side after the seizure stops
  • Stay with them until they recover and respond fully

Focal Impaired/Complex Partial Seizures

  • Stay calm and time the seizure
  • Don’t restrain (unless the person is in real danger)
  • Let the seizure run its course
  • Guide the person away from danger
  • Don’t agitate them
  • Speak gently and reassure them
  • Stay with them until they recover and respond fully

Absences, Minor Seizures, Focal Aware/Simple Partial

  • Stay calm and time the seizure
  • If they wander guide them gently from danger
  • Wait until the person is fully recovered and responsive Reassure them and explain what happened

When to call an ambulance

  • if it is the first known seizure 

  • the seizure lasts over 5 minutes 
  • more seizures follow without recovery 
  • the person is injured, pregnant, has another medical condition or you are in any doubt.

Download your Tonic-Clonic Seizure awareness poster here.

Download your Complex Partial/Focal Seizure awareness poster here.

Find out what to do if someone has a seizure

Find out more about living with epilepsy

VIDEO

 

HYPOGLYCEMIA (LOW BLOOD SUGAR)

 

A low blood sugar level, also called hypoglycaemia or a "hypo", is where the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood drops too low.

It mainly affects people with diabetes, especially if they take insulin.

A low blood sugar level can be dangerous if it's not treated quickly, but you can usually treat it easily yourself.

Symptoms of a low blood sugar level

A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. You'll learn how it makes you feel, although your symptoms may change over time.

Early signs of a low blood sugar level include:

  • sweating
  • feeling tired
  • dizziness
  • feeling hungry
  • tingling lips
  • feeling shaky or trembling
  • a fast or pounding heartbeat (palpitations)
  • becoming easily irritated, tearful, anxious or moody
  • turning pale

If a low blood sugar level is not treated, you may get other symptoms, such as:

  • weakness
  • blurred vision
  • confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • unusual behaviour, slurred speech or clumsiness (like being drunk)
  • feeling sleepy
  • seizures or fits
  • collapsing or passing out

A low blood sugar level, or hypo, can also happen while you're sleeping. This may cause you to wake up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets (from sweat) in the morning.

How to treat a low blood sugar level yourself

Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 4mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:

  1. Have a sugary drink or snack – like a small glass of fizzy drink (not a diet variety) or fruit juice, 4 to 5 jelly babies, 4 to 6 glucose tablets or 2 tubes of glucose gel.
  2. Test your blood sugar after 10 minutes – if it's improved and you feel better, move on to step 3. If there's little or no change, treat again with a sugary drink or snack and take another reading after 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. You may need to eat your main meal (containing a slow-release carbohydrate) if it's the right time to have it. Or, have a snack that contains a slow-release carbohydrate, such as a slice of bread or toast, a couple of biscuits, or a glass of cows' milk.

You do not usually need to get medical help once you're feeling better if you only have a few hypos.

But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.

How to treat someone who's unconscious or very sleepy (drowsy)

Follow these steps:

  1. Put the person in the recovery position and do not put anything in their mouth – so they do not choke.
  2. Call 112 for an ambulance if an injection of glucagon is not available, you do not know how to use it, or the person had alcohol before their hypo.
  3. If an injection of glucagon is available and you know how to use it, give it to them immediately.
  4. If they wake up within 10 minutes of getting the injection and feel better, move on to step 5. If they do not improve within 10 minutes, call 999 for an ambulance.
  5. If they're fully awake and able to eat and drink safely, give them a carbohydrate snack.

They may need to go to hospital if they're being sick (vomiting), or their blood sugar level drops again.

Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.

How to treat someone who's having a seizure or fit

Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:

  1. Stay with them and stop them hurting themselves – lie them down on something soft and move them away from anything dangerous (like a road or hot radiator).
  2. If an injection of glucagon is available and you know how to use it, give it to them immediately. After they've recovered, give them a carbohydrate snack.
  3. Call 112 for an ambulance if a glucagon injection is not available or you do not know how to use it, if they have not recovered 10 minutes after giving a glucagon injection, or if they had alcohol before their hypo.

Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.

What causes a low blood sugar level

In people with diabetes, the main causes of a low blood sugar level are:

  • the effects of medicine – especially taking too much insulin, medicines called sulfonylureas (such as glibenclamide and gliclazide), medicines called glinides (such as repaglinide and nateglinide), or some antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C
  • skipping or delaying a meal
  • not eating enough carbohydrate foods in your last meal, such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit
  • exercise, especially if it's intense or unplanned
  • drinking alcohol

Sometimes there's no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.

Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.

Preventing a low blood sugar level

If you have diabetes, you can reduce your chance of getting a low blood sugar level if you:

  • Check your blood sugar level regularly and be aware of the symptoms of a low blood sugar level so you can treat it quickly.
  • Use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) or flash monitor to see how your blood sugar levels are changing. Ask your diabetes care team about getting a monitor if you do not already have one.
  • Always carry a sugary snack or drink with you, such as glucose tablets, a carton of fruit juice or some sweets. If you have a glucagon injection kit, always keep it with you.
  • Do not skip meals.
  • Be careful when drinking alcohol. Do not drink large amounts, check your blood sugar level regularly, and eat a carbohydrate snack afterwards.
  • Be careful when exercising; eating a carbohydrate snack before exercise can help to reduce the risk of a hypo. If you take some types of diabetes medicine, your doctor may recommend you take a lower dose before or after doing intense exercise.
  • Have a carbohydrate snack, such as toast, if your blood sugar level drops too low while you're asleep (nocturnal hypoglycaemia).

If you keep getting a low blood sugar level, talk to your diabetes care team about things you can do to help prevent it.

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