Note to on-line users not in my classes: this is a study sheet. It is not complete instruction in first aid or any of the subjects listed.
I have moved much of it to individual webpages but am leaving this original webpage for previous students to reference.
Rule #1 Don’t make things worse
-don’t aggravate injuries-(don’t move anything you think
might be broken)
-don’t move victim (especially if you suspect a spinal injury) unless you absolutely must
increase danger to victim
-don’t expose others to risk and create more victims
-don’t force first aid on a conscious, sane, sober adult who doesn’t want it (get consent/explain what you are doing and keep getting consent/explaining as you go along)
are now at: Times to suspect a spinal injury (symptoms, causes, signs of spinal injury)
Reasons why a person might become unconscious or semi-conscious
Altered mental status (and possibly a confused or combative state) can be caused by:
SUDDEN Altered mental status, (and possibly a confused or combative state) AKA delirium, which can indicate a life-threatening condition,
Arm = brachial
Neck = carotid
Groin = femoral
Wrist = radial
Students in HLTH57E (CPR) should be familiar with everything above this part.
Students in HLTH57A (first aid) and lifeguard training or an enhanced staff first aid class should be familiar with everything.
is now at: Seizures, causes of and basic care for
are now at:
Concussion signs and symptoms, prevention
Signs of wound infection
are now at Injuries Quick Facts
To care for a victim of stroke, think FAST .
Face – weakness on one side of the face
Arm – weakness or numbness in one arm
Speech – slurred speech or trouble speaking
Time – Time to summon EMS personnel (call 911) if any of the above are seen
and note the time the signs and symptoms began
If you suspect a stroke:
Ask the person to smile. (Watch their face to see if both sides of their face move the same or if there is drooping or weakness on one side of their face.)
Have them hold up both arms, extended out straight from their body. (Someone who had a stroke might be able to lift both arms up, but not be able to keep both arms at the same height or might not be able to lift both arms up to the same height or might have numbness in one arm.)
Have the person try to repeat something simple you say, example: “The sky is blue.”(Someone who had a stroke might have slurred or distorted speech or trouble speaking or can’t speak at all. They might speak clearly, but say the wrong words.)
If they fail any of these, note the time, call 911 or the local emergency number and tell the dispatcher about the symptoms and what time the symptoms started. (Or tell the dispatcher if the stroke was not witnessed and you do not know when the symptoms started.)
Normal respirationfor an adult is 12 to 20 breaths per minute, children ranges with age, from pre-teens at 12 or 15 to 20 to newborns to about six weeks at 30 to 50
Adult 60 to 100
Child 80 to 150
newborn to about six weeks, 100-160
infant 80 to 120 to possibly 150
an athlete may have a pulse of 50 beats per minute or lower
Normal capillary refill is 2 seconds (not effective on very cold fingers)
normal rectal temperature is 99.6°F
normal armpit (axillary) temp is 97.6°F
Levels of consciousness
Person, place, time, event
(their name is the last thing of these they’ll remember).
A person who is oriented to their surroundings and situation should be able to tell you their name, where they are, what time it is (not to the exact hour but at least if it is morning or evening, what month and year it is) and what just happened to them.
Alert: able to respond appropriately to questions (including person, place, time and event)
Verbal: Responds appropriately to verbal stimuli when you speak or shout
Painful: Only responds to painful stimuli, such as a pinch
Unresponsive: Does not respond; no gag or cough reflex
a response could include grimacing, rolling away from your voice, moaning
Sierra Club wilderness first aid
“rule of fours”
you can live 4 minutes without oxygen,
4 hours without shelter,
4 days without water,
4 weeks without food
(but that may be the limit of any reasonable expectation of survival)
Simple secondary survey , (also known as a secondary assessment) has been moved to:
first aid Secondary Assessment
Next, a brief lesson in electricity.
When you plug an appliance into a wall outlet and turn it on, it does not use up all the electricity coming to it. The electricity returns into the wall outlet. A special type of outlet, a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), constantly monitors the returning current. If the current does not return because it goes to ground… (for example through you or other people), because you:
put a boom box on a starting block next to a swimming pool and it falls in, then sending the electricity into the pool water and the aqua aerobics class members
work out in the rain with a power tool that has a frayed wire and the wet ‘hot’ wire sends the electricity into you
don’t have a long enough ‘suitable for use with outdoor appliances’ extension cord, so you string together a few that are not labeled for outdoor use, and not suitable for the distance/wattage of the mega-bright decorating lights you want to use, and the cord comes in contact with puddles and sends electricity into the water/people
… the GFI can prevent electrical shock by noticing the difference in the current and shutting off the current to the appliance/power tool (in as little as one-thirtieth of a second!).
Please note that GFIs can be damaged by lightning or other electrical surges and need to be tested regularly. Since they might not always be functional, putting that boom box/radio/hairdryer where it can fall in the swimming pool/spa/hot tub/bathtub/kitchen sink full of water is never a good idea.