If you ever find yourself on the scene of a medical emergency, remember to do the following:
1 Stay calm
Don’t let the chaos of the situation and the reaction of those around you panic you; and most importantly do not be afraid of the patient. He or she is more afraid of the unknown than you are of stepping in to help.
2 Ensure the scene is safe
An injured or dead helper is no helper at all. Ensure there is no way of anybody else, yourself included, becoming a patient instead of a helper.
3 Call for help
Call for professional medical assistance as soon as possible. Remember to remain composed during this request to allow for the dispatcher to assist you properly. Always give accurate details of the patient, the location, and the patient’s current condition.
4 Move anybody who is not adding value as far away from the scene as possible
This helps prevent the patient from feeling overwhelmed, and also provides a safe space for the paramedics to work in.
5 Keep the patient calm
Now that you are calm, try to keep the patient calm. Stand close by, hold a hand, provide comfort, and reassure them that help is on its way.
6 Do not try and treat the patient
Unless you have any form of medical training, do not try and treat the patient. If you do have medical training, you can administer simple first aid skills while professional help is on the way.
7 Make sure that the responders are able to identify the scene
Whether you’re in a building, shopping centre, or open field, it’s important to delegate a calm and capable person to await the arrival of responders at the entrance or closest entry point. Simply instruct them to wait there and when they hear or see the responders, to wave them down using a hat or a jacket.
8 Leave the responders to do what they do best
Once the professional responders have arrived, let them take over. If you want to help, do your best to keep bystanders clear of the scene.
Should you ever find yourself at the scene of a medical emergency, take three deep breaths, ensure the scene is safe, call for help, and make sure the patient is calm while someone else ushers responders in. You could save a life.