Emergency First Aid for Care Home Staff

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[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]It is always a shock when a resident collapses or hurts themselves badly. However, by ensuring you know what to do in these situations, you will feel much more confident and assured.

In this article, we look at three serious emergencies that you may come across while working in a care home:

1. Your resident collapses and stops breathing
2. Your resident cuts themselves badly
3. Your resident gets badly burnt or scalded

To make sure you are prepared, we have put together the following guidance.

1. Your resident collapses and stops breathing

If one of your residents collapses on the floor and seems to be unconscious, gently shake them by the shoulders and ask loudly if they are all right.

If you do not get a response, call 999 for an ambulance straight away or ask someone else to do this while you tend to your resident.

The first thing you will need to do is to open their airway. Check the resident’s mouth doesn’t have any objects in it and remove their dentures if they have any. Then, gently tip their head backwards by placing your hand on their forehead and lifting their chin with two fingertips.

Your next task is to see if they are breathing normally. First, look to see if their chest is rising and falling. If you are not sure, listen at their mouth for sounds of breathing. You can also put your cheek near their mouth to see if you can feel their breath on your face.

If they are breathing normally, then just put them into the recovery position and wait for the ambulance to arrive.

If they are not breathing properly, you will need to start chest compressions, otherwise known as CPR.

How you administer CPR will depend on whether you have been trained in giving CPR with rescue breaths.

If you have had this training then jump to that section below for a reminder of the correct approach. Otherwise, follow the instructions immediately below:

• Hands-only CPR

  • Place the heel of your hand onto the centre of the resident’s breastbone.
  • Place the other hand on top of the first hand and interlock your fingers. Lean over the resident with your shoulders above your knees.
  • Using your body weight (not just your arms), press down by 5-6 cm (2-2.5 inches).
  • Keep your hands on the resident’s chest, release the compression and allow the chest to return to its original position.
  • Repeat the compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 times per minute until they recover or an ambulance arrives.

• CPR with rescue breaths for adults only

  • Place the heel of your hand onto the centre of the resident’s breastbone.
  • Place the other hand on top of the first hand and interlock your fingers.
  • Lean over the casualty with your shoulders above your knees.
  • Using your body weight (not just your arms), press down by 5-6 cm (2-2.5 inches)
  • Keep your hands on the resident’s chest, release the compression and allow the chest to return to its original position.
  • Repeat the compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 times per minute.
  • After every 30 chest compressions, give two rescue breaths.
  • Tilt the resident’s head up and using two fingers lift the chin and pinch their nose.
  • Seal your mouth over the resident’s mouth and blow steadily and firmly into their mouth for one second.
  • Give two rescue breaths ensuring the chest rises with each breath.
  • Repeat the cycle of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until they begin to recover or emergency help arrives.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_image type=”none” src=”https://cairncare.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/check-breathing.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]

    2. Your resident cuts themselves badly

    If one of your resident cuts themselves badly, don’t try to handle it all on your own.

    Instead, dial 999 for medical assistance and try to minimise the bleeding as best you can in the meantime.

    To do this, first put on some disposable gloves to reduce the risk of any infections being passed on through touch, then check to see whether there are any foreign objects embedded in the wound.

    If there is anything in the wound, do not press down on the object. Instead, you will need to avoid any pressure being applied to it when dressing the wound.

    To do this, press firmly on either side of it and build padding up around it before applying a bandage.

    If nothing is embedded in the wound, use a clean pad or dressing to apply and maintain pressure on the wound with your gloved hand until the bleeding stops.

    Next, use a clean dressing to bandage the wound firmly.
    If bleeding continues through the dressing, re-apply pressure to the wound until the bleeding stops and then apply clean pads and bandages on top of the original dressing, checking to make sure that bleeding has stopped.

    Of course, in some cases the resident may have sustained a worse injury than a bad cut. If a body part has been severed, such as a finger, place it in a plastic bag or Clingfilm and take it to Accident & Emergency with the resident.

    Equally, don’t assume that some bleeding, such as a nosebleed, isn’t that serious. If a nosebleed hasn’t stopped within 20 minutes, seek medical assistance at your nearest A&E department.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”] [/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]

    3. Your resident gets badly burnt or scalded

    If your resident sustains a bad burn, make sure you cool it down as quickly as possible.

    To do this, place the affected area under cool running water for at least 20 minutes or until the pain has been relieved.

    Be aware that if you need to cool a large area, hypothermia can set in, especially in elderly residents, so watch out for this risk and stop cooling the burn where you feel this might be happening.

    Whilst cooling the burn, you should also try to remove any clothing or jewellery that is near to the burn, unless it is attached to the skin.

    Once you have cooled the burn properly, cover it loosely with Clingfilm or, if not available, use a clean dry dressing or non-fluffy material.

    Never apply creams, lotions or sprays to a burn and do not wrap the burn tightly, as swelling may occur and lead to further injury.

    If the burn is severe, call for an ambulance or take the resident to Accident & Emergency as quickly as possible.

    Need a handy reminder for emergency first aid?

    Hopefully, you have found the above advice useful. However, it can be a long time between learning first aid and needing to give it.

    So if you feel you could do with a handy reminder of how to give emergency first aid, why not download our First Aid poster by clicking here?

    Then you can put it somewhere where you can easily refer to it and be ready for when an emergency arises.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”] [/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

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