Table of Contents
- Scene Size-up
- Body Substance Isolation
When Is CPR Necessary
- Are They Conscious?
- Are They Breathing?
- Do They Have A Pulse?
- Positioning The Person's Head
- Getting Air Into The Lungs
Let's start with a BIG disclaimer. The information in this article is from a medical professional, but does not reflect the views of any medical institution or official procedures. If at all possible, every medical situation should be handled by someone with real training and hands-on experience. This guide does not authorize you to do anything medical for another person without their consent. It is also not intended to be accurate medical information used to care for children or babies.
That being said, in the United States, we have things called bystander laws that allow you to help out whoever wants your help as long as you're not violating any policies you're subscribed to (For example, EMTs and Paramedics don't have to help when off duty, but they have special rules to follow if they choose to help.) and the person who needs help consents. Basically, as long as you're trying to help, you should be in the legal right. However, never assume that you can handle a situation yourself that should be left to emergency responders. When in doubt, call the professionals!
Now that we're through all the law stuff, let's get to the reason this guide is here. Learning about first aid is important for anyone going into biohacking. Not only can most of these problems happen in the lab or during procedures, but they can also help you understand a lot of other important medical aspects that you can apply to your personal expertise.
The information on this page is important, but it is not enough to save a person's life. If you wish to read this article, then you should also take a certified CPR class. They take very little time and may save a life. I repeat, a couple hours of your time and the same amount of effort used to read this article may save a life
So you or someone around you is in a medical emergency. Don't panic, first of all. The first step of any emergency is to size up the situation. If someone is hurt, how many people are hurt? If they were injured by something, is that something still around? Remember, your safety should always be assured before you try to help anyone else. So make sure the scene is safe before you enter it.
If the scene is not safe, call for emergency services.
Body Substance Isolation
If the scene is safe, the next thing you need to do is protect yourself. In a real life situation, it'll be unlikely for you to have gloves, a mask, or eye protection, but think about protecting yourself at this point, whether it be with your mittens, a jacket and some sunglasses. These things will go a long way towards keeping the bodily fluids of the injured person out of your body. They can also go a long way towards keep yours out of theirs.
The next step is to determine the extent of the injuries. If the person is scraped up and cut, but not in serious danger, try to find your way to a first aid kit. If they're bleeding profusely, deformed, unconscious, or have any type of head injury, call emergency services immediately. Also call emergency services if multiple people are hurt.
From here on, we will be working under the assumption that you have either decided not to call emergency services or they are not available. If the pros are on the way, just sit tight and play it safe until they arrive or follow their instructions on the phone.
When Is CPR Necessary?
For the purpose of this article, CPR is defined as both applying compressions to a person's chest and providing for their breathing.
Are They Conscious?
So, the first thing to determine when you see a person who is on the ground is whether or not they're conscious. Try to speak to them. If they don't respond, try pushing them or causing them light pain. The best way to do this is to pinch their shoulder hard right above their clavicle. This is referred to as a trapezius pinch. If they don't respond, then you are legally allowed to provide for them until they wake up or a medical professional takes over.
Are They Breathing?
The next thing you need to check is their breathing. You can do this by listening to their chest for lung movement or at their mouth/nose. If they are breathing, consider calling emergency services to take care of them and then stay with the person until they arrive. If no breathing is present, then the person will need you to breath for them. You should immediately contact emergency services at this point, preferably having someone else call while you tend to the person.
Do They Have A Pulse?
Since we've determined that the person isn't breathing, we need to check if their heart is beating. The best place to check a pulse on an adult is at the neck, just below their jaw line, a couple inches from center. If you feel a pulse, you should begin providing for the person's breathing immediately. If they do not have a pulse, call emergency services if you haven't already and let them know what's happening. This person will need both ventilation and compressions. If there is an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) nearby, this would be the time to tell someone to go get it.
In an emergency situation, it will be unlikely for you to have anything that can protect you from the person's mouth while providing ventilations. CPR classes often provide a mask to carry with you, but sadly, it is sometimes necessary to provide ventilations mouth-to-mouth.
Positioning The Person's Head
When ventilating someone, it is important to open their airway to provide effective ventilation. To do so, the person should be laid on their back and their head drawn back so their nose points up. This aligns the throat with the lungs and allows air to flow freely between them.
Getting Air Into The Lungs
If you happen to have a BVM (Bag Valve Mask) or isolation mask, then they should be used when providing ventilations to the person. Sit above the person's head facing them. Place the mask over the person's mouth and nose and hold the mask onto the face with your pointer fingers and thumbs in a circle. Then, use the rest of your fingers to wrap under the person's chin and pull them back into position to be ventilated.
Using a BVM
You should then attach the bag to the mask (holding the mask with one hand) and tilt the bag down to hold the seal. Provide one-second long squeezes that empty about a fourth of the bag's volume and then release for 3 seconds before providing another.
Using an isolation mask
You should then begin breathing into the mask, making sure to keep their head aligned like before. These breaths should be about a second long and be spaced out by 3 seconds.
Without a mask
You should then begin breathing into the person's mouth, making sure to keep their head aligned like before. These breaths should be about a second long and be spaced out by 3 seconds.
Chest compressions are an important intervention to be applied when the person you're caring for has a weak or absent pulse. They can be used to restart the heart manually. They can also be used to dislodge an obstruction from the person's throat in a dire situation.
Where to push
Compressions should be provided to the centre of the chest at heart level (the breast). When caring for a woman, it may be necessary to stray slightly up or down to avoid applying all the force to their breasts. This will sometimes prove ineffective. Be advised that chest compressions will often break ribs. Sorry about that. It's gross. But being alive is more important than having intact ribs.
How to push
When providing compressions, you should place one hand over the other, palms down. Place your hands on the person's chest and keep your arms straight. You want to position your body over the person so your shoulders are in line with your hands. Then, push down hard so you compress their chest about 2 inches.
As stated before, ventilations should be provided for 1 second and spaced out by 3 second intervals. Chest compressions should be as quickly as possible while still having adequate depth. When chest compressions are necessary, the person will also not be breathing, so you'll have to trade off between compressions and ventilations. You should start with 30 chest compressions in a 1-and-2-and-3-and-4 rhythm and then provide 2 ventilations. 30 more chest compressions. 2 more ventilations. At this time you should again check the person's pulse. If they have a pulse, check their breathing and provide for that. If they have no pulse, go back to chest compressions. If at any point the person wakes up, then they are now awake and likely alive. Congratulations, hero.