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With this scenario here, we're talking about somebody that you maybe come across. It might be an office situation where someone's unconscious and you first walk in. Maybe you've been called as a first aider, so you've already got your first aid kit or you may need to ask somebody to get that for you. As you approach the scene to start with, you're going to want to call for help or find out what's wrong, ask people, get as much information as possible. It may be that there's a bystander there that can tell you what's happened or it may be that on the way to the accident, someone's actually going to tell you what has happened. If you just walked in and found someone on the floor, then you're going to have to just deal with it yourself. The first thing we're going to be doing is stop, think, and act.
Make sure that we know exactly what dangers or possible dangers are going to be there. Remove any hazards. Maybe if there are some power cables, you want to move those out of the way, turn them off at the mains. If there are any other dangers, books in the office situation or boxes, move them out of the way so you've got some room to work. You want to call for help. Now, you don't exactly know what's wrong at this stage. You just want to call for help to get some help there, so someone can then be sent to call the emergency services.
As you approach and you get down next to them, initially you want to introduce yourself. So, "Hello, my name's Keith. I'm a first aider." Then give them a little tap on the collarbone, try and get some response from them. Now, if they're conscious, you can just deal with that as it happens and just try and stop them from moving and just initially assess them and make sure what's happened and what sort of action you're going to take. In this example, we're looking at somebody who is unconscious. Now, somebody who's unconscious, the most important thing we find out is, are they breathing? Because if they're not breathing, we would do CPR. The first thing we need to do is to open their airway. Now, what could happen is the tongue could fall to the back of the throat and actually block their airway, and this can actually stop them breathing. By tilting the head back, this draws the tongue away from the back of the throat and allows air to pass.
What we do is we take a hand onto the forehead and also under the chin, have a brief just look in the mouth. Make sure that there's nothing in there that could be a cause of a problem. Maybe they'd been eating and there's some food there. If there's no problem there, don't go sticking your finger in and pushing it down. You may need to try and remove it, so just have a look. Then tilt the head back at a steady action to lean the head right back. What you've done now is you've drawn the tongue away from the back of the throat and you need to look, listen, and feel for breathing for up to 10 seconds.
Place your ear close to their mouth. You're listening and feeling for the breath on your cheek and your ear. You're also looking down their body to look for the stomach or the chest to rise and fall. Now, if you feel that they are breathing normally, then the situation you know exactly what you're dealing in with at this stage. You know you're not going to have moved on and do CPR. So you need to make sure that you've called for help. If someone comes in, you can send them away to call an ambulance.
Now, if you leave someone laying on their back and they vomit, then they could then choke on their own vomit. If you were on your own in the situation, you need to put them in the recovery position and then leave them to go and call the emergency services. Before we put somebody in the recovery position, we just do a quick head-to-toe check. We're trying to find out if there are any other injuries. We just start at the head to see if there's anything obvious there, any bleeding, any blood, or any fluid. Just feel down shoulders, arms, chest. You're looking for any deformity, blood, fluid, or anything else you think could be slightly wrong. Have a quick glance down their legs. Are their legs in what should be sort of a normal position? So there's no real damage to the hips or the legs.
Now, in this example, there's nothing wrong because it's just been a basic fall in an office and there's no major incidence. We need to now put them into the recovery position. The recovery position lays them on their side, so if they were to vomit, the vomit could come out. It also keeps them in a safe position. The first thing we need to do is straighten their legs out, to lay the legs flat onto the floor. We can then put the hand that's nearest to you, you lift that up above their head, 90-degree type position. Now, they're going to end laying on that. The hand that's furthest away from you, lean across, grab hold of the thumb and bring that hand to the cheek of the patient nearest to you. Now, keep hold of that hand because that hand is going to be used for guiding the head into position.
With your other hand, lift the leg up so that the foot is flat on the floor. You can use the leg now as a lever to pull them over. So in one motion, pull down the leg and use that as a lever to pull them across, the whole time just watching to make sure that the head is kept in a nice steady position. Once you've got them actually onto their side, you can just position the head so that the mouth is slightly open, the airway is open, and their head is resting on their hand. With the leg that you pulled over, now just lift that up so that it's flat on the floor, so there's no pressure from that leg on the other leg, and also that holds them still in that position. Check to make sure they're breathing. The whole time you're doing this, you're just making sure that they are breathing. Now, at this point, if you're on your own, you must go and call the emergency services, now you've got them on their side. If there is somebody else there, you can send them to the emergency services.
Your job now as a first aider is to care for them. If you can, cover them with a blanket to keep them warm, keep monitoring their vital signs, making sure they're still breathing, and just listen to them and talk to them. You want to try communicating as much as you can with the patient. If you send someone to go and get help, when they come back, find out what they say so you know when the emergency services are going to arrive. And then if there's anything that you need doing, ask that person to do it or send them out to actually meet the emergency services and bring them up to you. That will reduce any delays in the emergency services finding you.