HealthBauer Xcel

Do you know how to save a life?

HealthBauer Xcel
Do you know how to save a life?

Get to grips with the basics

Whether you're faced with a heavy nosebleed or a serious fall, accidents and emergencies can sometimes be scary. But knowing how to act to keep the situation calm could help limit the damage done and keep you and the person who's hurt themselves safe.

If you come across someone who you think needs your help, there are some golden rules to follow so that you can keep the person who's injured or ill out of harm's way before professional medical help arrives or you get them to a hospital:

Don't risk it

However eager you are to help, it's so important to make sure you're safe too. Before you go up to check on them, look and listen around for any signs of danger. Try to work out the situation- what's happened here and if there's more than one person hurt. If you spot anything dangerous nearby, for you or them, like broken glass or oncoming traffic, try to make the situation safe before you go up to them.

Never put youself at risk, no matter how much you want to do something- this can often only make the situation worse. And only move the person that's hurt if they would be in more danger if you left them. If you can't make the area safe, call 999 to get help.

Get the right response

To do the right thing you'll need to first suss out how serious the situation is. Ask the person who's hurt- 'Are you alright?' or 'Can you open your eyes?'. If they respond by making eye contact or some gsort of esture, then you know that they are conscious. If they don't respond, gently shake their shoulders. Or if it's a child, just tap their shoulder or for a baby, tap their foot. If they still don't make a movement or open their eyes, presume they are unconscious and follow the steps in the gallery to deal with this. If there's more than one person that's hurt, deal with anyone with life-threatening injuries first.

Keep calm and comfort

Even if you're very anxious or concerned, it's important that you stay in control for both of your sakes. If you don't know the person who's hurt, introduce yourself so that they can gain your trust and explain what's happening. Always tell them what you're going to do before you do it.

Stop any infections spreading

Always wash your hands or using hand sanitizer before you touch the person who's hurt. Don't touch an open wound without wearing any gloves and try to avoid coughing, sneezing or breathing over an open wound or the patient.

Get the right help

If it's serious and they need help right away, dial 999. If it is serious, but not likely to get worse and you can safely move them, take them to hospital. For a less serious condition, advise them to visit their doctor. Always stay with them until they get the right help.

There's more first aid advice on the St John Ambulance website here.