What You Should Do while Waiting for Emergency Help

During an emergency, do you shriek and go wild in panic? Or do you calm yourself and think about the right thing to do in order to save the situation? Obviously, the first option won't get you anywhere. The second one, meanwhile, can save a life or prevent an injury, making it the better thing to do.

When you or anyone you know suffers from a life-threatening emergency, you know that your first instinct would be to grab the phone and call 911. But what do you do after that? Here's what you should do while waiting for help. Make sure you calm yourself first so you can do it right.

While You Wait
Upon telling you that the help is on the way, don't be quick to hang up on the 911 operator unless you've been told to do so. Then while waiting for help to arrive, do the following steps:

• Is the person breathing? If not, begin CPR. (See this article for guide on how to do CPR: Why You Should Learn CPR)

• If there is a wound, apply first aid. Steps are enumerated in detail far below.

• Make the person comfortable. Assure him/her that help is on the way.

• Make way for the medical team by moving furniture that may cause obstruction.

• Assign someone to stay at the door to wait for the emergency team.

First Aid Steps for Wounds
• Apply firm pressure directly over the wound using sterile bandage. If you don't have one, get a clean cloth instead. Do this until the bleeding stops.

• If the wound is in the leg or arm, elevate it. But don't move the limb at all if it is broken.

• Apply clean bandages only but don't put antiseptic, particularly on deep cuts. If the bandage gets soaked with blood, don't remove; just add more bandages on top.

• If there is anything embedded into the wound like a knife or pole, do not pull the object out of it.

When Emergency Care Arrives
• Be prepared to supply:
- the person's medical information including medications and dosages
- phone number of the person's doctor and medical specialists
- contact information of parents or guardians for children patients
- chronic medical conditions
- immunization records for children patients
- allergies
- insurance information

• You should also be able to describe what transpired during that day before you called 911.

• Ride in the ambulance. It's important to have a family member in the ambulance so he/she can supply necessary information about the patient that can help significantly.

Before Emergencies Happen
Now you know what to do in case of emergency, you should also learn what you should even before an emergency strikes. It's important that you gather all the information that would be asked by 911 when you make a call as listed above. All these details should be posted near the telephone along with other contact information of doctors, family members, neighbors, and anyone else that can provide assistance.


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