October - Helping in Emergency Breathing Situations
Helping in Emergency Breathing Situations
We would like to see each district have first aid and CPR available for all office personnel. However, this will take some planning to accomplish this task. In the meantime, there are some tips that can be used to help, if an emergency should arise.
Oxygen is vital for our bodies to survive. As we breathe in air or oxygen it is transferred to our lungs. When oxygen doesn't enter the body, it becomes a life-threatening situation. If this happens, we should call 911 or another emergency number, then commence to care for the life-threatening conditions.
How do you know when someone is choking?
- Their airway is blocked by a piece food or other object.
- If they grab their throat with one or both hands, this is a sign of choking.
- If they can't talk, cough or breathe, you will need to remove the object from their throat by giving quick, hard abdominal thrusts. Don't do the abdominal thrusts if they are talking or coughing.
How to give abdominal thrusts
- Abdominal thrusts or pushing above the navel forces objects out of a person's airway.
- To give abdominal thrusts, stand behind the person and wrap your arms around their waist.
- Make a fist with one hand and grab your fist with the other hand,
- Position your hands between the navel and rib cage with the thumb facing inward just above the navel.
- Then give inward and upward thrusts.
- Repeat these thrusts until the object in his throat is forced out or he becomes unconscious.
- If a pregnant woman or a child is choking, follow the emergency operator's instruction for giving abdominal thrusts.
When should rescue breathing be used?
- In some emergency situations, you will find an unconscious victim. You should check to see if the person is breathing.
- To do this, put your head near the person's mouth and nose.
- Look, listen and feel for breathing for about five seconds. At the same time, watch to see if the chest rises and falls.
- If the person is not on his back, carefully roll him while supporting the head and neck.
- You will have to give rescue breathing if the person is not breathing. This may keep the person alive until medical help arrives. If the person is not breathing and does not have a pulse, find someone who can perform CPR.
How to perform rescue breathing?
- First, give two rescue breaths.
- Tilt the person's head back and lift the chin. then pinch and shut the nose.
- Place your mouth on theirs, form a tight seal. If a face shield or gloves are available, use them to protect yourself from body fluids
- Blow two (2) slow breaths of air into their mouth. Breathe into the person until the chest gently rises.
- Then check for a pulse.
Continue rescue breathing as long as necessary
- If a pulse is present, but the person is still not breathing, continue rescue breathing.
- Blow one slow breath of air into his mouth every five seconds.
- Continue this for about one (1) minute at a rate of 12 breaths every minute.
- Then check to see if the person is breathing on their own.
- Remember to stop rescue breathing if the scene becomes unsafe, if you can see or feel signs of breathing, or if you are too exhausted to continue.
- Know that oxygen is vital to life and must enter through the lungs.
- Remember in an emergency situation to call for help and care for the life threatening emergencies.
- Perform rescue breathing if a person is not breathing.
- Hesitate to help someone in an emergency situation.
- Forget to call 911 or an emergency number for medical assistance.
- Give abdominal thrusts to some one who is talking or coughing.
Acting quickly and calmly may help to save a life of a family member or co-worker. Someone who is choking may not be breathing because an object is blocking their airway. Perform rescue breathing if a person is not breathing on their own.
IHL has a program that we can teach free for First aid and CPR.
We have done this already at some MAFES stations and would love to see it done in the EXTENSION DISTRICTS. This program is free to the university.
SAFETY SHOULD NEVER BE NEGLECTED!
Excerpts: Gemplers' Alert-June, 2005 August 15, 2005
Ted Gordon is the Risk Management/Loss Control Manager for the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. His office is located in the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, in Verona, MS. His telephone number is 662-566-2201.