First Aid Treatment of Shock, Bleeding and Stoppage of Breathing (Asphyxia)
Shock is a serious condition in which the functions of the body are depressed, particularly the nervous system and the circulation. This happens to some extent in all injuries and may be severe and may even prove fatal.
Symptoms of shock:
Face is pale, with cold sweat, weak and rapid pulse, low blood pressure, rapid and shallow breathing, restlessness, sometimes unconsciousness.
Call a physician, First-aid treatment should be given by keeping the patient flat on the ground with head low position. Give him absolute rest. Apply heat by blanket & hot water bottles. If conscious, give him some stimulant aroma, hot tea, hot milk etc. In case of severe bleeding do not give stimulant until bleeding has been checked. If breathing ceases give artificial respiration.
Remember that the flow of blood in the veins is towards the heart and that in the arteries from the heart to the periphery.
Bleeding from arteries: Blood is bright red in color and comes in spurts or in jets. Act quickly. Send for the doctor. Lay the injured down and remove the clothing’s from the wound. If possible press the artery over the bone. If the bleeding is not stopped apply tourniquet near the wound between the heart and the wound.
Release the tourniquet every 15 minutes to avoid serious damage to the tissue. Tighten it again if bleeding has not stopped. When bleeding has stopped give some hot drink and keep him in absolute rest.
Bleeding form vein:
Blood is dark red and flows freely without spurt. Lay the injured down and lift the wounded part and press with a pad of sterile gauze and bandage with a firm pressure.
Put the injured in sitting position with head back. Loosen the collar. Tell him to breathe through, mouth. Apply cold wet dressing over nose and the press nostrils together. If bleeding does not stop apply sterile gauge pad to the nostrils and hold in place. Send for the physician.
Stoppage of breathing ( Asphyxia )
In case of Asphyxia there is immediate need for artificial respiration. Asphyxia may occur in the following conditions:
- Suffocation or strangulation.
- Electric shock.
- Foreign body in throat.
- Gas poisoning.
Strangulation - It may be produced by hanging. Immediately cut the knot and loosen tight clothing’s and perform artificial respiration.
Electric shock - Shut off the current at once if possible and pull the injured away. If the current is on release the person carefully by pulling, using a dry stick or cloth or with heavy newspaper or rubber shoes. Do not use moist objects and do not touch the wire with bare hand.
After releasing from the current start artificial respiration.
Drowning - Lift the person from the water. Loosen all tight clothing’s from around the neck and waist. Remove the foreign body and mud from the throat. If the injured breathes keep him warm and give smelling salt to inhale. If breathing has stopped start artificial respiration immediately.
Methods of Artificial Respiration:
(a) Prone method of artificial respiration:
It is one of the best method of artificial respiration. Loosen the clothing’s from around the neck of the injured. Place him on a flat surface in a face down position, one arm extended other arm bent. The head is to rest on the bent arm and turned side ways. Place yourself astride on a kneeling position and facing the injured head .Place your hand flat over lower part of the back covering the lower ribs, on both sides keeping your arm straight. Gradually apply your weight forward on to the injured to produce a firm pressure.
By this means the air is forced out of the injured lung. Now raise your body back wards slowly to remove the pressure but keeping your hands in position. Repeat this forward and backward movement every 4—5 seconds i.e. 12—15 times per minute. Continue the process for hours if necessary until he recovers or declared dead by the physician.
(b) Mouth to Mouth Breathing Method:
It is also a very superior type of artificial respiration.Loosen the tight clothing’s from the neck and clean the mouth. Place him on his back and extend the neck by pulling the jaw upwards and towards the head & close the nose. Always keep the chin—up. Then, you take a deep breath and put your mouth to the mouth of the victim and blow forcefully. When the chest moves take your mouth off and let the victim exhale passively. Then blow the next deep breath. First few breaths should be forceful and rapid then blow every 4 seconds.
Continue the blowing till regular breathing starts. If the chest does not move, improve the position of the head by keeping the head and neck extended and chin up position and then blow forcefully. When the victim recovers give him the treatment of shock.