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Top Essential First Aid Skills Every Doctor and Nurse Must Master

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by Egyptian Doctor, May 25, 2024.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
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    Essential First Aid Skills For Doctors And Healthcare Professionals.

    CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)

    • Importance: CPR is crucial for maintaining blood flow to the brain and heart in case of cardiac arrest. It can be life-saving during emergencies before advanced care arrives.
    • Steps: Ensure the scene is safe, check for responsiveness and breathing, call for emergency assistance, and begin chest compressions. Provide 30 compressions followed by 2 rescue breaths, and repeat until help arrives or the person regains consciousness.
    • Compression Technique: Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest, place the other hand on top, and press down hard and fast, at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.

    Use of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator)
    • Role of AEDs: AEDs can restore a normal heart rhythm in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. They are designed to be easy to use, even for those without medical training.
    • Steps: Turn on the AED and follow the voice prompts. Attach the pads to the victim’s bare chest as indicated, ensure no one is touching the patient, and deliver a shock if advised by the device. Continue CPR after the shock until the AED instructs otherwise or emergency personnel take over.
    Managing Severe Bleeding
    • Initial Actions: Apply direct pressure to the wound using a clean cloth or bandage. Maintain pressure until the bleeding stops. Elevate the injured limb above the heart level if possible to reduce blood flow to the area.
    • Tourniquet Use: If direct pressure and elevation do not stop the bleeding, a tourniquet may be necessary. Place the tourniquet 2-3 inches above the wound, tighten it until the bleeding stops, and note the time it was applied. Only trained professionals should use tourniquets due to the risk of complications.
    Handling Fractures and Dislocations
    • Fracture Management: Immobilize the injured area to prevent further damage. Use splints to stabilize the limb, ensuring that the splint extends beyond the joints above and below the fracture site. Apply ice to reduce swelling and manage pain.
    • Dislocation Management: Do not attempt to realign the dislocation. Instead, immobilize the joint in its current position and apply ice to reduce swelling. Seek immediate medical attention for proper treatment.
    Treating Burns
    • First-Degree Burns: These burns affect only the outer layer of the skin. Cool the burn under running water for at least 10 minutes and cover it with a sterile, non-adhesive bandage. Avoid using ice, as it can cause further damage.
    • Second-Degree Burns: These burns penetrate deeper into the skin. Follow the same initial treatment as first-degree burns, but do not break any blisters. Seek medical attention for proper wound care.
    • Third-Degree Burns: These burns damage all layers of the skin and underlying tissues. Do not immerse the burn in water. Cover it with a sterile cloth or bandage and seek immediate medical attention. Avoid applying ointments or creams.
    Managing Choking
    • Conscious Adult/Child: Perform the Heimlich maneuver by standing behind the person, wrapping your arms around their waist, and making a fist with one hand. Place the fist just above the navel and grasp it with the other hand. Perform quick, upward thrusts until the object is expelled.
    • Unconscious Adult/Child: If the person becomes unconscious, lower them to the ground and begin CPR. Check the mouth for the object before providing rescue breaths and remove it if visible.
    Recognizing and Managing Shock
    • Symptoms: Look for signs such as pale, clammy skin, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, weakness, dizziness, and confusion. Shock can result from severe blood loss, infection, or trauma.
    • Management: Lay the person down and elevate their legs about 12 inches to improve blood flow to vital organs. Keep them warm and comfortable, and do not give them anything to eat or drink. Monitor their condition and seek immediate medical attention.
    Treating Hypothermia
    • Recognition: Symptoms include shivering, slurred speech, slow breathing, and confusion. Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it, leading to dangerously low body temperatures.
    • Management: Move the person to a warm environment, remove any wet clothing, and cover them with blankets. Use warm, dry compresses or body heat to gradually warm the person. Avoid using direct heat sources like hot water or heating pads.
    Managing Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion
    • Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, and headache. Move the person to a cooler place, have them lie down and elevate their legs, and provide cool fluids.
    • Heat Stroke: Symptoms include hot, dry skin, confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness. This is a medical emergency. Move the person to a cool environment, remove excess clothing, and cool them with wet cloths or a cool bath. Do not give fluids if they are unconscious.
    First Aid for Poisoning
    • Ingestion: Identify the poison and call emergency services or a poison control center immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless directed by a professional. Provide information about the substance ingested and follow the instructions given by emergency personnel.
    • Inhalation: Move the person to fresh air and avoid inhaling fumes yourself. Loosen tight clothing and ensure they are breathing adequately. Seek immediate medical attention.
    • Skin Exposure: Remove contaminated clothing and rinse the affected area with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Use soap if available, but avoid scrubbing. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.
    Handling Seizures
    • During a Seizure: Ensure the person is safe by moving any dangerous objects away from them. Do not restrain their movements or place anything in their mouth. Time the seizure and stay with the person until it ends.
    • After a Seizure: Help the person into a recovery position on their side to keep their airway clear. Provide reassurance and check for injuries. Seek medical attention if the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, the person has multiple seizures, or if it is their first seizure.
    Managing Allergic Reactions and Anaphylaxis
    • Recognizing Symptoms: Mild reactions may include itching, hives, and swelling. Severe reactions (anaphylaxis) can cause difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, and a rapid pulse.
    • Response: Administer an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen) if available and call emergency services immediately. Keep the person calm and lying down with their legs elevated. If they are conscious, provide an antihistamine if available.
    Handling Eye Injuries
    • Foreign Objects: Do not rub the eye. Rinse with clean water or saline solution to try and remove the object. Seek medical attention if the object cannot be removed easily.
    • Chemical Exposure: Rinse the eye immediately with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Avoid using a strong stream of water to prevent further injury. Seek immediate medical attention.
    • Blunt Trauma: Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain. Do not apply pressure to the eye. Seek medical attention to rule out serious injury.
    Basic Wound Care
    • Cleaning: Clean the wound with mild soap and water to remove any dirt or debris. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide or iodine, which can damage tissue.
    • Dressing: Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the wound with a sterile bandage. Change the dressing daily and monitor for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or discharge.
    • Stitches: Seek medical attention if the wound is deep, gaping, or if bleeding cannot be controlled. Stitches may be necessary to close the wound properly and prevent infection.
    By mastering these essential first aid skills, doctors and nurses can provide immediate and effective care during emergencies, ensuring better outcomes for their patients. These skills are not only crucial in clinical settings but also in everyday life, as they enable healthcare professionals to respond promptly and competently to various medical emergencies.

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    Last edited: May 26, 2024

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