When someone becomes unwell, suffocates, bleeds profusely or is already not breathing, what to do? In all of these situations, the protocol remains the same; only the first aid procedures vary.
What are the 4 steps to help?
- Protect the person from surrounding dangers and put them to safety: keep curious people away, avoid being next to imminent danger (road, fire, falling object, etc.)
- Do an assessment of the victim's condition: is the person conscious? Is she breathing? Is she hurt? The gestures of the 4th step are to be adapted according to
- Call for help and contact the emergency services: the main emergency numbers are 15 (SAMU), 18 (fire brigade), 17 (police), 112 (European emergency) and 115 (SAMU social)
- Start first aid measures depending on the case:
- The person is unconscious: try to communicate with, without response, free the airways and put them in a safe lateral position
- The person is unconscious and is not breathing: after clearing the airways, if the person is still not breathing, start heart massage
- The person is conscious but is choking: tell them to cough, however if no sound or air comes out of a person's mouth, you will have to follow the Heimlich maneuver (abdominal contractions)
- The person is bleeding profusely: compress the wound as best as possible while waiting for help
- The person is conscious and is better: continue to monitor him while waiting for help
Can I train myself in these gestures?
Yes, in France for example, there is the PSC1-IRR training of the Red Cross. You will have, for 50 to 60 euros, 10 hours of training and the equivalent of the European First Aid Certificate (BEPS). An initiation to risk reduction (IRR) is included and aims to reduce the vulnerability of individuals to disasters.