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Medical Emergencies

Call 911 immediately. Be ready to tell the operator your exact location and status of the injured person.

DO NOT MOVE an injured person unless you are in immediate danger.

Assess the Status of the Injured Person:
  • Remember the “ABC” of first aid - Awake, Breathing and Continue care.
  • Ask the person if they can hear you. Speak loudly and clearly. If they are conscious and lucid explain what has happened and ask if they want help. If there is no answer, ask them to open their eyes and gently shake the person's shoulder while watching for any response. If the patient is still not responsive, shout for help and make sure someone has called 911.
  • If there is no breathing, prepare to start CPR. Send help to get an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED locations are noted on W&M fire evacuation maps). Remember to check the airway to enable breathing. If you are uncomfortable performing rescue breathing continue with chest compressions at the rate of 100 per minute until the AED is ready to operate or a paramedic arrives.
  • With help on the way, use first aid techniques to control bleeding if necessary while also maintaining the airway and monitoring the person’s condition.
Possible Spine Injuries:

If a spinal injury is suspected but you absolutely must roll the person because he or she is vomiting, choking on blood or in danger of further injury, you need at least one other person. With one of you at the head and another along the side of the injured person, work together to keep the person's head, neck and back aligned while rolling the person onto one side.


Call 911 immediately. If a person appears to be choking, ask them if they want your help. Encourage them to continue to breath, but if all gasping for air has stopped and the person is not breathing normally, perform the Heimlich maneuver (assuming you have been trained). If the person is passed out from apparent choking, apply the Heimlich maneuver. Check for an airway and continue care until help arrives.

Control Bleeding:

Put pressure directly on the wound. If you have some type of gauze, use it. Gauze pads hold the blood on the wound and help the components of the blood to stick together, promoting clotting. If you don't have gauze, terrycloth towels work almost as well.

If the gauze or towel soaks through with blood, add another layer. Never take off the gauze. Peeling blood soaked gauze off a wound removes vital clotting agents and encourages bleeding to resume.