Basic First Aid Guidelines

Emergency Warning Signs

Look for these emergency warning signs that indicate a person could suffer major harm or die without immediate care. Call 911 immediately if one or more of these signs are present.

  • Prolonged chest pain (lasting two or more minutes)
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Choking or vomiting blood
  • Severe pain
  • A weak or nonexistent heartbeat when checking for a pulse on the neck alongside the Adam's apple
  • Sudden weakness, change in vision, or dizziness
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Confusion or difficulty arousing
Below you will find some basic guidelines to help you help yourself and others during a medical crisis. The information presented here is to be used as an introduction to First Aid. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice and care, treatment by trained emergency personnel, or first aid and CPR training. If you are in a life- or limb-threatening emergency, CALL FOR MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY.
  • Remain calm, be aware of your surroundings, and closely evaluate the scene to protect yourself and others from further injury. 
  • Do not move a critically injured person unless insturcted by emergency medical professionals.
  • Do not try to drive someone who is critically ill or injured to a hospital unless there is no way to summon emergency help.
  • Call 911 or ask someone else to call: 

- If you think there is a medical emergency,
- If the crisis could get worse left untreated or not treated properly.

  • Listen carefully to the 911 dispatcher's questions. Answer them calmly and quickly.
  • Remain on the line until the dispatcher tells you it's okay to hang up.
  • Ask someone to wait outside to meet emergency personnel if it is safe to do so.
  • Paramedics may want to know a brief summary of the circumstances that caused the emergency. Remain calm and cooperative as they gather information.

NOTE: Information here and in the links within this section is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care, treatment by trained emergency personnel, or first aid and CPR training. If you believe a life- or limb-threatening emergency exists, CALL FOR MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY.

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