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How to handle an emergency situation
Be prepared! A time may come when you’ll face an emergency and be called upon to serve as the vital link between medical professionals and the victim. The following actions will aid you in becoming a Good Samaritan.

Emergency Tips - Call 911
  • Stay calm!
  • Decide to help
  • Determine if the scene is safe to enter
  • Obtain consent from the victim
    • Consent is implied if the victim is unconscious
  • Recognize the emergency
    • Emergencies requiring 911 notification include, but are not limited to:
      • Unresponsiveness or change in mental status
      • Drowning, electrocution, poisoning, attempted suicide
      • Severe bleeding, severe burns
      • Choking or breathing difficulties
      • Stroke, heart attack, seizures
      • Injuries from motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, falls, or any injury resulting in paralysis/spinal cord injury
  • Phone 911
    • Speak slowly and clearly
    • NEVER hang up the phone unless the dispatcher instructs you to do so
  • Follow the dispatcher-assisted instructions regarding CPR or first-aid interventions

For further information on CPR and first-aid skills, contact your local American Heart Association or the American Red Cross for class offerings.

Contributed by:
Debra L. Loop R.N., B.S.N., M.S.N.
Assistant Professor of Nursing (Clinical Track), Messiah College Certified by the American Heart Association as a BLS—Basic Life Support; ACLS—Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support; PALS—Pediatric Advanced Life Support; FA—First Aid instructor

Source consulted:
American Heart Association & National Safety Council. (1999). Heartsaver FACTS. Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.



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