ASSESSMENT. Assessing an injured person for bleeding must be done promptly, with first aid started immediately if there is active bleeding. All blood and body fluids must be regarded as potentially infectious, and protective barriers used.
INTERVENTION. Direct pressure should be applied to the hemorrhaging (bleeding) area by placing a clean pad or bandage over the site and pressing down with the palm of the hand. If bleeding persists, increase the amount of pressure to the area. If the person is awake and no latex gloves or other protective barriers are available, have him or her apply direct steady pressure to the hemorrhaging area. If the bleeding occurs on an arm or leg, elevate the bleeding part higher than the person's heart; this position will help decrease the amount of blood flow to the injured area. When a person is losing blood, body temperature tends to decrease. Maintaining body temperature is an essential first-aid intervention.
ASSESSMENT. Initial evaluation of a poison victim is done after the threat of exposure to the rescuer is determined. If noxious gas or fumes remain in the environment, the rescuer must first protect him-or herself and others. The rescuer must move the person to a secure environment as promptly as possible to start first aid.
INTERVENTION. The first and most important intervention is to call a poison control center and get instructions on how to proceed. Having information on the type of poison ingested, if possible, as well as reading the label over the phone or spelling out the active ingredients on the bottle, will help the poison control center in determining the appropriate interventions. The rescuer must never induce vomiting or give any substance unless directed by the poison control center.
Lori Ann Beck R.N., M.S.N., F.N.P.-C., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,