If you are certified in first aid, you already know that you should call the emergency line after checking for vitals and possibly performing a few rounds of CPR if you are on your own. But a lot of people who have not received first aid training may get tongue-tied with the stress and forget what to say to emergency responders. Here is a reminder of all the information you should give to the dispatchers to ensure that they can intervene as quickly as possible and bring all the necessary gear.
Speaking to Demirören News Agency (DHA) on the occasion of National First Aid Week in Turkey, academic at Altınbaş University's Vocational School of Health Services Özlem Demir underscored that giving correct information was the most important step in first aid.
Stating that 50% of fatalities in traffic accidents in Turkey occur within the first 30 minutes, Demir said first aid providers have a limited window to save a person's life.
“That is why it is of great importance to be quick and to intervene knowingly."
"Correct first aid should start with an evaluation of the scene of the emergency or accident, then you should take the necessary precautions and ensure security so that you and the victims are protected from further harm. You will be able to focus on the situation when you eliminate other risks. Only after that should you be calling 112 to inform them of the accident," she said.
112 is the 911 of Turkey, used more for ambulances and health emergencies. For the police, you should call 155 and 110 for the fire brigade.
The caller must first give their full name and phone number, tell the responders the exact location or address. Describing well-known places or facilities nearby that the ambulance can use as cues is also a good idea.
Subsequently, you should begin by describing what has happened. While describing the incident, you should give the number and status of the victims, and if you have applied first aid practices, you should explain in detail what you have done. For example, if you applied a tourniquet to a torn limb, you will be taught during your training that it is important to note down the time you have applied it on the victim. In a pinch, a marker or even lipstick could be used to write a time stamp on or near the affected limb.
One important point most people forget in the heat of the moment is shutting the phone before the dispatcher has not explicitly stated that it is ok for the responder to go back to the scene.
If the person is unconscious when you arrive at the scene, you should reach for the phone immediately.
Emphasizing the importance of receiving training from reputable sources and combining theory with practice, Demir said there were many health centers authorized by the Turkish Ministry of Health across Turkey offering weekend courses. Candidates who receive 16-hour hands-on training are entitled to a first-aid certificate if they pass their two-step exam.
Basic first aid practices, evaluating injuries, basic life support (bls), how to intervene in bleeding and injuries, attending to those injured in shock or a comatose state and emergency transportation techniques are some of the topics covered during the training.
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