Simple & Easy – Emergency Preparedness
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LDS Emergency Resources – First Aid Actions pt4

LDS - First Aid Actions

The next thing we want to do is we want to check for serious bleeding. Wherever serious bleeding occurs, there is a very simple way of stopping serious bleeding. That is called direct pressure. Your hand, the wound, direct pressure – better yet, your left hand, the wound, direct pressure. Better than that – a bandage, your hand and the wound, applying direct pressure to the wound. We used to have in the old days pressure blinds and those things – we don’t teach that anymore cause most wounds can simply be stopped by simply applying direct pressure to the wound.

Then we want to, if we have to leave that person to go to somebody else, we want to apply a pressure bandage. That bandage is any kind of bandage that you can find. If you can’t find one – what would you use if you can’t find a bandage in your first aid kits? A shirt! Who’s shirt? The victim’s shirt! Right. I already got one shirt, if I start taking parts off it, I’m gonna be out of a shirt. Every victim should have their own piece of clothing that you can use; besides, they’re already bleeding out of themselves. Tie it up nice and tight, not as tight as you can but nice and firm, to try and hold that pressure on that wound.

Now we want to make sure it’s tight, but not too tight. So how do we find out if it’s too tight? It’s called a blanche test or 2-4 test. In other words, you grab the finger and the fingernail and pitch it. Hold it for 2 seconds and in less than 4 seconds, the blood should return to that extremity. So if I were to bandage my arm or your arm, then I would pinch my finger, hold it for 2 seconds and it should refill in less than 4 seconds. If it does, then it’s not too tight. How do we know if a bandage is doing its job? Well, the bleeding will stop or radically diminish.

So after we take care of that, then we want to treat the patients for shock. There are lots of indications for shock: usually dizziness, nausea, vomiting, pale color – any of those are indications of shock. You don’t actually have to be injured to be in shock. You can just witness something horrible and be in shock or just traumatic events around you can put you in shock. There are lots of indications: the good news is it’s very easy to treat for shock. We simply maintain the person’s body temperature and elevate their feet 6-12 inches.

First thing you want to do is wrap somebody up. That’s okay if it’s cool. If it’s 110 degrees outside, we certainly don’t want to wrap them up because then they’ll be a baked potato and then we’ll have other problems. So we want to maintain their body temperature. If it’s hot outside, we want to cool them off, if it’s cool outside, we want to warm them up – maintain their body temperature and elevate their feet. By simply elevating your feet, you’re allowing gravity to help push that blood down from the legs, back into their head and that will keep them from having some serious ill effects from shock.

The next item in the medical unit paper I’ll share with you – and for those of you who are watching this online, you can go to the website Under there we have a whole section on the medical unit that you can look up and download for yourself. It shows the flow points of the search and rescue and how the medical teams should tend to go and where you should put people. Not necessarily where, but how to keep them separated. One of things we need to know is setting up a triage site. As we want to make sure the triage site is in a safe area – for example, should we have an earthquake, I’m not gonna set the triage in this room. Aftershocks might cause the roof to start collapsing. And so, I want to get everybody outside, even if it’s bad weather, maybe under the portico or some other temporary shelter or something – inside might not be a good idea.

Let’s say you’re in an office building and there was some kind of chemical leak in the building. We certainly don’t want to have our triage and where we’re gonna be treating people inside the building if that’s what might be affecting the area. Or if there was a fire, we want to make sure we’re well away from the people from search and rescue who are fighting the fire and be off, away so we can be treating people in a safe manner. We also want to make sure that it’s accessible for transportation vehicles. It’ll be really a sad thing to set it up and we have 4-5 people who need further assistance and an ambulance comes by and we have to pick up and move them 300 yards because the ambulance couldn’t come in. So we want to make sure that we put them in a place where transportation is easily accessible.

Conversely, we also don’t want them in the middle of a road. We want to make sure that if there are people coming and going from wherever activity is going on, that’s it’s far enough out of the way that it’s not affected by car traffic or those kind of things. Cause those people who are going to be treated will be laying down on the ground. We don’t want to lay on the ground and risk not being seen by cars, especially in an emergency. So all of the things will help out.

In the medical treatment area, they need verbal communication between the workers and the area. One of the most important things, in fact I was just talking to my son-in-law, who’s studying to become a doctor, he said one of the most important things that doctors often forget is talking in front of the patients or in front of the patient’s relatives. So make sure if you’re talking about the status of a patient with other people, make sure who hears. Be careful how you communicate with the others that you need to communicate with and try to be as cautious and sensitive about the people you’re dealing with as well.

And the last thing I wanted to talk about was, if you’re doing the triage and you have the immediate needs, the delayed needs and the last one was dead. You obviously are going to have to or may have to deal with dead bodies and create a morgue of some sort. We want to be as respectful as possible to those people: they have families, they have friends and they will be desired to be found so we want to set up a morgue in such a way that, let’s say, we don’t know who these people are. Finding out who they are, writing something on themselves, their hands or whatever, who they are so that if somebody comes looking for somebody, we know who they are and be respectful that way.

We also don’t want to just pile people up in a corner. I don’t want to go looking for one of my expired relatives in a pile in a corner like dog food. Be respectful – lay them out properly, cover them if you can and try to keep the interaction in that area as minimal as possible. It would be best to have just one person in charge of it and that person was the only person who was going to that area so to be as respectful as we could towards the dead and the living who might come looking for the dead.

I know that in a very short period of time we covered a lot of information about emergency first aid and first aid kits. I hope that the information that I passed out to you will give you a basic, primordial idea. There’s a lot more information to be learned on my website, on all of the subjects. And this little pamphlet that I got from the medical unit, I think this is 5 pages, there’s a 15 page that spells out this in a lot greater detail on the website as well.


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