You often won’t see an emergency coming, so knowing how to handle one is not only important, but it can also greatly influence the outcome of the situation. Here are seven secrets to handling an emergency situation successfully:
- Know when to call 911. Call immediately if you or the person you’re helping is experiencing chest pain, difficulty breathing, severe bleeding, sudden weakness or numbness, or if you believe that you have a medical emergency on your hands.
- Have healthcare insurance cards handy, and be sure that you have an understanding about your coverage and responsibilities.
- Keep a first-aid kit both at home and in your car. When stocking the kit, consider burns, cuts, fever, bleeding, accidental poisoning, food poisoning and other conditions. Include antibiotic ointment, bandages, gauze, instant ice packs, scissors, tweezers, saline solution, a thermometer, anti-diarrhea medication, pain reliever, a first-aid instruction manual and other basic supplies.
- Post a list of contact information for doctors, poison control, fire department, hospitals and other medical facilities. When compiling the list, consider local hospitals that offer a trauma center.
- Create a family plan, and practice executing it. In case of a fire or other emergency, know how family members will exit the home and where they will meet. Review the plan occasionally to be sure everyone can recall the details, and test it by pretending to be in an emergency situation and actually putting the plan into motion.
- Become CPR certified and take a refresher course when necessary.
- Understand the value of a trauma center. While basic first aid skills are important when handling an emergency, skilled emergency personnel at a trauma center with access to the latest treatment options can significantly increase the chances of a positive outcome.
Denton Regional Medical Center, the only designated trauma center in our area, is committed to providing quality emergency care to the community. For more information about the emergency care services we provide, please visit our website or contact us online.
First Aid and Safety (KidsHealth.org)
Preparedness Information When It’s Needed Most (American Red Cross)