First, you should assess the scene for danger. You cannot help anyone if you are injured.
Make the area safe
Ensure it's safe to treat the casualties at the site. For example, at the site of a road accident you need to stop the flow of traffic.
Assess the situation
- Look out for any continuing danger, to yourself and others
- Make a first assessment of the casualties - is anybody in immediate danger?
- Is there anybody to help you?
- Do you need to call the emergency services?
Quiet casualties should always be your first priority
quiet casualty may be an indication that the person is unconscious. Quiet casualties should always be your first priority.
A casualty who is bleeding heavily or is obviously in pain is upsetting, but a quiet casualty could be in the most serious condition and you should always attend to them first.
Check casualties using this list:
- Response: is the casualty conscious?
- Airway: can the casualty breathe normally?
- Breathing: is the casualty breathing normally?
Ask others to help you to:
- Make the area safe
- Call for help
- Maintain dignity of casualties, for example by screening them from view
- Administer general help in supporting limbs, offering reassurance and so on
During a cardiac arrest, the heart continues to beat but in an uncoordinated way. This means it no longer pumps blood to the brain and other key organs effectively.
Delivering an electronic shock to the heart can restore a normal rhythm.
You should only use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) if you've been trained to use one and can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The AED is attached to the person's chest using adhesive pads. It analyses the casualty's heart rhythm automatically and advises the operator on whether an electronic shock is required.
The shock is delivered by pressing a button on the AED.
- Call 999
- Continue with CPR while the AED is prepared and the adhesive pads are attached
- The AED will give a series of visual and verbal prompts as soon as it's switched on
- Follow the prompts until the emergency services arrive and take over
If the casualty starts breathing normally, place them in the recovery position.
Leave the AED attached.