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American Red Cross RED CROSS EMERGENCY HANDBOOK

HOW TO COPE WITH....

Accidents, Injuries, and Sudden Illness
Choking
Fire, Flood, and Earthquake
Water Rescue
Family Problems Caused by Military Service

Emergency Telephone Numbers:
Fire            ___________________________
Police          ___________________________
Doctor          ___________________________
Ambulance       ___________________________
Poison Control  ___________________________
Red Cross       ___________________________ 

WOUNDS

  1. Control bleeding.
    a. Apply direct pressure on wound with a sterile dressing (if available).
    b. Elevate injured area above the heart if possible.
    c. Apply pressure to supplying blood vessel if direct pressure is not successful.
  2. Secure dry, sterile dressings with bandages.
  3. Cleanse minor injuries thoroughly with plain soap and water (clean your hands first).
  4. If evidence of infection appears, see a doctor.

FRACTURES

  1. Do not move the victim.
  2. Keep the broken bone ends and adjacent joints from moving.
  3. If an open wound is present, control the bleeding (see wounds).
  4. Apply splints.

SHOCK

  1. Keep victim lying down.
  2. Cover him only enough to keep him from losing body heat.
  3. Obtain medical help as soon as possible.

IN CASE OF A SERIOUS ACCIDENT:

  1. RESCUE: Do not move victim unless further danger is imminent.
  2. CHECK BREATHING: If not breathing, give artificial respiration.
  3. CONTROL SEVERE BLEEDING: Use direct pressure and elevate
  4. DILUTE POISONS: With milk or water
  5. TREAT FOR SHOCK
  6. CALL FOR HELP
    GIVE THIS INFORMATION:

L - Location of emergency (address and phone number)

I - Injury (number and type)

F - First aid given

E - Equipment needed or available


POISONING

  1. Dilute with milk or water (except for an unconscious person)
  2. Call poison information center
  3. If breathing stops, use artificial respiration
  4. Save label of poison container and/or save sample of vomitus if victim regurgitates
  5. Transport to hospital emergency room

BURNS

  1. To relieve pain and prevent contamination
    a. Submerge small minor burns in cold water (do not use ice)
    b. Apply sterile dressings to large extensive burns (do not apply grease or ointment)
  2. Treat for shock
  3. Seek medical assistance

STOPPAGE OF BREATHING

  1. Give artificial respiration - Mouth to mouth method
    a) Tip victim's head back, chin pointing up
    b) Look, listen and feel for breathing
    c) If not breathing, close victim's nostrils by pinching shut
    d) Make a tight seal over victim's mouth with your mouth
    e) Inflate victim's lungs with 2 full slow breaths
    f) Watch victim's chest fall while listening for air return between breaths
    g) Check for the pulse at the side of the neck for 5 seconds. If there is no pulse and there is no breathing, begin CPR if you have been trained
    h) If victim has a pulse, but is not breathing, give artificial respiration
    i) Breathe for adults once every 5 seconds; for children, once every 4 seconds; for infants, once every 3 seconds
    j) Recheck for spontaneous breathing every few minutes
  2. Call an ambulance

HEART ATTACK

Symptoms: Chest pains, difficulty breathing, nausea, sweating, weak rapid pulse. If you suspect a person has suffered a heart attack, search for an identification card or bracelet for additional steps or doctor's telephone number. Question eye witnesses about what has occurred.

First Aid

  1. Place the victim in a comfortable position
  2. Raise his head and chest if breathing is difficult
  3. If breathing stops, apply artificial respiration
  4. Get medical aid fast -- physician or person trained in CPR
  5. If pulse becomes absent, give CPR if trained.
    a. Tip head to open airway. Look, listen, feel for breathing
    b. Restore breathing. Give mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration
    c. Restore circulation. Check carotid pulse. If absent, apply external cardiac compression on the victim's breast bone.

Single Rescuer: 15 chest compressions at 80-100 per minute, alternate with 2 slow full lung inflations, then repeat 15 compressions.

Two Rescuers: 5 compressions at 90-100 per minute. Give 1 breath every 5th compression. Repeat at 5:1 ratio.


SIMPLE FAINTING

  1. Keep victim lying down with feet elevated until recovery is complete.
  2. Bathe face down gently with cool water. Do not pour water over victim.
  3. Loosen tight clothing. Keep crowds away.

HEAT EXHAUSTION

  1. Provide rest, with feet elevated 8-12 inches.
  2. Apply cool, wet cloths or rubbing alcohol to the victim.
  3. Give sips of cool water, 1/2 glass every 15 minutes for 1 hour.
  4. Loosen clothing.
  5. Fan victim.
  6. Victim should do no work for several days.

FROSTBITE

  1. Protect the frozen area from further injury.
  2. Cover the frozen area with clothing or blankets.
  3. Do not rub frozen part since this may cause tissue death.
  4. Immerse chilled part in warm water (102 - 108 degrees) as soon as possible.
  5. If thawed and refrozen, immerse chilled part in room temperature water (70-74 degrees).
  6. Do not use heat lamp, hot water bottle, or stove to warm the frostbitten area.
  7. Discontinue warming the victim as soon as the affected part becomes flush.
  8. If fingers or toes are involved, place dry sterile gauze between them to keep them separated.
  9. If medical help is not available for 1 hour or more, give victim (conscious victims only) a weak solution of salt and soda at home or enroute: 1 level teaspoon of salt and 1/2 level teaspoon of baking soda to each quart of water, neither hot or cold. Give about 4 ounces of 1/2 glass every 15 minutes (adults).

...take a Red Cross course


WATER RESCUE

You can help...even if you can't swim.

When a bather is in trouble near a dock, float, or side of pool, your number one priority is to stay on the dock.

  1. Extend upper body over water, making sure you have a firm foothold
  2. Grasp victim's wrists
  3. Slowly draw victim to safety

Or....

  1. Extend a pole, towel, shirt, or branch to victim
  2. Draw victim to safety -- don't let victim pull you into water!

Or....

Use buoy or other floatation device attached to rope. Stand one on end of rope, throw float beyond victim and slowly pull it into victim's grasp.

In a boat, on a beach, in shallow water...think first. Use oar or paddle...or a piece of wood.

Don't....

Let the victim pull you in over your head, or there may be two victims.

Attempt a swimming rescue unless you are a trained lifesaver.


HOME SAFETY TIPS

  • Keep stove and sink areas well lighted.
  • Turn pot handles away from front of stove but not over another burner.
  • Wipe up spilled grease or fluids immediately.
  • Cut away from you when using a knife, and keep knives in rack or drawer compartment.
  • Dry hands before using electrical appliances and never use such appliance while in bathtub.
  • Use a stepstool to reach high cupboards.
  • Have cracked or frayed electrical cords replaced by a qualified electrician.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing around fire and don't use hairsprays near a flame or while smoking.
  • Screen fireplaces.
  • Use large, deep ashtrays and never smoke in bed or when you're likely to doze off.
  • Keep insecticides, disinfectants, household cleaners, and medicines in original, clearly labeled containers and out of reach of children.
  • Keep list of emergency telephone numbers --doctor, police, fire, utilities, ambulance service, rescue squad, poison control center -- near telephone.
  • Keep walking areas and door entries clear of obstructions and tripping hazards. Have non-skid backing on small rugs and keep such rugs away from heads of stairs. Keep heavy traffic areas well lighted.
  • Avoid carrying loads that block your vision.
  • Keep stairs clear of toys and other stumbling blocks, and keep them well lighted at top and bottom. Keep treads and carpeting in good repair.
  • Have sturdy handrails, indoors and on porches, and sturdy banisters on open stairs and stairwells.
  • Equip tubs and showers with nonskid mats or textured surfaces and sturdy handbars, and keep nonskid bathrugs in front of tubs and showers.
  • Keep night lights in bathrooms for elderly persons and children.
  • Clean up floor spills and debris quickly.

WHAT TO DO:

FIRE

Fire is the most common disaster affecting Southern Californians. Each year, thousands of our neighbors are left homeless by fires which may affect only one home or hundreds. The Southland is especially plagued by devastating brush fires which sometimes rage unchecked for days.

You should check with your home and place of business regularly, following the fire department's suggestions for fire prevention.

If fire does occur, you should know what to do, how to escape, how to safeguard your family, yourself and your co-workers.

Have a plan. Make sure you know how to get out in case of fire -- and what to do if your planned exit is blocked by flames. Every person should know the plan.

Don't panic. Having a plan guards against panic.

Call the fire department. Don't try to fight the fire yourself. Make sure everyone knows how to call the fire department.

Don't use elevators. In a high-rise apartment or office building, use stairways or fire escapes. Fire could burn through electrical wiring and leave you trapped in an elevator.

Close doors. A closed door will hold back the fire and keep out poisonous smoke until the fire department can rescue you.

Feel for heat. Don't open any door until you have felt it, especially near the top, for heat. If it's hot, don't open it.

Find good air. If you cannot escape, stay near the floor, where the air is better. If all doors are closed, open a window for air. If possible, stuff wet rags around doors to hold back smoke and heat.

Signal for help. If you are trapped, signal with a flashlight or light-colored sheet or towel.

Get together. As part of your plan, have a spot outside where your family will assemble. Count them.

Stay out. Do not, for any reason, go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, tell the fire fighters.

ABOVE ALL, DON'T PANIC

The fire department is only minutes away.


EARTHQUAKE

The actual movement of the ground in an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death and injury. Most casualties result from falling objects and debris. Earthquakes also may trigger landslides and generate huge ocean waves, each of which can cause great damage. There are many actions which you can take to reduce the dangers to yourself, your family, and others.

Before an Earthquake Occurs....

  1. Check your home for hazards.
  2. Hold family earthquake drills and plan for reunification.
  3. Teach responsible family members how to turn off utilities at main switches and valves.
  4. Take first aid training.
  5. Keep immunizations and medications up to date.
  6. Gather together supplies and medications which will allow your family to survive for at least 72 hours (food, water, clothing).

During an Earthquake....

  1. Stay calm.
  2. Inside, stand in a doorway or crouch under a desk or table, away from windows. Watch for falling objects.
  3. Outdoors, stand away from buildings, trees, telephone, and electrical lines.
  4. On the road, drive away from underpasses/overpasses. Stop in safe area. Stay in vehicle.

After an Earthquake...

  1. Check for injuries. Provide first aid.
  2. Check for gas, water, sewage breaks and for downed electrical lines and shorts. Turn off appropriate utilities. Check for building damage and potential safety problems.
  3. Wear shoes.
  4. Clean up dangerous spills.
  5. Turn on radio and listen for instructions from public safety agencies.
  6. Don't use the telephone except for emergencies.

FLOOD

When rising water threatens your home, move everything you can to the upper floors or to a place of safety on high ground. The Red Cross will help you if there is time. Make arrangements to move your family to a safe place if leaving your home is ordered by the authorities or the water seems to be headed for your house. If you have no place to go, there will be Red Cross shelters. Disconnect electrical appliances and move small appliances and motors in large ones to safety. Turn off the main electrical switch and cover the electrical outlets with tape before leaving. Take with you important papers, eyeglasses, false teeth, prescription medicines -- things you may need while you are out of your house. If the water is rising rapidly during or after heavy rains, don't wait to make preparations. Move your family to high ground immediately. Flash floods will rise faster than you think and cut off your escape. If you are driving in a flood area and your car is stalled by rising water, leave it immediately and wade back to high ground. Make everybody get out at the same time, before the water gets too deep. IF you are trapped in a car that goes under water, you can get out of the submerged vehicle by opening a window or door and swimming to safety. While you're preparing to get out, move to the back part of the car to breathe any air that is trapped there.

When a flood is over, don't return home unless authorities say it is safe. Don't drink the water from a faucet unless it is announced that it is all right to do so. Don' turn on any electrical appliances until they have been checked. If you smell escaping gas, report it immediately. And don't use any food that has spoiled in a freezer or refrigerator if the power was off for a period of time.


TORNADO

When a tornado approaches, your immediate action may mean life or death!

Seek inside shelter...stay away from windows...Keep your transistor radio tuned for the latest information.

At home -- The basement is best, under a heavy table or workbench. If you have no basement, stay under heavy furniture in the center part of house. Keep windows open, but stay away from them.

Mobile home -- Get out! Find shelter in a sturdy building nearby.

Office building --Interior hallway on a lower floor or preferably in the basement.

Factory -- Have a plan to move workers out of areas with wide unsupported roofs. Move to areas where there are good walls, such as hallways, or restrooms.

School -- Move to interior hallways on the lowest floor. Avoid gymnasiums or other areas with a wide unsupported roof.

Open country -- Lie flat in ditch, ravine, or culvert.

Do not call the Weather Service except to report a tornado.


WINTER STORMS

Become independent. Check battery-powered equipment, heating fuel, food stock, and other supplies.

Dress for the season. Layers of protective clothing are more effective and efficient then single layers of thick clothing. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Hoods should cover mouth, to protect lungs from extremely cold air.

Don't exhaust yourself shoveling snow. It is extremely hard work and can bring on a heart attack, a major cause of death during and after winter storms.

Take winter driving serious. Keep you car "winterized". Carry a winter car kit containing equipment to help yourself keep warm, visible, and alive if you are trapped in a winter storm.

If a blizzard traps you, avoid overexertion and exposure, stay in your vehicle (but keep it ventilated), exercise, turn on dome light at night, stand watches, and don't panic.

(Information from the Department of Commerce NOAA National Weather Service and American Red Cross.)


IF YOU ARE A DISASTER VICTIM

If a fire, flood, earthquake or any other kind of disaster leaves you and your family in need of emergency food, clothing or shelter, call you nearest Red Cross chapter. All Red cross disaster assistance is an outright gift made possible by voluntary contributions from the American people.


HELP FOR FAMILIES OR MILITARY PERSONNEL AND VETERANS

The Red Cross is the link between you and your family member in the armed forces wherever he or she may be stationed. If a member of your family is in military service, your Red Cross chapter can:

  • Help in sending messages about serious family illness and death, births, and other important matters.
  • Make reports to the military to help commanding officers make decisions about leave, transfer, and discharge in case of family emergencies.
  • Help in obtaining quarters, allotments, medical care, and other benefits.
  • Help in meeting basic emergency needs for housing, food, clothing, and medical care.
  • If a member of your family is a veteran of military service, the Red Cross can help veterans and their families or survivors by:
    a. Preparing and developing applications for federal and state benefits.
    b. Making reports to the Veterans Administration.
    c. Assisting with plans to meet financial needs.
    d. Assisting those seeking review and upgrading of discharges.

HOW RED CROSS CAN HELP YOU BE PREPARED...

Know what to do (and what not to do), and how to do it.

...Take a Red Cross course.

First Aid

Immediate emergency action you can take until medical help is there. Courses are offered in the community. Red Cross offices, schools, and in industrial plants and offices. Call your nearest Red Cross office for details.

CPR

A separate course is offered with practice in the special skills needed to perform effective cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

Aquatic Safety

Swimming, lifesaving, and small craft safety are taught at all levels by Red Cross-trained instructors.

Nursing and Health Courses

How to care for someone who is sick or injured, preparations for parenthood, food and nutrition, and other useful health information is available in many courses.

Disaster Training

Red Cross offers a variety of courses which will enable you to help yourself, your family, and your community when disaster strikes. A course on personal earthquake preparedness is also available.


HOW YOU CAN HELP KEEP THE RED CROSS READY...

Be a volunteer blood donor - Those persons at least 17 years of age, who are healthy and weigh at least 110 pounds, may help those who are sick and injured by donating blood at the nearest Red Cross blood donor facilities or bloodmobiles. Red Cross Blood Services in Los Angeles and Orange Counties operate 365 days a year to ensure an adequate blood supply in the 200 hospitals serving our communities. Call your nearest Red Cross chapter for an appointment to give blood.

Be a community service volunteer - Red Cross volunteers teach health and safety education courses; provide disaster relief services; counseling services to the military, veterans, and their families; and carry out other Red Cross services to the community as needed.

Be a financial supporter - Red Cross is supported by voluntary contributions from the American people through the annual United Way Campaign, special disaster fund appeals, membership, bequests, and other individual donations.


Stock #202-652; Form 934
American Red Cross
2700 Wilshire Blvd.
P.O. Box 57930
Los Angeles, CA 9005

 






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