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First Aid Tips

Please note that the source for these first aid instructions is The American Red Cross and different signs, symptoms, and their causes may dictate variation in the appropriate treatment. When in doubt, always call 911 first and the Fire and EMS call taker is prepared to give you instructions over the phone until we arrive at your emergency.

First Aid at a Glance

Ailment Signs and Symptoms First Aid
POISON Symptoms vary greatly. Aids to determine whether poison was swallowed:
  • Information from victim or observer
  • Presence of poison container
  • Condition of victim (sudden onset of pain or illness)
  • Burns around lips
  • Breath odor
  • Pupil contracted to pinpoint size
All VICTIMS CALL 911 Save label or container for I.D.
CONSCIOUS VICTIMS Dilute the poison with milk or water Do not neutralize with counteragents Do not give oils
UNCONSCIOUS VICTIMS Maintain open airway (victim on side) Give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or CPR if necessary Do not give fluids, do not induce vomiting
CONVULSIONS Do not restrain victim Loosen tight clothing Watch for airway obstruction Do not give fluids Do not induce vomiting
  • Skin pale (or bluish), cold to touch; possibly moist or clammy
  • Victim weak
  • Rapid pulse (over 100)
  • Rate of breathing usually increases; may be shallow or deep and irregular
CALL 911 Keep victim lying down. Cover him only enough to keep him from losing body heat
  • Pain and tenderness
  • May have difficulty moving injured part
  • Obvious deformities - swelling and discoloration
CALL 911 Keep broken bone end and adjacent joints from moving, and give care for shock.
  • Acute pain in chest, upper abdomen, or down left arm
  • Extreme shortness of breath
CALL 911 Place victim in a comfortable position, usually sitting up. If not breathing, give rescue breathing. DO NOT give liquids to unconscious victims.
  • Unresponsiveness
CALL 911 Keep victim warm and lying down, head turned to the side. If breathing stops, give rescue breathing. Never give an unconscious person food or liquids.


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