Our Heartsaver First Aid course is jam packed with great information. If you haven't practiced your skills in a while, you need a refresher, or perhaps this is your first time attending this course, we put together this quick study guide just for you. If you have any questions about the material, please call us at 877-760-5600 or text us at 909-543-8768.
Heartsaver First Aid Study Guide
Gloves: Be sure to wear gloves before administering first aid to anyone.
Handwashing: Wash your hands with warm soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds before and after administering first aid. Hand sanitizer can be used in a pinch, but handwashing is the preferred safety measure.
Asthma: Help the person find a comfortable position, and loosen any tight clothing they may be wearing. Call 911, and assist them with their inhaler. Be patient with them--they are breathing through a hole the diameter of a drinking straw or worse, a coffee stir.
Allergic Reaction: Also known as anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction can happen when a person comes into contact with an irritant--it does not have to be ingested. Call 911, and assist the patient with their Epi pen if they have one.
Heart Attack: Men and women can have different signs and symptoms. For men, they typically have pain in their left arm, pain in the jaw, crushing pain in their chest like an elephant is sitting on them, they are out of breath, nauseous, and miserable. Woman can display the same signs and symptoms, but they can be the left or right arm, tearing pain in the middle of the back, abdominal pain, or they can have a "silent" heart attack. If a heart attack is suspected, call 911 immediately. Give them two Bayer aspirins for a total of 324 mg, and have them chew it up before they swallow it--do not wash down with fluids. If they have Nitroglycerin prescribed to them, help them with one spray under their tongue or one tablet under their tongue.
Stroke: These can be difficult to determine. If you have someone displaying a strange behavior that is out of the norm for them, run them through "BE FAST." B is for balance--are they walking straight or moving towards one side or the other? E is for eyeballs--hold your finger in front of them and have them hold their head still while you move your hand to the left and right. Can they follow their finger with just their eyeballs, or are their eyeballs fixed in one position? F is for face--does their face look symmertrical, or do you see it drooping on one side? A is for arms--have them hold their arms out straight, palms up, and close their eyes. Can they hold their arms for ten seconds, or does one arm drift? S is for speech and smile--are they speaking normal to you, or do you hear a slur? And have them smile real big so you can see all their teeth. Can you see all the teeth equally, or does one side slant down? T is for tongue and time--can they stick their tongue out like a six-year-old in school? And time, if they have even ONE of these problems, call 911 immediately! We have a very small window to reverse any permanent damage.....a very small window....so you are going to have to BE FAST!
Diabetes: Ideally we want to check a person's blood glucose (sugar) level so we know if they are high and low. If you have access to their glucometer, test their blood. We want them between 80-120 or not far off. If you aren't sure if it's high or low, call 911 and give them something to eat or drink--like orange juice, a piece of candy, a cookie, a sandwich. It's better before we arrive to have the sugar a little higher than it is too low.
Seizure: There are a few different types of seizures--ones where they stare into space and ones where they shake. If you think a seizure is occuring, call 911 immediately. Help them to the ground safely or onto a couch or bed. Move anything away from them that they may punch or hurt themselves with if they shake. When they are done moving, roll them into the Recovery position on their left side.
Amputation: If some type of body part comes off, call 911 immediately. Control the bleeding by applying pressure with your hand (and bandages, if needed)--a tourniquet is a last resort. Flush the amputated body part with water until it is clean, wrap it in dry gauze, and drop the amputated body part into a plastic bag. Place the bag near ice, but do not submerge it in the ice or you will risk death of the amputated piece due to hypothermia.
Bloody Nose: You can use anything to help stop a bloody nose: gauze, toilet paper, Kleenex, a rag, a shirt, a towel, whatever. Using the gauze (or other item you chose to absorb blood), place it near the bottom of the nose, pinch the nostrils, and have the patient lean forward. They may have to apply pressure in this position for up to ten minutes or longer. Do not have them lean backwards or they may swallow the blood which will cause nausea.
Cuts: Again, you can use anything to stop bleeding. Place an absorbing item over the cut and apply good, firm pressure. After a few minutes, lift your hand to see if they are still bleeding. If they are, apply more absorbing items and press harder. Do not lift up the items from the skin or you will dislodge any clots/scabs they were trying to create.
Broken Bones: If a bone is clearly broken or suspected to be, you will need to splint it into a position of comfort. Things that can be used to create a splint is cardboard, magazines, newspapers, file folders, stacks of paper, a placemat, two sticks, pens and things that are slender for broken fingers, etc. Use gauze to help keep the splint in place, or you can use tape, shoelaces, ribbon, etc.
Impalement: If something has been impaled into the body--scissors, knife, piece of fence, etc--DO NOT remove it! Stabilize it with gauze or any other item, and call 911 immediately.
Dental Avulsion: If a tooth is knocked out, rinse it and warp it in gauze,or put it in milk immediately. Do not touch it by the root! Some teeth can be re-implanted, so seek medical attention immediately.
Burns: Call 911 or get them to a shopital immediately. Do not remove the clothing as you may take off skin with it. Cover the burn with a moist cold cloth until help arrives.
Electroshock: Turn off the source of the electrical power. Call 911, and raise their legs to increase their blood pressure.
Bites & Stings: Bites range from minor to serious and even fatal. In the case of a bee sting (or other insect with a stinger), use the edge of a credit card or business card to scrape the stinger out of the skin. Do not squeeze the stinger as you will release the poison in the victim. Wash the area with soap and water. For bites from any type of animal, call 911.
Overdose: In the case of an overdose, roll the person onto their left side into Recovery position if you can do so safely. Call 911, and let them know what the overdose was caused by, if you know. You may need to start CPR. Please see our other Study Guides for that information.
Heart Stroke/Exhaustion: Move them to a cooler area, and remove their clothing. Place ice packs near the groin, armpits, and inside of the wrists. Fan them or spray them with cool water. Give them something to drink--avoid alcohol and caffeine, and make sure it isn't cold or this may cause stomach cramps. Call 911 if they become unresponsive.
Not all injuries are an emergency, and not all injuries require 911 to be called and/or require medical attention. Each situation will present differently. If you are not sure if it is an emergency or not, ALWAYS call 911. Medics will arrive and evaluate you and help you to determine the correct actions to take. We are here for you.