Do you know what to do in a medical emergency?
Life is unpredictable and a medical emergency can happen at any time or place- at work, at the shops, at home. And knowing what to do can save a life. Here are some quick tips to help you out in case of an emergency.
Keep yourself safe
If you are helping someone else first check for danger. Ensure you’re at no risk from speeding cars, fire, loose electrical wires and so on. You can’t help anyone if you get hurt yourself.
Ask someone to call Discovery 911 for help at 0860 999 911 or call yourself, if you are alone. Discovery 911 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive emergency calls. The line is managed by highly qualified emergency personnel, who will assess each case and provide immediate feedback and assistance.
If you need medical advice, you can contact the Medical Advice Line, which provides 24-hour health advice and counselling care. The Netcare 911 team can provide you with emergency medical advice, ambulance dispatch, a link to the poison centre and general health information.
Don’t Move an injured person
Never move an injured person unless not moving them would put their life in danger (for example in a fire). Moving a person with spinal injuries may result in further injury and even cause paralysis or death.
Listen to the operator
Follow the instructions from the Discovery 911 operator and stay with the person until help arrives. If the person is conscious, make them comfortable and keep them warm. Unless the operator says otherwise, don’t let the person eat or drink until help arrives.
Should you perform CPR?
If untrained, you can still assist in a cardiac emergency by performing compression-only CPR. This involves using the method of “push hard and push fast” using the palms of both hands placed at the centre of the chest, between the nipples. The quality of the chest compressions delivered is very important. Compressions should be given at a rate of 100-120 per minute at a depth of 5-6cm.
If you are in a medical emergency
If you are alone and become seriously unwell, you can use the ‘Emergency assist’ button on the Discovery app to call for help without logging in first. You will be contacted immediately and, if there is no response, Discovery will use GPS to track you (so make sure your GPS is on), and send an emergency vehicle to your location. The app is available for Android and Apple smartphones.
If you don’t have a smartphone, call Discovery 911, operated by Netcare 911, on 0860 999 911 for help.
October 11, 2016
Grant van Zyl
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