First Aid Certification Manual: Medical Emergencies

First Aid: Allergy Emergency
Allergic Reaction & Breathing Emergencies

Allergic reactions are common. Allergic reactions can be caused by stings, bites, food, injections and more. Severe allergic reactions can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening acute response to an allergy. An allergic reaction can also trigger a breathing emergency such as an asthma attack. Many asthmatics carry an inhaler to help treat a potential breathing emergency.

Common Symptoms:  Rash, Hives, Itching or tingling in the mouth or skin, Swelling of face/tongue, Wheezing, Headaches, Fever, Muscle spams

First Aid Steps:

1. Ensure scene safety

2. Dial 911

3. Use an epinephrine pen if available (usage directions are on the packaging)

4. If a breathing emergency starts, loosen tight clothing around the neck and ask if the victim needs any medication (ie: inhaler)

5. Perform CPR if necessary

First Aid: Heart Attack
Heart Attack Emergency

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is an incident that occurs when the heart stops beating abruptly and without warning.

Common Symptoms:  Pressure or tightness in the chest and arms, Radiating pain from the chest to either arm or the jaw, Shortness of breath, Cold sweats, Fatigue, Dizziness

First Aid Steps:

1. Ensure scene safety

2. Dial 911

3. Give 1 regular (or 2 low-dose) Aspirin if the victim is not allergic or bleeding (visibly bleeding or showing stroke symptoms)

4. Perform CPR if necessary 

First Aid: Poison Emergency
Poison Emergency

Poison is a substance that may induce illness or death when introduced or absorbed. Poison can be introduced by swallowing, injection or inhalation. Absorption can happen through the skin or mucous membrane.

Common Symptoms:  Smell of chemicals on the person or breath, Dizziness, Redness around the nose or lips, Skin changes colors, Hallucination

First Aid Steps:

1. Ensure scene safety

2. Dial 911 if necessary

3. Get PPE and First Aid Kit

4. Remove poison if visible (poison ivy leaves, etc.)

5. Move the victim from the area of contamination 

6. Remove contaminated clothing and rinse affected area for 15-20 minutes with water

7. Perform CPR if necessary 

First Aid: Seizure Emergency
Seizure Emergency

A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. Seizures can be caused by head injury, disease, low blood sugar and medications.

Common Symptoms: Convulsions, Uncontrollable shaking, Loss of motor control

First Aid Steps:

1. Ensure scene safety

2. Dial 911

3. Help the victim from injuring themselves by moving objects that could cause injury and placing a soft object like a pillow under their head

4. Perform CPR if necessary