FIRST AID            wpe1.gif (1949 bytes)                 wpe1.gif (1467 bytes)      

A person who stops breathing can die in four to six minutes, so there may not be time to wait for the pros.  If there's no possibility of a back or neck injury, shake the victim and shout to find out if the person is conscious.  If there is no response, check for breathing by looking at chest movement and putting an ear to the victim's mouth and nose.

If the victim is not breathing:


Heavy bleeding can be life-threatening, so while waiting for help:

A tourniquet is a last resort - use only if bleeding won't stop and the victim is dying.

Remember: Use all three methods together as necessary.


Serious injury or illness can send a person into shock - which can be fatal. It is vital to get help and, while waiting:

Anaphylactic shock is a severe - potentially deadly - allergic reaction to certain foods or an insect bite or sting. Symptoms include hives, weakness, and a swollen throat that could cause choking.

This is a real emergency, requiring immediate professional help. The victim may also need artificial respiration.


Moving someone with a neck or back injury could cause paralysis or even death. When bones are, or may be broken, keep the victim calm and still until help arrives.

If a limb is amputated, place it in a plastic bag inside a bag of ice, and rush it to the hospital with the victim.


Heart attacks can strike at any age, so everyone should know the symptoms:

Help a heart attack victim sit or lie down. Loosen tight clothing at the waist and neck and provide oxygen. Do not allow the victim to move around or take any stimulants. Ask if the person has heart medication and get it if requested.


A stroke is always very serious, and requires fast medical attention. A stroke victim may be unconscious or breathing heavily. Common symptoms include an inability to speak and apparent weakness in the face or limbs on one side of the body.

This is another condition that requires medical aid. The victim should be covered with a light blanket. Do not provide any stimulants, food, or drink.


Knowing how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver can help save a choking victim’s life. Ask the person: "Are you choking?"  If he or she cannot talk and indicates yes, follow this procedure:

If the person is coughing and can talk, let them try to dislodge the object on their own. Do not leave a person alone who is trying to clear their throat or is weakly coughing.

If the Heimlich maneuver does not work and the victim is unconscious, you can either:


prompt, calm, correct actions in an emergency may save a life.  Get medical help immediately.  Then check for breathing.  And if you are not sure what to do next, wait for trained experts to come and take charge.

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia • 600 South Forty-third Street • Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495 • phone: 215-596-8800 • email: