Santé Montréal

First aid

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Description

When a person is injured, a quick response is crucial. First aid will have to be given until health professionals arrive on the scene. The first-aider is the first link in the chain of emergency care, which ends with the arrival of specialized emergency workers.

All workplaces should at least have

  • an emergency plan in case of accidents;
  • a first-aid kit;
  • basic information on what first aid measures to take; and
  • a list of emergency numbers prominently displayed for all to see.

Ideally, emergency first aid should:

  • provide an effective response to a life-threatening danger;
  • minimize the consequences of the incident; and
  • ensure the survival of the injured person(s).
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Symptoms

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When to Consult

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Complications

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Protection and prevention

Important things to remember

If a person

  • is bleeding heavily, apply pressure to the wound with a clean swab (not a tourniquet);
  • has fractured a bone, do not move the person;
  • is suffering from wounds, cuts or a contusion, lie the person down;
  • feels ill or loses consciousness, lie the person on his or her side, check for breathing and make sure that nothing is obstructing his or her air passages;
  • has been burned, rinse the burn with cool water for at least 20 minutes to lower the temperature of the burn.

Important: Protect yourself when helping others.

Any wounds on exposed skin (such as hands or arms) should be covered with a watertight bandage to prevent all contact with blood. 

Handwashing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infections.

  • If you have blood or blood-stained bodily fluids on your hands or any other skin surface, wash them as soon as possible with soap and water.
  • If you are unable to wash your hands right away, use an alcohol-based quick-drying antiseptic. Then wash your hands as soon as possible with soap and water.

Wear disposable medical-grade gloves: 

  • If you have to touch blood or blood-stained bodily fluids
  • If you handle blood-covered objects
  • If you clean blood-covered surfaces

Change gloves immediately if they are punctured or torn. Never re-use disposable gloves, even if they appear to be in good condition.
If you wear gloves, wash your hands as soon as you take them off.

And :

  • Use a "check valve" mask when providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Clean and disinfect blood-covered surfaces and objects: 
  • Mix one part bleach (5.25%) with 9 parts water. The bleach must always be used alone, that is, not mixed with another disinfectant or cleanser.
  • Always wear disposable gloves when cleaning. 
  • Remove blood or visible debris with a paper towel.
  • Then apply the bleach solution with a wet cloth or spray bottle.
  • Let the solution sit for at least 10 minutes. 
  • Rinse with lots of water and dry.
  • Clean your blood-stained clothing. Handle the soiled clothing as little as possible, and always with gloves. Carry the clothes in a plastic bag and wash them as usual with soap in your washing machine. 
  • Dispose of the waste safely: put all compresses, paper towels, gloves and rags in a plastic bag, seal it tightly, and put it in the garbage.
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Risk factors

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Help and Resources

  • Info-santé at 811 
  • In an emergency, dial 911. 
  • Poison Control Centre: 1-800-463-5060

More information :

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Treatment

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People at Risk

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Dernière mise à jour le : 2015.05.22