Editorial: When emergency is emergency

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Friday, May 9, 2014


YESTERDAY, Sun.Star Davao employees underwent the first session of a series of workshops by 911 personnel on how to respond to emergency situations.

Two things shortly disrupted the workshop: first was the 5.7-magnitude earthquake that shook Davao Region, and second was when the transformer of a nearby electrical post sparked on Jacinto Street.

Did we call 911? There was no need as we felt safe with the presence of 911 personnel giving us a crash course on emergency situations. Then again, we were not in a situation the required emergency services.

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What if these two were major incidents that called for the help of 911 personnel? How about in other emergency situations, how one would know if it's life threatening?

A fractured arm isn't life threatening and neither is an amputated finger.

Remember the ABC's: Airway, breathing, and circulation. If one thinks there's anything wrong with these three, that is when to call 911, or, if the victim sustained a fractured spinal cord, in an accident.

When you know the basics of basic first aid, the basic rule is not new, which is to ask for consent from the patient before administering first aid.

Consent may come in different forms. Among them include expressed consent, minor consent, and implied consent. Never touch the patient if they have not yet given their consent yet, not unless they are unable to speak or is unconscious. In situations like this, it is assumed the patient has given the consent, spoken or not.

Look, smell, and listen. In true emergency situation, it is best to use senses to assess hazards.

In handling a victim, be careful, as even little mishandling may result in sudden death and nobody wants to have it on their conscience if anything wrong happens to the patient.

In the case of the 911 team, when resuscitation begins, it is a standard protocol to never leave the victim behind, as it is an abandonment of duty. By the way, the legal duty to act begins when you touch the patient.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 10, 2014.

Opinion

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