A person’s condition can change while you are waiting for EMS personnel to arrive.
Do the following to provide continual care.
- Have the person rest.
- Help the person maintain a normal body temperature.
- Monitor the person’s condition and ABCs.
- Move the person into the recovery position, if necessary.
- Give comfort and reassurance to the person.
Helping the person stay calm has physiological benefits, such as decreasing the heart rate, reducing pain, slowing and deepening breathing, stabilizing blood pressure, and relaxing the body’s muscles.
To help a person calm down and control his or her breathing
- Encourage the person to maintain eye contact with you.
- Have the person breathe in through his or her nose while you raise your arm and count to five. Breathe with the person.
- Have the person breathe out through his or her mouth, making an audible sound, while you slowly lower your arm and count to ten.
- Repeat 3 to 5 times, providing encouragement in a calm voice.
Should You Transport an Ill or Injured Person to the Hospital?
You may decide to take the ill or injured person to a hospital, urgent care clinic, doctor’s office, or community first aid station if:
- The person is a friend or family member.
- The person’s injuries are minor and non-life-threatening.
- There is no risk of the person’s condition getting worse.
- There is no risk of the person experiencing an altered level of responsiveness.
If you decide it is safe to transport the person yourself, take someone else with you, if possible, to help keep the ill or injured person comfortable and to watch for any changes in his or her condition. This will let you focus on driving safely. Remember to obey traffic laws. No one will benefit if you are involved in a motor vehicle collision or get a speeding ticket on your way to the medical facility.
Never let an ill or injured person drive a motor vehicle for any reason. Driving is a high-risk activity that requires concentration, so getting behind the wheel while ill or injured is extremely dangerous. Even a person whose condition is mild could get worse while he or she is driving, and his or her ability to safely operate the vehicle could easily be compromised. Remember that it is not only the health and safety of the driver that is at stake but that of everyone else on and near the road.