Bill Harris – First Care Providers

Emergency Trauma Care

Another one of my favorite lessons from Prepper World Summit 4 was presented by Bill Harris. His training program, “First There, First Care™” empowers students to CARE™ for friends, family and community during those times when EMS may be delayed. FirstCareProvider.Org is a disabled veteran managed foundation created to improve our communities resilience to disaster. Their mission is to to raise awareness of the need for civilian response to emergency situations and create an integrated network of individuals and communities empowered to ensure that not another life is lost from a preventable cause of death as a result of trauma.

Did you know?

that the #1 cause of death in the US population, ages 1-44, is trauma? That traumas impact the US economy to the tune of $400 billion a year? That 20% of deaths from trauma may have been preventable? That thousands of lives can be saved each year by people who happen to be first on the scene of a trauma and know how to provide first care?

Call 911

So you witness an accident, AKA trauma, and you ask, “Can’t I just call 911?” The answer, of course, is “Yes, please do,” but, remember that it takes time for first responders to arrive. They may arrive within as soon as 7-8 minutes. The greatest preventable cause of death is bleeding. Bleeding injuries can be fatal in under 5 minutes. 75-90% deaths occur before the injured can reach a medical treatment facility. 90% of victims receiving medical care prior to the arrival of rescuers will survive. Knowing what to do will save lives.

There are four steps in responding to an emergency. The first letters make up the word RACE.

React, Activate, Care, Evacuate

React – learn what to do immediately – Run, hide or fight! Get to safety first and help others to safety. Then

Activate – the emergency response system by calling 911. Communicate with those around you. Coordinate with others on how to get injured to first responders. Before providing care evaluate: have you improved your situation? Are you in a safer position? Does the injured have signs of life? Now you’re ready to apply
Care™ – First wash your hands if able and put on gloves to protect yourself from blood borne illness.

C – control arterial bleeding. If you believe that victim will bleed to death apply direct pressure to the wound or apply a tourniquet immediately or pack the wound with gauze or hemostatic agent. Don’t put too much between you and the bleed, you want to be able to apply a good pressure on the bleeding spot. If victim loses 1 liter of blood, they may lose consciousness. Keep applying direct pressure for three minutes after applying a pressure dressing. Tourniquets will hurt when applied correctly. The casualty may ask you to stop tightening because it hurts. Don’t stop, you are saving their life. You shouldn’t be able to feel a pulse in an extremity beyond the tourniquet. Tourniquets don’t need to be used except in life threatening bleeds. It’s best advantage is time saved. Nerve damage starts after 2 hours.
A – airway – check for obstructions. The easiest way to determine obstructions is to talk to victim; if talking, airway is okay. If victim is unresponsive, never leave them on back; roll to side to keep airway open.
R – respirations – is the victim breathing? Air going in and out defines respirations. Check chest for signs of trauma. If they have an open wound on chest, abdomen or back, place vented chest seal to help them breathe. If a foreign body is showing in chest or abdomen, don’t pull it out! Stabilize foreign body to keep it from moving around. If victim has a traumatic amputation, add tourniquet to stop bleeding and recover part, bag and keep it with victim.
E – exposure/evacuation – a body, after suffering trauma, loses heat. Hypothermia is much easier to prevent than to treat. Need to begin actively rewarming – remove wet clothes; dry and cover with a blanket, insulate from a cold surface. Determine whether to wait for EMS or to go to them.Victim needs to get to next level of care soon, but with your help a life may have been saved.

Billie Nicholson, Editor
August 2017

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