Table of Contents
VI. Training and Preparatory Activities

First aid is the immediate care of someone who has become suddenly ill or is injured. The intention is to relieve pain until medical attention arrives. As the first aid attendant, you act as the first line of defense against possible death or further injury. It is important that you remember the objectives of first aid; first, to control conditions that may endanger life; second, to prevent further injury from occurring; third, to relieve pain, prevent contamination and treat for shock; and finally, to make the injured or ill as comfortable as possible.

The first person on the scene of an accident or sudden illness must set the emotional stage for both the patient and other arriving responders. It is important that you react quickly while remaining calm and reassuring. The first person on the scene should immediately specify one person to summon help; if no other people are in the area, the first responder must leave long enough to call for assistance. Unless the injured is at risk from the environment (chemical spill or release, fire, etc.), he or she should not be moved. All laboratory workers are highly encouraged to obtain CPR and first aid training. In no way can the general description presented in this document cover all the topics or options that should be learned in a bona fide first aid course.

1) Medical Emergency Arising from a Chemical Exposure

The information that follows is so urgent that it is repeated from the previous section, "Chemical Release: If a Co-Worker is Exposed to a Hazardous Chemical". All chemical exposures should be viewed as significant and every precaution taken to guard against these exposures.

a. Initial response and decontamination

a) Give the location of the emergency- Building 484. Specify the Wing, if known
b) Give the extent and nature of injury, if known.
c) Give any details that may be important in a rescue situation - what chemicals are involved, are there toxic fumes involved, etc.

b. General guidelines in case of exposure to unknown chemicals

It is important that all Chemistry Building personnel know what to do in case of a medical emergency. The following guidelines should be read and understood BEFORE an emergency occurs, so that the appropriate actions may be taken without delay. Please read over these guidelines on a regular basis to refresh your memory regarding the correct response.

1) After protecting yourself, remove victim from area of exposure.
2) If breathing has stopped, administer artificial respiration using a bag valve mask, or if this is not available, use the chest pressure-arm lift technique. DO NOT use mouth to mouth respiration if the nature of the chemical is not known!
3) Once the airway has been opened, maintain it and monitor.
4) Notify emergency medical personnel of nature of exposure and arrange transport of injured.

ii. Poisoning by Ingestion

1) If the injured person is conscious:

2) Medical Emergency Arising from a Non-Chemical Situation

Whether an emergency situation arises from an accident in the lab, or a co-worker is struck by a sudden illness, it is important that all personnel know how to react to the emergency and do so immediately. Often the few moments it may take to search the literature on how to treat an illness or injury can be the difference between life and death fro the victim. You must know how to react before a crisis arises. If doubts surface as to the best course of action in the event of an emergency, remember that your best course of action may be to call for emergency assistance and to simply make the victim as comfortable as possible while awaiting professional help. To call for immediate emergency assistance have someone

DIAL 9-911

After emergency service is on the way, have someone call


and notify the Business Office of the situation.

The first section that follows outlines the steps that should be taken if you, the first aider, comes upon the scene of an accident. The second section outlines steps to be taken if a co-worker becomes suddenly ill.

a. Person is the Victim of an Accident

The potential for accidents in the laboratory is high. It is important that all laboratory personnel know at least the most rudimentary aspects of first aid and how to react in an emergency situation. The most common types of accidents encountered in the lab are those involving cuts and lacerations, most commonly resulting from broken glassware. Burns are another class of injuries that are frequently encountered in the laboratory setting. Far less frequent are serious injuries related to shock or broken bones. All of these topics are examined briefly in the following pages. It is important that all personnel read this material to refresh their memory as to the appropriate response before injury occurs. All personnel are encouraged to participate in a First Aid training course.

i. Severe Bleeding

a) Usually the result of a very deep sunburn, contact with hot liquids or flash burns from flammable liquids. These can be more painful than deeper burns because the nerve endings in the skin are not destroyed.
b) Symptoms are a red, mottled appearance to the skin, blistering, considerable swelling over several days, and a wet appearance due to loss of plasma through the skin.
c) Treat by immersing burned area in cold water (not ice water) until pain subsides. Apply cloth that has been soaked in ice water and wrung out. Gently blot dry. Apply dry sterile gauze to protect wound. Do not break blisters or remove damaged tissue. Do not apply ointments, sprays, or home remedies on severe burns. If an arm or leg is affected, elevation of the limb may be beneficial.

3) Third Degree Burns

a) Usually the result of fire, burning clothing, immersion in hot water, contact with hot objects or electricity. Temperature and duration of contact are crucial in determining the extent of tissue destruction.
b) Symptoms are deep tissue destruction, white or charred appearance and complete loss of all layers of skin.
c) Do not remove charred clothing. Cover burns with thick layers of sterile dressing or clean cloth. Elevate limbs above heart level. Victims with face burns should be propped up in a sitting position and continuously monitored for difficulties in breathing. Do not immerse a significant portion of the body in cold water since this could result in shock. Cold packs may be applied to the face or limbs as needed. Do not apply ointments, grease or home remedies.
d) If it has not already been arranged, arrange for transport to medical facility as rapidly as possible.

DIAL 9-911

Also, call the Business Office and alert them to the situation.

iv. Bone Injuries

Compression Depth Compression Rate
Adult 1.5 to 2 inches 80-100 compressions per minute
Child 1 to 1.5 inches 80-100 compressions per minute
Infant 0.5 to 1 inches 100 compressions per minute

Compression/Ventilation Ratios
1-Man CPR : 15 compressions/2 ventilations
2-Man CPR : 5 compressions/1 ventilations
Child CPR : 5 compressions/1 ventilations
Infant CPR : 5 compressions/1 ventilations


iii. Heart Attack