8. Prevent shock, or treat it. Shock, a serious condition of acute circulatory failure, usually accompanies a severe or painful injury, a serious loss of blood, or a severe emotional upset. If you expect shock, and take prompt action, you can prevent it or lessen its severity. This may save the patient’s life. (Treatment of shock is discussed on page 62).
4. Don’t move the patient immediately. Unless there is real danger of the patient receiving further injury where he is, he should not be moved until breathing is restored, bleeding is stopped, and suspected broken bones are splinted.
5. Keep calm, and reassure the patient. Keep him lying down and comfortably warm, but do not apply heat to his body, or make him sweat.
6. Never attempt to give liquids to an unconscious person. If he is not able to swallow, he may choke to death or drown. Also, don’t give him any liquids to drink if he has an abdominal injury.
IF THE PATIENT HAS STOPPED BREATHING
Quick action is required. You must get air into his lungs again immediately or he may die. The best and simplest way of doing this is to use mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration. Here is how to do it:
1. Place the patient on his back. Loosen his collar.
2. Open his mouth and use your fingers to remove any food or foreign matter. If he has false teeth or removable dental bridges, take them out.
3. Tilt the patient’s head back so that his chin points upward. Lift his lower jaw from beneath and behind so that it juts out. This will move his tongue away from the back of his throat, so it does not block the air passage to his lungs. Placing a pillow or something else under his shoulders will help get his head into the right position. Some patients will start breathing as soon as you take these steps, and no further help is necessary.
4. Open your mouth as wide as possible, and place it tightly over the patient’s mouth, so his mouth is completely covered by yours. With one hand, pinch his nostrils shut. With your other hand, hold his lower jaw in a thrust-forward position and keep his head tilted back. With a baby or small child, place your mouth over both his nose and mouth, making a tight seal.
5. Blow a good lungful of air into an adult patient’s mouth, continuing to keep his head tilted back and his jaw jutting out so that the air passage is kept open. (Air can be blown through an unconscious person’s teeth, even though they may be clenched tightly together.) Watch his chest as you blow. When you see his chest rise, you will know that you are getting air into his lungs.
6. Remove your mouth from the patient’s mouth, and listen for him to breathe out the air you breathed into him. You also may feel his breath on your cheek and see his chest sink as he exhales.