Next week and all throughout December, hosts will be inviting guests into their homes to take part in holiday festivities. Although the hope is that things will always go smoothly, there’s always the chance that some type of emergency situation will present itself, and unfortunately, there are many who are ill-prepared for such an incident.
You may not have the training of an Emergency Medical Technician, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t help someone in trouble if something goes wrong. Consumer Reports has put together a list of the most common emergencies and what to do when they occur, and if people are conglomerating in your home for Thanksgiving, you might want to read up.
With people stuffing their faces with turkey and other gravy-covered food, choking incidents are exceedingly common, and knowing how to execute the Heimlich maneuver can stave off a potential tragedy. If the person is coughing, don’t interfere, as their body is working through it themselves, but when that coughing stops, they’re in trouble.
If you’re able to see the food, you can pull it out of the individual’s mouth; if not, then you have to strike them between the shoulders five times, then wrap your arms around their body, thrusting upward just above the navel in the classic Heimlich stance. CPR should be carried out if things get bad enough that the individual goes unconscious. A similar technique must be applied if a child is in danger, but the thrusts should not be so intense that the kid’s feet actually leave the ground.
This is also the time of the year that people say, “To Heck with doctor’s recommendations. Bring on the cholesterol!” As such, many individuals are putting themselves in danger of heart attacks.
In such a situation, the best thing you can do is get on the phone with 911 the moment the individual starts to experience chest and arm pains and breathing troubles. If the person maintains consciousness, one San Pablo, California-based doctor recommends giving them an aspirin. If breathing stops, though, it’s imperative to initiate CPR to bring them back around.
Family members may be away from familiar environments, which means that the likelihood of a fall is going to increase. Should things be bad enough that the individual is unable to get up, you should call 911. If the person struck their head or may have injured their back or spine, then you need to insist that they remain still so that they don’t do even more extensive damage. Finally, think about checking up on even those who appear to have suffered no damage over the next couple days; something like a concussion may cause lingering issues that get worse over time.