What to do When a Co-Worker Has a Medical Emergency
Though no one ever imagines it happening, there is a possibility you might be the closest – or only – employee on the scene when a co-worker has a medical emergency. You do not have to receive extensive first aid training to know how to safely respond. The first step in an emergency is calling for professional help, but what next?
Do not panic if you are the only one around when a co-worker has a medical emergency. Remember these response basics to keep the employee as safe as possible until the paramedics arrive. If you have additional questions or concerns about this matter, talk to your supervisor or manager.
General Medical Emergency
- Give first aid – but only if you know how. Try to help the employee, but never attempt to do anything you are not trained to do or feel uncomfortable doing.
- Do not leave the person alone unless you are in danger or the dispatcher tells you to do so.
- Do not move the injured employee unless he or she is in a life-threatening area. Moving the victim could cause serious damage, depending on the situation, condition or injury.
- Do not move any body parts if you suspect they are broken.
- Roll the person onto his or her side and cushion the head.
- Clear the area of sharp or solid objects.
- Do not restrict the person from moving unless he or she is in danger.
- Do not put anything in the victim’s mouth.
The most important thing here is not to panic, and ensure your co-worker stays calm. Panic only constricts the blood vessels and makes it more difficult on the co-worker’s body.
- Try to control the bleeding with direct pressure.
- Do not come into contact with the victim’s blood.
The care you give to the victim before the paramedics arrive can have a huge impact on the overall outcome of the situation and the victim’s chance of survival.
Being Prepared for a Co-worker Medical Emergency
Being prepared for a co-worker medical emergency means that employers need to take the time ensure they have the training and planning in place to effectively respond to an emergency. Any unforeseen crisis that demands an immediate response is an emergency. Emergencies in the workplace can mean a disruption of work; harm to employees or customers; and damage to materials, equipment, or facilities.
The most likely workplace emergency is a medical emergency. A serious medical emergency, such as cardiac arrest, requires immediate attention, and response time is critical. It’s essential that medical first responders know how to perform first aid/CPR.
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