Keeping your head in an emergency is difficult when you haven’t prepared. What should be your first response? When do you call 911? What should you do until help arrives? Emergency care can be tricky, but here are some guidelines to help.
Laying the Groundwork for Emergency Care
Long before something urgent happens, you should gather some information to have handy by your phone or in your wallet. This includes things like your name and address, the closest cross street to your house, a call-back number, and chronic or recent medical events, such as drug allergies or a recent fall or illness. Also, list the name and number of your doctor and your emergency contact person. Having all this information at your fingertips can save precious time when something happens, so carrying a card on your person—even when you go out to walk the dog—can be extremely helpful.
When Should I Call 9-1-1?
You need to call immediately if the person does not respond to you, has no heartbeat, or isn’t breathing. Heavy bleeding, bones protruding out of the skin, tips of the fingers or toes turning blue are also warning signs to get help right away. Stay on the phone until the operator tells you to hang up, and answer questions and follow instructions exactly.
Even if the person is responding and the injury doesn’t seem that bad, you may not be trained to determine whether it is serious or not. If in doubt, be on the safe side. For any injuries of the lower legs, call Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic. We will ask questions to determine whether you need to call 9-1-1, or whether you can carefully move the person to our office for an examination. We try to save a couple of time slots in each day’s schedule for emergency care. We can also be flexible to fit in an extra early or late day appointment for urgent cases.
First Aid for Fractures
All fractures need medical care. After you have called for help, you can begin first aid with these measures:
- Don’t move the person—you don’t want to make the injury worse
- Keep calm; let the person know that help is coming
- Stop bleeding by using a clean cloth to put pressure on the wound
- Relieve pain and swelling with ice packs until help arrives
- Treat for shock (faintness, short quick breaths, trembling) by laying the person flat with the head slightly lower than the body
- If you have been trained, you can try to immobilize the injured area with a splint
- Gather whatever medications or information you may need to give to medical personnel
Finding Emergency Care in South Georgian Bay
Chiropodist Tony Abbott provides expert care in the Owen Sound, Collingwood, and Barrie areas for sports injuries and other conditions of the lower limbs. If you need urgent care, call our clinic at (705) 444-9929. We are conveniently located right on Hwy 26 in Collingwood near Robert Ave. Knowing that your feet and ankles are in good hands will help you stay calm when emergencies happen.
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