A body is slumped over the desk….. what do you do?

We were treated to a fascinating talk by Faisal from FM Training today as he gave the group is a primary survey run through on how to deal with a situation we all hope never happens: we walk into a room, and there is a person slumped on the floor, in their chair or on the table – what do we do?

Firstly, safety first: check for danger. It’s essential to ensure that the area is safe. Check for broken glass, electrical wires – these could have been a cause of electrocution and may still be live – furniture in the way, slippery wet floors and if outside, vehicles.

Secondly, try to get the person’s attention. It’s important to find out as soon as possible if the person is aware. So, talk to them in a strong voice, say ‘Hello, hello, what’s happened? Tell me your name?’ If they don’t respond, give them a tap or shake of the shoulder or hand, to see if they are conscious.

Thirdly, if they are not conscious it’s then vital to find out if they are breathing. Breath is a vital element of life, without breath we die very quickly. How do we do this without hurting them? Put the palm of one hand on the person’s forehead, then two fingers – and please no more than two fingers – under the person’s chin and lift the chin back. This releases the tongue and should clear the throat/airway. Then listen close to their mouth for air sounds, and watch to see if their chest is rising and falling for up to 10 seconds.

If they are breathing, then put them into the recovery position; and call for help. Or if they are not breathing, commence CPR and of course get someone to call for help. How many of us know what number to call in an emergency: Well 999 is good, but 112 is better as if calling on a mobile phone the 112 number can use a geolocator to pinpoint your precise position and potentially get help to you sooner.

Faisal shared how to remember this useful primary survey of an incident through the words DR AB – any guesses as to what it means? The next educational slot from FM Training will cover CPR, then later on defibrilator use…. always something useful at CBC meetings!

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