I was taking my lunch today at Bankers Hall, when I noticed a security guard helping a man with a bag laydown on the bench.
Watching for about 15 seconds i thought to myself… “Bizarre, security usually kicks people off the benches that are laying down.
Oh Wait….. This is an emergency. CHECK CALL CARE!”
I got up, and made my way cautiously to the downward escalator, thinking “perhaps today is the day I will have to use the breadth of my First Aid skills that I have been practicing and teaching for the past 8 years perhaps today I will get to try out CPR and an AED for real…. ok, of course today is the day i did not bring my barrier device and gloves.”
As I approached the bench, I introduced myself to the attending security guard and man laying on the bench appearing to be in some serious pain.
“Hi, my name is Jason, I am a first aid instructor. Can I help?”
The security guard recognized my expertise and allowed me to take control.
Upon inquiring about the situation, he advised the person was having chest pain and that the EMS had been notified.
I asked the security guard, please get the first aid kit and the AED. He radio’d on.
Engaging the gentleman on the bench i began to assess what was possibly happening.
going through varied number of symptoms, as nothing was coming as blatant or in need of assistance immediately, I thought to myself…. “Now What”
I had to go to my skills….
CHECK – CALL – CARE
Well, the scene was safe
the person did not have and immediately life threatening issues (he could breathe and had no deadly bleeding)
ok. so what’s next….
the secondary survey.
As I worked through the SAMPLE questions, the Vitals check and the Head to Toe examination,
it became more and more vague in assessing what was wrong.
What I could tell was he was cool and clammy, had difficulty breathing, some abdominal and lower back pain… I was clearly thinking this was a possible Angina or Heart Attack.
CALL… well 911 was already on their way and I had the AED on site and ready to go.
CARE…. wait, there was nothing requiring me to actually assist or give first aid for. I couldn’t just start CPR, the poor guy was still breathing.
He had asked me to drive him to the hospital, but I advised him, we had the best transportation coming for him.
I stayed on scene for about another 3-4 minutes continually engaging the person about his condition as we and the security team we waited for EMS and took information for the 911 dispatcher on the phone.
The paramedics arrived, and I debriefed one of the team members about the details i had discovered. They thanked me and walked the person out to the bus.
as I walked away and reflected, it came to my mind that the majority of the times i have been involved in an emergency, most of the time I am usually sitting beside the person going through my primary survey and secondary survey, and left thinking to myself “Now What?”
I have to wonder if for most people that get engaged in an emergency, if they experience the same. There was nothing for me to do, nothing to address, nothing to care for, except to give rest and reassurance to the individual. Perhaps this was the blessing in disguise.
This is leading me to make some adjustments to my areas of focus in my training events. I need people to know what to do, when there is nothing to do. Had he have fallen over and gone into cardiac arrest, I would have been ready, had he had a major bleed or a crushed chest, I would have been ready; but since he was just laying there with symptoms of a heart attack and no medication to take, there was nothing for me to do, but sit and make him more comfortable. Perhaps this is the life of a first aider.