Friday, May 22, 2009

Emergency Medical Care

Similar to the situation with shelter, I am going to look at medical care in two installments.

Emergency medical care, while not a usual situation, is an absolute necessity when needed. In the section on security needs I will cover regular medical which, while important, is not a life threatening necessity.

Medical emergencies, by their very nature, are not predictable. Most places in the US and Canada, and some parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand have medical facilities and trained personnel available in case of emergencies. But if someone is in a location far from help--or even sometimes when help is nearby but time is essential--knowledge of how to deal with an emergency situation is crucial. If the peak oil people are correct and much of our modern technology is going to disappear, these skills are going to be even more critical as we go along.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (known as the American Red Cross in the US and the Canadian Red Cross in Canada) offer courses in first aid and emergency preparation. In the US the American Heart Association offers trainings in Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and apparently in Europe this is done by the European Resuscitation Council. There is also training (often part of first aid or CPR courses) in what to do if someone is choking (also known as the 'Heimlich Maneuver' or simply 'abdominal thrusts'). Learning some or all of this might make the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.


Resources:
FirstAidWeb--offers 'free' online first aid courses
The Hesperian Foundation, Where There Is No Doctor--a classic book with a 2009 edition (and some of it is available online through their website)--while it covers a variety of medical care there is a chapter on first aid that assumes there is no help nearby; there is also a chapter on situations that need special medical attention
Mayo Clinic, First Aid Guide--online resource
The Red Cross Store--offers publications on first aid as well as 'Emergency Preparedness Kits and Supplies'
Wikibooks, First Aid--a useful online guide

Quote of the Day: "It is not enough to say, 'Call the doctor'; a doctor may not be available to come to the scene of the emergency." - The American National Red Cross, Advanced First Aid and Emergency Care (First Edition, 1973)

2 comments:

John said...

There is also a couple other sites that offer online first aid. www.profirstaid.com lets you watch the videos for free!

MoonRaven said...

Thank you for letting me know about this--it's always good to get more resources.