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Medical emergencies: 3 things to think about

Submitted by PoliceOne Staff

Here are three quick things to think about relative to medical emergencies:

1. Are you ready?

Make sure that at the very least, you’re trained on basic first aid. More advanced is even better. Quite often, police are the first on the scene in a medical emergency, so be sure you’re ready to provide preliminary care while waiting for EMS to arrive. This is particularly important if you’re in a rural area and EMS response may be delayed. The aid you’re prepared to render can make a life-or-death difference.

Also, be sure you’re trained enough to render emergency combat-level emergency care to a fellow officer, or yourself, should things go south. Be absolutely sure you’re trained on dealing with gunshot wounds, knife wounds, major blunt trauma, even heart attacks. If you find yourself facing a major crisis in the field, you definitely don’t want to be standing around helpless. Seconds count!

2. Is your kit ready?

Consider consulting with a local nurse or physician about what you should carry in your first aid/trauma kit. Be sure to discuss everything from bandage sizes and shapes to pieces of equipment like mouth-to-mouth masks and Epi-pens. Remember to plan for things you might need in a combat injury situation, like a recommended coagulating agent.

3. Are you specifically trained for your region?

Be sure to take regional anomalies into consideration when you’re training for first aid response so you’re prepared for medical emergencies that you might see more often than others from different areas. Examples: If you’re near lots of water, be sure you’re trained to handle water emergencies. If you’re in the mountains where there are lots of hikers, be prepared to deal with fall-related injuries. If you’re in a densely populated city, be ready top deal with people who have been hit by cars. That kind of thing…

Recommended reading:

- Can you treat your own critical injuries?

- Officer first aid for bleeding

- Field trauma care for LEOs

- Officer-rescue survey results raise key training issue

- Should ABC be CBA in treating wounded officers? An important clarification

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