EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE PROCEDURES
For a Navy Corpsman, the terms first aid and
emergency medical procedures relate to the
professional care of the sick and injured before in-depth
medical attention can be obtained. Appropriate care
procedures may range from providing an encouraging
word to performing a dramatic struggle to draw a person
back from the brink of death.
however, that first aid measures are temporary
expedients to save life, to prevent further injury, and to
preserve resistance and vitality. These measures are
not meant to replace proper medical diagnosis and
treatment procedures. Hospital Corpsmen will be able
to provide the competent care that makes the
difference between life or death, temporary or
permanent injury, and rapid recovery or long-term
disability if they
understand the relationship between first aid and
proper medical diagnosis and treatment,
know the limits of the professional care
Corpsmen can offer, and
keep abreast of new emergency medical
GENERAL FIRST AID RULES
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: R e c a l l
general first aid rules.
There are a few general first aid rules that you
should follow in any emergency:
1. Take a moment to get organized. On your way
to an accident scene, use a few seconds to remember the
basic rules of first aid. Remain calm as you take charge
of the situation, and act quickly but efficiently. Decide
as soon as possible what has to be done and which one of
the patients injuries needs attention first.
2. Unless contraindicated, make your preliminary
examination in the position and place you find the
victim. Moving the victim before this check could
gravely endanger life, especially if the neck, back, or
ribs are broken. Of course, if the situation is such that
you or the victim is in danger, you must weigh this threat
against the potential damage caused by premature
transportation. If you decide to move the victim, do it
quickly and gently to a safe location where proper first
aid can be administered.
3. In a multivictim situation, limit your
preliminary survey to observing for airway patency,
breathing, and circulation, the ABCs of basic life
support. Remember, irreversible brain damage can
occur within 4 to 6 minutes if breathing has stopped.
Bleeding from a severed artery can lethally drain the
body in even less time. If both are present and you are
alone, quickly handle the major hemorrhage first, and
then work to get oxygen back into the system. Shock
may allow the rescuer a few minutes of grace but is no
less deadly in the long run.
4. Examine the victim for fractures, especially in
the skull, neck, spine, and rib areas. If any are present,
prematurely moving the patient can easily lead to
increased lung damage, permanent injury, or death.
Fractures of the hip bone or extremities, though not as
immediately life-threatening, may pierce vital tissue or
blood vessels if mishandled.
5. Remove enough clothing to get a clear idea of
the extent of the injury. Rip along the seams, if possible,
or cut. Removal of clothing in the normal way may
aggravate hidden injuries.
Respect the victims
modesty as you proceed, and do not allow the victim to
6. Keep the victim reassured and comfortable. If
possible, do not allow the victim to see the wounds. The
victim can endure pain and discomfort better if
confident in your abilities. This is important because
under normal conditions the Corpsman will not have
strong pain relief medications right at hand.
7. Avoid touching open wounds or burns with your
fingers or unsterile objects, unless clean compresses
and bandages are not available and it is imperative to
stop severe bleeding.
8. Unless contraindicated, position the
unconscious or semiconscious victim on his side or
back, with the head turned to the side to minimize
choking or the aspirating of vomitus. Never give an
unconscious person any substance by mouth.