There are three major things that can take a person’s life so quickly, that if
they do not get medical intervention within a few minutes, they will die.
Remember the rule of 3? These are the things that fall within 3 minutes.
A – Airway. If a person cannot breathe, their life expectancy is measured in
minutes. Restoring a person’s air is of paramount importance.
B – Bleeding. If a person has profuse bleeding, it is critical to get that
stopped right away. A person can bleed to death in minutes.
S – Shock. If a person goes into shock and does not get treatment, they will
If one of your people goes unconscious, check for signs of breathing. Is
their chest moving up and down? Can you hear their breath or feel it with
your hand? If not, lay the person on their back. Tilt their head back and
their chin upwards to open their airway. If you are trained in CPR and AED,
begin administering that. If emergency services are available, call 911 (or
equivalent) immediately and continue to give assistance until help arrives.
If you see blood, you will need to determine the source. Once you locate
the wound, create a makeshift dressing and bandage out of whatever
material is available to you: their clothing, your clothing, towels, sheets, etc.
Take the dressing material and press it firmly against the wound to stop the
bleeding. From that point on, do not release the pressure or remove the
dressing. If the first dressing soaks through, add additional material on top
of the blood-soaked material and continue to hold pressure. If you have the
capability and the know how, you can create a pressure bandage out of
more material to hold the dressing in place. Call emergency medical
services and stay with the person until help arrives.
There is always a risk to you whenever you come in contact with someone
else’s blood. If you have the option to wear gloves or create a barrier
between your skin and theirs, it is prudent to do so.
If the person is in shock (unconscious and/or not processing commands)
lay them flat on their back and control their body temperature to the best of
your ability. If they are cold, wrap them in a blanket. If they are overheated,
get them to shade, wet them with cold water, and fan them. Once more, call
for emergency help.
In all three cases, do not give the person food or drink. Stay with them and
continue to render assistance until help arrives. Try to collect data to give to
EMT’s or paramedics when they arrive to help them get decide on right
treatment. In all three cases, the person is going to need hospital care.
Your immediate actions might save their life but, without higher care to
stabilize and treat them, they will die.