The elderly struggle with various diseases, the symptoms of which may worsen at any time. Seniors are more prone to fainting or dangerous falls, which may result in, for example, limb fractures. Therefore, it is worth knowing the rules of providing first aid in such situations – quick actions can save the health and even life of a senior!
From the text you will learn:
- what should be the first aid in case of fainting,
- what is the first aid instruction in a diabetic coma,
- how to provide first aid to a senior with suspected heart attack,
- what are the rules for dealing with fractures.
Before we start providing first aid – regardless of whether we suspect a fracture , fainting, heart attack or any other condition that threatens the health or life of a senior – we should conduct the so-called preliminary examination, i.e. the study of vital functions. So you need to check whether he is conscious, whether he is breathing, whether his pulse can be felt, whether his pupils react to light. If we make sure that the senior’s life is not in danger, until the injury is diagnosed, its physical effort should be limited, first aid should be provided and it should be secured against heat loss.
Fainting – first aid rules
Syncope is defined as the short-term loss of consciousness caused by hypoxia in the brain and a drop in blood pressure. In seniors, fainting may be caused not only by a sudden exacerbation of a chronic disease, but also by strong emotions, prolonged standing still or staying in a stuffy room. To help the senior:
- if he is conscious – immediately put him on a chair and ask him to lean forward as much as possible (head as close to the knees as possible),
- when it starts to fall to the ground – you need to support it, put it in a supine position and check life activities,
- for both sitting and lying seniors, loosen the clothing under the neck, provide fresh air, make sure that they sit or lie down for a few moments – this will stabilize the circulation.
If the senior does not regain consciousness after about two minutes, treat him as unconscious and place him in the recovery position.
Emergency first aid – diabetic coma
Diabetes is quite common among seniors. If a patient experiences a significant drop in blood sugar levels – for example, as a result of skipping a meal or strenuous exercise – it may cause a diabetic coma, manifested by excessive sweating, weakness, shallow breathing and muscle tremors. In this case, you should:
- if the senior is conscious – put two sugar cubes under his tongue (patients very often have them with them) or give them sweetened water to drink,
- if the senior is unconscious – place him in a sideways position and cover him with a blanket or jacket to prevent him from cooling down.
In both cases, medical attention should be sought.
Principles of giving first aid – heart attack
According to statistics, the most common causes of premature deaths in our country are diseases and sudden cardiovascular conditions, including myocardial infarction, i.e. damage to the heart muscle due to hypoxia. Its symptoms include sharp, burning pain in the breastbone area, cold sweat, pale skin, and nausea and vomiting. When a heart attack is suspected:
- place the senior in a semi-sitting position so that his back is based on something stable,
- check vital signs and loosen clothes, especially around the neck,
- if he has heart medications with him, help him take them
- call for medical assistance, and then take care of the mental and physical comfort of the senior.
It is worth remembering that in the event of a suspicion of a heart attack, every minute is important – the sooner the victim receives specialist help, the less damage to the heart may be,
First aid – fractures
A broken hip in an elderly person , as well as other fractures of the lower and upper limbs are quite common injuries in seniors, which may be, for example, the result of a fall on a slippery, icy pavement. In such a situation:
- you must not set the limb or move it violently, so as not to aggravate the injury,
- the limb should be immobilized in two joints adjacent to the fracture – e.g. when a tibia fracture is suspected, the leg should be immobilized from the ankle joint to the knee,
- the senior must not be given anything to eat or drink,
- cover the injured with a blanket or a jacket,
- you need to call an ambulance immediately.
Providing first aid in an emergency is an obligation – in many situations it allows you to save the health and even life of a senior.