How To Handle a Medical Emergency in the Workplace - Dream Health

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Tuesday 10 September 2019

How To Handle a Medical Emergency in the Workplace

On an ordinary workday, you probably expect to answer emails, attend meetings, and push through the paperwork. Most likely, you don't expect to help a coworker through a heart attack or stroke. Both, though, are serious medical conditions that happen suddenly and require aid from experienced people. What would you do? Do you know the proper protocols? Have you attended any workshops or training to help? It's important to understand how to support those who are suffering. Here are three tips that could assist you during such a trying time.

Recognize the Signs

Have you noticed someone looking off? Acting a bit strange? Start running through the list of symptoms for a heart attack or stroke. For example, heart attack victims might feel tightness in the chest area; however, it could appear in other areas as well such as the neck, arms, or stomach. In addition, the patient is likely to have difficulty breathing and feel dizzy. Strokes sufferers, on the other hand, may notice a limb losing feeling, have trouble speaking, and experience difficulty with facial expressions. A combination of signs should be taken seriously.

Act Quickly

If a coworker feels ill or displays signs of distress, immediately call 911 and ask for any medical assistance from the office staff. Don't wait. It's better to seek help than to allow a situation to fester. Hopefully, someone in your department or business has been taught to handle medical emergencies. If so, locate this person and find out if any equipment is available. Does the business have a heartstart onsite defibrillator? Who knows CPR? These could be useful should a heart attack occur. Prepare yourself just in case.

Establish Calm

Sit the coworker down in a comfortable area, and try to create a relaxing atmosphere. Dim lights, and determine if he or she needs to lie down. Maintain lighthearted communication and avoid any stressful discussions or thoughts. Don't leave and keep the person conscious (to the best of your ability).

Assess the Situation

Evaluate the person's condition. Can your colleague speak? If so, find out if he or she takes any specific medications and has someone to contact. In addition, take notes about symptoms (what you observed and what your coworker expresses). When emergency crews arrive, they'll want to know as much as possible. You may be the best line of communication.

Encourage your manager to have life-saving equipment on hand as well as train staff to handle medical emergencies. Swift actions could prevent an unfortunate death.

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