When things go wrong…….
Sometimes a drinking session gets out of hand. Young people can become intoxicated quite quickly, even to the point of slipping into unconsciousness. Their friends may feel frightened about the situation, but there are some basic steps you should take.
Rotarian Steve Evans, a paramedic with the North West Ambulance Service, has some first aid advice for young people. Steve says:-
1. Don't panic, the Ambulance Service is there to help you in this situation.
2. Clear the casualty's airway of vomit by finger sweeping if necessary.
3. Make sure the casualty is breathing by looking, listening and feeling for movement of the chest or abdomen, if they are not breathing then you need to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
4. If the casualty is breathing then you need to clear the area of broken glass so that you do not roll them on to it.
5. Having done this you need to roll the casualty into the recovery position, that is on to their side so that they can still breathe. If you roll them right over then they will not be able to breathe properly, as their own body weight will stop them from breathing.
6. This is the time to send or phone for the Ambulance by dialling 999, giving the exact location of the casualty. It will help the Ambulance crew if you send somebody to meet them and guide them to the casualty.
7. You should try and keep the casualty warm as a side effect of too much alcohol is hypothermia.
8. Keep checking that the casualty has a clear airway and is still breathing properly until the Ambulance arrives.
By following these simple steps you may save the life of a friend. Do not worry about getting into trouble by getting involved, because we are more interested in saving lives than telling people off."
Steve is running a nationwide campaign to encourage young people to stay and help an unconscious friend, by giving first aid and then calling an ambulance. His campaign is called "Don't walk away and let a friend die!" and you can get details of the campaign below, as well as downloading a campaign poster www.merseyambulance.nhs.uk