Feature: Knowing the 5 Emergency Action Principles

  • July 31, 2017
  • Daniel B. Codamon

LAGAWE, Ifugao, July 31 (PIA)- - With the announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte for the creation of a separate Department for National Resiliency and Disaster Preparedness, it correspondingly requires  a  number of trained emergency responders to fill it.

It is basic for those interested to join the office as a preparation and reminder to know the Five Principles of Emergency Action Principles and how to start any emergency activity or action that needs the elements of Planning, Provision of Logistics, Initial Response and Instruction to By-standers in order to prevent more harm than to good.

According to the Manual of Basic Life Support, the Emergency Plan should be established based on anticipated needs and available resources, the emergency response begins with the preparation of equipment and personnel before any emergency occur, Initial Response involves asking for help, intervene or do no further harm and Instruction to By-standers is the proper information and instructions to by-standers and the organization of first aid care.

After observing these elements, the emergency responder can now apply the 5 Emergency Action Principles which are Surveying the Scene, Initial Assessment of the Victim, Activate Medical Assistance, Secondary Assessment of the Victim and Referral for Further Evaluation and Management.

In Surveying the Scene as emergency responder, once you recognize that an emergency has occurred and decide to act, make sure that the scene of the emergency is safe for you, the victim or victims and any by-stander.

Its elements are scene safety of which the safety of the rescuer is of primary concern, the mechanism of the injury such as trauma in vehicular accident, shooting incident or fall or the nature of the illness like heart attack, asthma or fever, determine the number of patients and determine the additional resources.

After ensuring scene safety start Initial Assessment by first finding out if there are conditions that are an immediate threat to the victim like consciousness, responsiveness and breathing such as recognizing problem in response by tapping the shoulder of the victim and shouting “Are you okay” or “What Happen” and recognizing problem in breathing by looking at the chest rise and signs of gasping, irregular rise and fall of the chest, wheezing, gargling sound, cannot speak or unresponsive but breathing.

In the local setting, Activating Medical Assistance may be done by calling the local health unit or call the nearest hospital or barangay health station or in some emergency, call for specific medical advice before administering first aid.

In some situations,  you will need to attend to the victim first or the so-called “Care First Principle” which is applicable for unresponsive victims of all ages especially infants with likely asphyxiated arrest like in drowning or hanging and “Call First Principle” for sudden collapse in the victim of all ages especially for adult victims.

The information to remember in activating medical assistance are What Happened? Location?, Number of Persons Injured?, Extent of the Injury, Telephone number where you are calling and the Person who activated the medical assistance must identify himself or herself.

In doing a Secondary Assessment of the Victim, it is a systematic method of additional information about injuries or conditions that may need care by interviewing the victim for signs and symptoms, allergies, medications, past medical history last meal taken and events prior to the injury or incident then check vital signs every 15 minutes if the victim is in stable condition and every 5 minutes if unstable.

Also do head to toe examination in trauma victims for deformity, contusion, abrasion, punctures, burn, tenderness, laceration or swelling and the fifth emergency action is the Referral of the victim for Further Evaluation and Management that pertains to the transfer of a victim to a hospital or health care facility if necessary for a definitive treatment.

In giving emergency care it is imperative to follow the golden rules involving the Dos and Don’ts which are:  do obtain consent when possible, do think of the worst, do remember to identify yourself, do provide comfort and emotional support, do respect the victim, do be as calm and direct as possible, do care for the most serious injuries first, do assist the victim on medication, do keep lookers away from the injured person, do handle the victim to a minimum and do loosen tight clothing and do not let the victim see his injuries, do not leave the victim alone except to get help, do not assume that the victim’s obvious injuries are the only one, do not make any unrealistic promises and do not trust the judgment of a confused person.(DBC- PIA CAR, Ifugao)

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