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ZEST: ACTION STATIONS; Flying doctor Heather's guide to saving lives in an emergency.

HEROINE flying doctor Heather Clark has sent out an SOS to Sunday People readers to learn first aid and save lives.

Heather, 35, hit the headlines in May when she saved the life of stab victim Stephen Niland in a London pub.

Here she gives an exclusive guide on how to react in an emergency...

ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

DON'T end up being a second patient - remember to look before you cross a road.

CALL for help immediately before trying to help with any patient.

DON'T move the patient and don't remove a motorcyclist's helmet unless trained to do so.

HOLD the patient's head each side to keep the neck in line with the rest of the body and the head stable. The spinal cord could break if the head is moved.

CHECK that the patient's nose and mouth are clear.

WATCH for breathing by putting the side of your face against the patient's mouth and watch to see if their chest is rising and falling.

CHECK for a pulse. The best place is on the neck under the angle of the jaw.

KEEP the patient warm.

HEART ATTACK

SHAKE patient gently and ask if they are OK. If there's no response follow this procedure.

CALL for help.

FOLLOW the ABC procedure of airway, breathing and circulation as follows:

Airway - check the nose and mouth are clear; remove any obstacles such as sweets; clear the tongue from the back of the mouth.

Breathing - check for breathing; start mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-nose resuscitation.

Circulation - check for pulse; if there isn't one take the heel of both hands and press down on the breastbone at a rate of one compression a second; continue until paramedics arrive.

BURNS

APPLY cold water, preferably running water.

IF the burn is to the face call for help much more quickly because in this case the patient's airway can swell up causing them to stop breathing.

FOR peripheral areas of the body clingfilm is a good temporary dressing because it helps prevent loss of fluid and heat.

CHOKING

IN children, if the object is visible remove it from the mouth then use one of the following procedures - a) Hang the child stomach down over your knees and slap him or her on the back five times. b) Use the Heimlich manoeuvre by putting the fist of your hand between the navel and lower end of the breastbone and thrusting your hand sharply up into the abdomen.

EPILEPTIC FITS

DON'T attempt to stop the patient having a fit, it will probably pass within a few minutes.

PROTECT the patient by removing any obstacles.

MAKE sure their airway is clear.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Stone, Colin
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Sep 26, 1999
Words:439
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