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Signs of Trouble Breathing

breathing very fast or very slowly; having trouble with every breath; noisy breathing (hear sound or whistle as air enters or leaves lungs); can only make sounds or speak a few words between breaths;


temporary fix for breathing problems; dialates bronchial tubes; made up of two parts;

action for someone having trouble breathing

make sure scene is safe; ask if person has medicine; if you obtain meds, confirm it is correct meds by asking; assemble inhaler; phone 911 if no meds avail, if person doesn't get better or stops responding; stay until someone with more advance training arrives; do CPR if necessary;


when food or object is stuck in airway and stops air from getting to the lungs

mild choking

can make sounds; can cough loudly;

actions for mild choking

stand by and let person cough; if worried about breathing phone 911;

severe choking

cannot breathe; cough with no sound; cannot talk or make a sound; holding neck with one or both hands;

actions for severe choking

act quickly; perform Heimlich maneuver;

Heimlich Maneuver

get behind person and wrap arms around so your hands are in front; make fist with one hand; put thumb side of fist slightly above belly button & well below breastbone; grsp fist with other hand and give quick upward thrusts into abdomen; give thrusts until object is dislodge and person is able to breathe, cough, talk or stops responding; call 911 if person stops responding;

Heimlich Maneuver for pregnant or large person

give thrusts on the chest, instead of thrusts on the abdomen (follow all other steps except hand and arm location; put arms under armpits and hands on lower half of breastbone; pull straight back to give chest thrusts;

mild allergic reaction

stuffy nose, sneezing, itching around eyes; itching of skin; raised,k red rash on skin (hives)

severe allergic reactions

trouble breathing; swelling of tongue and face; signs of shock;

action for severe allergic reaction

ensure safe scene; phone 911 (or have someone else); ask person if they have epinephrine pen (epi pen); help them get and ask victim to use it; only if they are unable to use it themselves and you have permission from victim, use epi pen for them; rub site for 10 seconds, note time of injection, and save sample of what caused reaction;

epinephrine pen

helps someone with severe allergic reaction; can be injected through clothing; takes several minutes to work; injected in the side of the thigh; injection site should be rubbed for about 10 seconds; use proper disposal technique and note time of injection;

heart attack

chest discomfort, or discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as pain in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or abdomen; shortness of breath (may occur with or without chest discomfort); other signs may include cold sweat, nausea or light headedness;

signs of heart attack in women or elderly

ache in chest, heartburn or indigestion; uncomfortable feeling in the back, jaw, neck or shoulder; complain of shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting;

reasons why people don't admit chest discomfort caused by heart attack

think they are too healthy; don't want to bother doctor, scare their spouse, or they will feel silly if it isn't a heart attack;

actions for heart attack

make sure person stays calm and at rest; phone 911; ask someone to get first aid kit and AED if available; if no allergies known to asprin, no signs of serious bleeding or signs of stroke, give 2 low dose or 1 regular asprin; Give cpr if needed;


short period when person stops responding (less than a minute) and then seems fine; usually caused by not enough blood going to brain; dizziness may occur seconds before this happens;


make sure scene is safe; help person lie flat on the floor with feet elevated; call 911 if no improvement;

actions for person who faints

ask person to continue lying on floor with feet elevated until they feel normal; look for injuries from fall; call 911;


disease that affects levels of sugar in the blood;

low blood sugar

can be caused by too much insulin; can occur on diabetic if they have not eaten or have been vomiting, not eaten enough for level of activity or have injected too much insulin;

signs of low blood sugar

change in behavior (confusion or irritability); sleepiness or not responding; hunger, thirst or weakness; sweating, pale skin color; seizures;

actions for person with low blood sugar

give something that contains sugar to eat or drink (OJ, candy, etc.) if they are awake-don't give them anything if they are unable to sit up and swallow (just call 911); have them sit quietly or lie down; phone 911;

what to give person with diabetes who has low blood sugar

fruit juice, milk, sugar, honey, regular soft drink (NOT DIET); make sure whatever you give them has 'sugar' in it (chocolate DOES NOT have ENOUGH sugar);


occurs when blood stops flowing to a part of the brain; can happen if there is a bleeding or block blood vessel in the brain; also know as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA); sudden onset of symptoms;

signs of a stroke

sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, leg (especially on one side of the body); sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; sudden or severe headache with no know cause;

what to do do if person is having a stroke

make sure scene is safe; call or ask someone else to call 911; get first aid kit and an AED if available; note time when signs first appeared (numbness or weakness in face, arm leg, sudden symptoms such as confusion, trouble speaking, etc.); perform cpr if needed;


abnormal electrical activity in the brain; most stop within a few minutes; often caused by epilepsy but not always; sometimes happens when heart suddenly stops beating;

what can cause a seizure

head injury, low blood sugar, heat related injury, poisons;

signs of seizure

person may lose muscle control, fall to the ground, jerk arms, legs or other body parts; may stop responding; sometimes person has an aural or premonition of this coming on;

what to during a seizure

make sure scene is safe; protect persons head by moving furniture or other objects out of the way; place a small pad or towel under head if it's easy to do so; call 911; DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN THE PERSONS MOUTH THAT CAN BLOCK BREATHING)

what to do after a seizure

perform CPR if necessary; stay with person until trained help arrives; if person is vomiting or has fluid in mouth roll to one side (make sure person does not have injury to head, neck or spine before doing this);


develops when there is not enough blood flowing to cells of body; may stop responding; most often present in persons who have lost a lot of blood, had a severe heart attack or severe allergic reaction;

signs of shock

look for these symptons if person has lost a lot of blood, had a severe heart attack or severe allergic reaction (or sometimes just witness traumatic event); signs are; feels week, faint or dizzy, feels nauseous or thirsty; pale or grayish skin; act restless, agitated or confused; cold and clammy to the touch;

what to do if person is in shock

make sure scene is safe; call or ask someone else to call 911; help person lie on back; cover person with blanket to keep warm; peform CPR if necessary;

put thumb side of your fist slightly above navel and well below breastbone

when giving abdominal thrusts to adult choking victim, you should do what?

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