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General First Aid Information



Breathing difficulties


First Aid

Check the person's airway, breathing, and circulation. If necessary, begin CPR and first aid for bleeding.
Loosen any tight clothing.
Help the person use any prescribed medication (such as an asthma inhaler or home oxygen).
Continue to monitor the person's breathing and circulation until medical help arrives. DO NOT assume that the person's condition is improving if you can no longer hear wheezing.
If there are open wounds in the neck or chest, they must be closed immediately, especially if air bubbles appear in the wound. Bandage such wounds at once.
A "sucking" chest wound allows air to enter the person's chest cavity with each breath. This can cause a collapsed lung. Bandage the wound with plastic wrap, a plastic bag, or gauze pads covered with petroleum jelly, sealing it except for one corner. This allows trapped air to escape from the chest, but prevents air from entering the chest through the wound.

Do Not

Do not give the person any foods or drinks.
Do not move the person if there has been a chest or airway injury, unless it is absolutely necessary.
Do not place a pillow under the person's head if he or she is lying down. This can close the airway.
Do not wait to see if the person's condition improves before getting medical help. Get help immediately.


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