Multiple Casualty Care: Top Tips

What are the main things that we must know in case of a real emergency? Well, first of all, the first aider must be prepared to take responsibility. This includes:

• an appreciation of the situation;
• diagnosis;
• treatment and disposal;
• taking charge until someone more experienced is available.
Where there is more than one casualty (the case of multiple casualties), the First Aider must decide by rapid assessment, which one should receive priority of treatment. Consideration must be given to:
• the immediate placing of any unconscious casualties in the recovery position;
• temporary control of continuous severe bleeding with the assistance of the casualty, or by a bystander, if available;
• restoration of breathing, if necessary.

A First Aider working alone must quickly place all unconscious casualties in the recovery position before attending to any others. It is important to note that the noisiest casualty need not be the most severely injured.

Make use of any bystanders; keep them occupied — the more they are given to do, the less they will interfere. They should be used to telephone for the ambulance, police or any other service, to keep back any crowds which may gather, to assist with the control of traffic at a road accident, and, if necessary, to assist with the actual treatment of the casualty.

When sending bystanders to telephone, make sure that they understand the message to be sent; write it down if possible, but in any case ask them to repeat the message (before actually sending it).