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The right steps to take when someone is unconscious

Knowing what to do when someone is unconscious is important to avoid further injury to them; TV shows rarely depict the right steps to take. You may want to make sure the person has your contact information once they regain consciousness in case they need to file a personal injury case. Indiana considers witness statements as part of the evidence in a personal injury case.

Check their condition

First, you should ask the person if they are okay. If they don’t respond and there isn’t a possibility of them having a spinal cord injury, you can gently shake them. The next step to take from there is to check that their airway is open, they’re breathing and they have a strong pulse. Ask a specific person near you to call 911 if the unconscious person has a weak pulse, no pulse, heavy bleeding or a severe injury. You should also call 911 if the person doesn’t regain consciousness within one minute.

Look at the person’s wrists to see if they have a first aid tag. This can give you an idea as to why they lost consciousness. You’ll want to pass on this information to the 911 operator.

What to avoid doing

Don’t slap the person or splash water on them. You shouldn’t try getting them to drink water either. If they have something lodged in the throat that isn’t visible, don’t attempt to remove it.

Provide a witness statement

If you see someone sustain an injury, your statement as a witness may be relevant if they file a personal injury claim. You can help them by providing a written and signed statement recounting what you saw happen. Be as detailed as you can and describe the surrounding conditions in which they sustained the injury. This is especially important if they slipped and fell.

Checking a person’s vitals and calling for emergency personnel are actions you can take to help an unconscious person. An emergency operator might instruct you to stay nearby, after which you can write down what happened.

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