Make your own free website on

First Aid: A Helpful Reference for Anyone

These pages hold instructions on how to do some common first aid procedures as well as others that may include long-term care.

NOTE - This page is meant to be a reference during role-play. It is not meant to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any real medical condition. Any risk or liability is your own.

Bandages and Dressings | Burns and Scalds | Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation | Controlling Bleeding | Delivering a Baby | Miscellaneous Procedures | Shock | Sprains, Strains, and Fractures | Treating Wounds


Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Sudden Death | Heart Attack | Recognizing the Problem | CPR for Single Rescuer

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) involves the use of artificial ventilation (mouth-to-mouth breathing) and external heart compressions (rhythmic pressure on the breastbone). These techniques must be learned through training and supervised practice. Incorrect application of external heart compressions may result in complications such as damage to internal organs, fracture of the ribs or sternum, or separation of cartilage from ribs. (Rib fractures may occur when compressions are being correctly performed but this is not an indication to stop compression.) Application of cardiopulmonary resuscitation when not required could result in cardiac arrest, so never practice these skills on another person. When CPR is properly applied, the likelihood of complications is minimal and acceptable in comparison with the alternative--death.

Sudden Death

Sudden death is the immediate and unexpected cessation of respiration and functional circulation. The term sudden death is synonymous with cardiopulmonary arrest or heart-lung arrest. Breathing may stop as a result of a variety of serius accidents: Cardiac arrest, when the heart stops pumping, may occur suddenly and unexpectedly for any number of reasons: A person is considered clinically dead at the moment the heart stops beating and breathing ceases. However, the vital centers of the nervous system within the brain may remain viable for four to six minutes more. Irreversible brain damage begins to occur to human brain cells somewhere between four and six minutes after oxygen has been excluded. This condition is referred to as biological death. Resuscitation in the treatment of sudden death depends upon this grace period of four to six minutes.

Heart Attack

Recognition of the early warning signs of an impendng heart attack is extremely important: A person need not exhibit all these symptoms to have a heart attack. The symptoms of heart attack may come and go, often leading the victim to attribute them to another cause such as indigestion.

Recognizing the Problem

The person who initiates emergency heart-lung resuscitation has two responsibilities: In addition to performing CPR, the rescuer must summon help in order that a healer may be called to the scene.

CPR for Single Rescuer

The CPR procedures should be learned and practiced on a training mannequin under the guidance of a qualified instructor. The step by step procedure for cardiopulmonary resuscitation is as follows: Sometimes opening and maintaining an open airway is all that is necessary to restore breathing.

For more detail relating to the healing of humans, here is a neat site that might help you. The golden fire lizard will show you the way!

Sources for these pages were:

Radcliffe, J. The New International Webster's Pocket Medical & First Aid Dictionary of the English Language. USA: Trident Press International, 1997.

Yahoo! Yahoo! Health Encyclopedia. June 2004.

All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are copyright
Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2001, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.

Special thanks to Nerissa and Avonelle, who helped in the compilation of this resource.