The UK has been targeted by terrorists three times in the last three months and while the news is full of stories of death and despair there are also countless stories of random citizens helping and comforting those who’ve been injured.
So how can you help if the unthinkable happens and you find yourself in the middle of a terrorist attack?
Well the Hippocratic Post has put together a list of first aid tips which can mean the difference between life and death for those affected by a terror attack.
Look For Quiet Victims
Injured people who are moaning or crying have their airways open and, as difficult as it can be, focus on the victims who are silent as they may not be breathing.
Former A&E nurse and founder of First Aid for Life Emma Hammet says the best way to determine if someone isn’t breathing is to tilt back the victim’s head and chin. Then spit on the back of your hand and put it close to the victim’s mouth, if they’re breathing it should feel cool on your hand.
Someone should be breathing at least twice in a 10 second period. Don’t assume that agonal breathing (the death rattle) is normal breathing. This can be a sign that death is imminent.
If you determine that someone’s not breathing begin CPR.
It’s important when performing first aid to be reassuring and compassionate to the victim and you should try connecting with the injured person.
By reassuring someone everything s going to be okay you can hopefully reduce their stress levels and increase their chance of surviving. It’ll also help to calm you down and allow you to assess the situation with more clarity.
Treating The Wounded
Should you find someone who’s injured but breathing you should try and gently roll them into the recovery position, but make sure they’re lying on their injured side to prevent blood and fluid entering the lungs.
If you see visible wounds, bullet or knife, apply pressure to them using either your hands or a piece of clothing. Don’t remove their clothing though because they could go into shock due to blood loss.
Shock is potentially deadly so you should try your best to keep the wounded cal and warm. Don’t feed them food or water though as they may need to go into surgery when admitted to hospital.
If the injured person has visible shrapnel wounds do not remove the shards of metal, as they may have pierced a major artery.
Burns should be treated by dousing them in cold fluids but don’t try and remove burnt clothing as you can cause serious injury.
Head And Spine Injuries
If you believe someone to be suffering from a head injury then make sure they’re breathing is unobstructed and perform CPR if necessary.
If the injured person is still standing or walking get them to sit down as soon as possible to prevent them from injuring themselves further.
Spinal injuries are extremely difficult to treat and you should do your best not to move the victim to prevent further damage.
Police have reissued advice that people should ‘Run, Hide, and Tell‘ in the event of an attack, so always be sure to protect your own safety prior to entering a potentially dangerous scenario.