Principles of Emergency Evacuation Procedures

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On most emergencies, you will be able to reach the victim without difficulty. However, in some cases, you will need to transfer him to a safe and accessible location before you can provide first aid.

Trained first aiders, EMTs and paramedics respond to a wide variety of emergency situations. Although in most situations the responder will be able to reach the victim without difficulty, there are times when the victim needs to be moved to be able to carry out emergency care procedures. First aiders will not always work under good conditions. At times you will need to work in the rain, in darkness, or in a confined space, but you will need to render first aid nonetheless.

There will be situations that will necessitate you to move the injured person before you can render wound care or splint fractures, or even perform basic life support procedures. In extreme cases, you will have to move the victim before you can even perform thorough assessment of his condition.

Emergency and nonemergency evacuation

In advanced first aid and emergency care, moves are classified into three: emergency move, nonemergency move, and transfer. An emergency move refers to any quick moves that are required due to an imminent danger at the scene, and can be done even before assessment. Nonemergency moves refer to moves that are not as urgent but are necessary, such as when moving the victim from a cold to a warmer environment. In nonemergency moves, first aid measures are rendered before the victim is moved. Meanwhile, a transfer refers to moving the victim from the scene to the ambulance or vehicle for transport to a healthcare facility.

An emergency move is necessary when:

  • The scene is not safe or dangerous ­– The victim should be moved immediately if there are hazards or threats to the safety of the victim or rescuer. For example, the scene involves radiation, toxic gases, uncontrolled traffic, possible electrical hazards, and threat of fire or explosions.
  • Emergency care requires repositioning – Some emergency care procedures require moving the victim to a flat, hard surface (example CPR), or you need to access specific body parts to provide first aid.
  • You need to reach other victims requiring immediate treatment – You may need to move victims with minor injuries in order to reach other victims with life-threatening conditions. This is more common in motor vehicle accidents.

Meanwhile, a nonemergency move is necessary when:

  • Factors at the scene worsen the condition of the victim – If the victim’s condition is rapidly declining due to environmental condition, then he should be moved.
  • Principles of Emergency Evacuation ProceduresFirst aid treatment requires moving the victim ­– This is common in cases where the victim has no serious injuries or life-threatening emergency.
  • The victim demands or insists to be moved – First aiders are not allowed to restrain the victim. Try to talk to the victim why he should not be moved but if he insists or tries to move, you may need to assist him. In most cases, the victim becomes so insistent that worsens his condition.

Take note, however, that any nonemergency move should be carried out in such a way that it does not aggravate the condition of the victim and avoids pain and discomfort.

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