In Case of Emergency
If you are providing emergency first aid for a hand injury, follow these protocols and then call 1300HANDOC (1300 426 362) for immediate advice or surgical admission.
- Ensure safety for yourself, bystanders and the injured person
- DRSABCD: Check for danger, Check for patient responsiveness, send for help, check airway, check for normal breathing, if no normal breathing start CPR (30 compressions, 2 breaths), attach defibrillator as soon as available. Continue CPR until help arrives or patient recovers.
- Remove all rings, jewellery and restrictive clothing if possible.
- For burns, run cool water over the injured arm/hand for at least 20 minutes. Water should be cool not cold.
- For non-burns, wash with clean water any easily removed dirt from surface of the injury.
- Do not remove any foreign bodies.
- For burns, after cooling, use burns dressings if available, otherwise use cling-wrap or clean plastic bag.
- For any amputated body part – wrap amputated part/s in damp gauze and place in sealed plastic bag, then place bag in an ice slurry ensuring no direct contact between the amputated part/s and the ice. Wrap the injured extremity with a clean and damp dressing. DO NOT apply a tourniquet. DO NOT throw away amputated parts which appear destroyed.
- Keep injured arm/hand elevated above the heart.
- Ensure injured arm/hand is rested and if possible provide support with a splint, especially where extended travel to medical services or hospital is required.
- Administer pain relief analgesia if required.
- Do not allow patient to eat, drink or smoke.
When calling HANDOC, we recommend you have the following information to facilitate our preparations for the patient:
- Patient’s name & mobile number
- Type of injury
- Caller’s name & mobile number
- Employer and contact number (if different to caller)
We will then arrange for transport (if required) and for injury appropriate treatment to commence on the patient’s arrival at HANDOC.