​KEEPING CALM IN A MEDICAL EMERGENCY
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was on my way to the Mexican border for another day of patrolling & other drug interdiction activities when we came upon an SUV stopped in the middle of the road. A motorcycle had crashed into the rear of it and the rider was laying on the ground with blood all over him and gasping for breath. The driver and passenger of the SUV were standing over him looking at him, with a look of horror on their faces. As I jumped out of the truck Aid bag in hand I yelled at them asking if they had called 911 and what had happened. They both looked at me like deer in the head lights. I looked at the driver and shoved my cell phone in his hands well telling him to call 911. I then grabbed the passenger and told her to hold the motorcyclist head stable as I started to assess him. He suddenly started to cough up blood and choke. She started to panic and tried to back away. I made eye contact with her and ordered her to help me as I worked to clear his airway of blood and broken teeth. As I worked on him I directed the driver to watch for on coming traffic and direct them around us. As he quickly rushed to do this I could hear the sirens of the approaching ambulance. 

This is was the first time in my career where I had saved a life. When I look back it wasn't my knowledge that saved him primarily, it was remaining clam that enabled me to take charge of the situation and render aid. I knew at that moment if I didn't do something he would die. The driver and passenger had panicked , I would come to learn that after he'd hit them they had stood there for almost 10 minutes, before I arrived, panicking and doing nothing as this man, an off duty cop, lay there choking on his own blood and teeth with a punctured lung and fractured skull. It was my leadership and calmness that changed the outcome of that situation. So how can you stay calm and take charge in a crisis? Here are a few suggestions:

Prepare
If your reading this you properly spend a lot of time preparing. Don’t forget to prepare your mind. As a good friend of mine stated  “knowledge weighs nothing.” It’s a great addition to your bug-out bag. And if you know what to do, it’s much easier to stay calm. Here are some ways to prepare your mind for a crisis:
Read - Reading the medical articles on my site is a good start. Maybe you’re interested in some medical subjects more than others. Then read some good books about them. Make sure you check your source as people will put anything out there.
Watch videos - The Web has some on just about any subject. The more ways you learn something, the more it will stick with you. But, again, know the source.
Memorize - Not a lot, but some things you should know like the back of your hand. That’s what we medics do. We can’t possibly remember everything we read, But memorizing the first steps to do in different types of emergencies helps you tremendously. For most wounds, that would be “stop the bleeding with pressure.” For neck or head injuries, or trauma you didn’t see occur, it would be stabilize the neck until you can rule out an injury there.
Get hands-on training - There’s no substitute. Take classes on CPR, first-aid, etc. Most are a lot more fun than you’d think. You’re in a group of similar people who don’t know any more than you or they wouldn’t be there. And any instructors worth their salt know this and want to educate you.
Learn with family and friends - I’ve always said it’s great I know CPR, but little good that’s going to do me if I’m the one needing it. Also, you’ll feel much better in an emergency if you have someone with you who’s had some training. You’ll have the help, and the two of you can remind each other of things. It's a good trust building exercise as well. 

Just DO IT!
Take charge - Assume you’re the most knowledgeable person on the scene because there’s a good chance you are. Assume if you don’t take the lead no one else will. There’s a good chance of that also. The world’s full of followers and few leaders. In these emergency situations the choice of which to be is yours. And your choice to become a leader could easily save a life. If there happens to be someone more skilled, like an EMT, paramedic, nurse, or doctor on the scene, then do what you can to help them.
Direct - People tend to stand back, but many are more than willing to help if they’re shown what to do. Pick out somebody, look at them, and say, “You, help me move this person. You, call 911,” or, “go for help,” etc.”
Remember that doing something purposeful helps you calm down. If I’m watching someone get bandaged, I may get a little queasy. But if I’m doing the bandaging, I have no problem with the worst of wounds. I’m focusing on the task at hand.
Do what you’ve memorized - I was recently reading about an audience member having a seizure during a play. One of the actors came down, saw she wasn’t breathing, and did mouth-to-mouth respirations. He was touted as a hero, and rightly so. But the paramedic in me was thinking, I wonder if this woman really needed mouth-to-mouth or, like many people after a seizure, only needed her airway cleared by being placed on her side. But the practical side of me thought, hey, in the end it doesn’t matter. She’s alive. The actor did what he knew, what he had memorized to do, for someone not breathing. And it worked. After you’ve done the first steps you’ve memorized, step back mentally, if not physically, and think. Try to recall some of what else you’ve learned. What you’ve read or seen or done. Throw in a little common sense, and you may just save a life.

Death Happens
Even if you do everything perfectly, some people are not going to make it. It happens all the time to medical personnel and is one of the hardest parts of being in that field. How to cope with that is another article. Actually another lifetime. But, in the end, you can take heart in knowing, under the circumstances, you tried and did your best. And that’s all you can do.


I hope this article has given you some insight as into what to do to keep calm in a medical emergency. Remember PREPARE & JUST DO IT!

KEEPING CALM IN A CRISIS CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE & OF THOSE AROUND YOU. PANIC LEADS TO POOR CHOICES WHICH CAN EASILY TURN FATAL.