Medical Emergencies

A medical emergency is any health-related event that is potentially debilitating or life-threatening. This includes heart attacks, seizures, auto accidents, loss of consciousness, large loss of blood, etc.

In the case of such an event:

  • Have someone call 911 (9-911 if from a campus phone) immediately. Relay all relevant information (building, room, address and the nature of the emergency). Do NOT hang up with the 911 operator until you are released.
  • Contact Campus Security at 797-7669. (Dial 9 before # if from a campus phone.)
  • Search the area for any hazards that may have caused the emergency or could be hazardous to first responders. This could include downed power lines, chemicals or motor vehicle traffic.
  • If a trained person is available, first aid should be given.
  • Have someone wait outside the building to escort emergency medical personnel to the scene.

(for witnessed sudden collapse)


  • CHECK the scene, then  CHECK  the person
  • Tap on the shoulder and shout, “Are you okay?”
  • CALL 911 if no response.
  • If unresponsive and not breathing, BEGIN CHEST COMPRESSIONS.

  • Occasional gasps are not breathing.
  • Whenever possible, use disposable gloves when giving care.

  • Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest.
  • Place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand, lacing your fingers together.
  • Keep your arms straight, positioning your shoulders directly over your hands.
  • Push hard and push fast.
          Compress the chest at least two inches.
          Compress at least 100 times per minute.
          Let the chest rise completely before pushing down again.
  • Continue chest compressions.

  • Except in one of these situations:
  • You see an obvious sign of life (breathing).
  • Another trained responder arrives and takes over.
  • EMS personnel arrive and take over.
  • You are too exhausted to continue.
  • An AED is ready to use.
  • The scene becomes unsafe.


If an AED is available:
  • Turn on AED.
  • Wipe chest dry.
  • Attach the pads.
  • Plug in connector, if necessary.
  • Make sure no one is touching the individual.
  • Push the “Analyze” button, if necessary.
  • If a shock is advised, push the “Shock” button.
  •  Perform compressions and follow AED prompts.


Note:  To avoid heat-related medical emergencies, you should avoid extensive sun exposure and strenuous activities, drink plenty of water, and wear light-colored, loose clothing.

Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms include heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale and clammy skin; weak pulse; fainting; vomiting.

  • Cool the victim rapidly from the shoulders down.
  • Move to air-conditioned place if possible.
  • Loosen clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet cloths and fan the victim.
  • Encourage victim to drink cool water, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Seek medical follow up.
  • If victim refuses water or if vomiting occurs, call 911.
Heat Stroke:  Symptoms are high body temperature; red, hot and dry skin; rapid, strong pulse; possibly unconsciousness. Anytime we are unable to rehydrate the victim (either because they refuse or because they are vomiting), the incidence is classified as Heat Stroke.

  • Call 911. Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency and can be fatal.
While waiting:

  • Remove all hot, sweaty clothing
  • Cool the victim rapidly, from the shoulders down, with cool but not icy water.
  • Carefully move the victim to a cool, shady place.
  • DO NOT FORCE FLUIDS if the victim is either unwilling or vomiting.

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