November 07 2014

Home Trauma Emergency… Plan Ahead

Bad things happen and while there are professionals to help you handle different situations in life, more often than not, they’re only there to help you ‘after the fact’. When most problems happen, you’re the only one there so if you’ve planned ahead at least you’ll be able to mitigate some of the consequences of what happened. In this case, let’s talk about home trauma emergencies.

What are home trauma emergencies?

They include things like cutting yourself with a knife in the kitchen, running the lawn mower over your foot (or somebody else’s), falling off a ladder, dropping the baby when you were trying to make a funny home video, and the list goes on.

There’s another category of home trauma cleanup that a lot more serious. It’s called ‘crime scene cleanup’ and it’s a huge industry too. The technical term for this type of service is CTS Decon (Crime and Trauma Scene Decontamination). In this kind of trauma cleanup services, it’s usually assumed somebody was either severely injured or killed. Many of the same procedures for minor home trauma are equally applicable to CTS Decon.

The overriding concern with home trauma emergency is to return the area to its pre-incident state of cleanliness. The biggest danger in any kind of home trauma cleanup environment is that biological materials from the person injured might be left behind and could contaminate someone else. That’s the dangerous side of the problem.

The other side of the problem is just the mess that sometimes results from home trauma emergencies. Here we’re talking ‘blood and guts’, OK? Not a pretty thought, right? That’s why CTS Decon is such a big business…. it’s not something average people are prepared to do.

In your situation, hopefully, some common sense, first echelon first aid procedures and supplies will be adequate for the initial response. You should always have some bandages, medical tape, something to use for a brace or a splint (i.e. for broken bones), disinfectant, scissors, something to use for a tourniquet is always a good idea, some type of burn medication is good to have (for accidents in the kitchen) and maybe have some aspirin too. You can actually buy good ‘home medical emergency’ kits either online, at good pharmacies or at various kinds of specialty stores.
In most cases, for minor home trauma, it’s not life threatening and simple washing and cleaning and bandages will do the trick. If necessary, you can always take a run down to the nearest hospital emergency room. If it’s a more serious situation than that, that’s what 911 is for. Or you can call an ambulance yourself.

Health insurance will usually cover at least part of the cost of an ambulance.

The Red Cross has several free courses to cover these types of situation too. You can learn how to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, how to move or when not to move subjects, and many other valuable things. If you’re young, single and healthy you might not care about such things but if you’ve got a family, it would be something good to pursue. Better to be prepared for a home trauma emergency that you never have than to have one and not be prepared and thereby make the consequences even worse.