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First aid guide
In Case of an Emergency

Cintas Quick Reference First Aid Guide



Contact with body fluids, such as blood or vomit, can put you at risk for HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B and C and other bloodborne pathogens. To be safe, you must assume that all patients are infectious and use appropriate barriers, such as gloves, CPR masks, eye shields and/or gowns. Avoid direct and indirect skin or mucous membrane contact with blood and body fluids and avoid punctures from needles, broken glass and other sharp objects. When you remove protective barriers, do it carefully so that blood and body fluids do not contact your skin or mucous membranes, and wash hands for at least two minutes immediately after removal.


  1. Call for help. Phone 911 or local EMS providers immediately.
  2. Control bleeding by applying direct pressure on wound with a sterile dressing. If blood soaks through, do not remove first dressing — add additional dressings on top. This will speed clotting.
  3. If fracture or neck/back injuries are not suspected, elevate injured area.
  4. If bleeding continues, apply firm pressure at appropriate pressure point (femoral arteries-groin area, brachial arteries-inside upper arm).
  5. Apply pressure bandage, if needed, over dressings already on the wound.
  6. Do not attempt to remove impaled objects. Bandage in place.


  1. Wash minor wounds that are not bleeding severely with soap and water.
  2. Apply antiseptic or antibiotic ointment to the wound.
  3. Apply a clean dressing.


Signs and Symptoms: Wound of scalp or skull, blood or clear fluid draining from nose and/or ears, lowered level of responsiveness, deformity of skull, bruising around eyes or ears, nausea and vomiting, shallow or irregular breathing.

  1. Call for help. Phone 911 or local EMS providers immediately.
  2. Immobilize the head and neck. Do not move the patient.
  3. Do not attempt to stop bleeding or draining from ears or nose.
  4. A head injury may also indicate a neck injury. Treat neck, head and body as one unit.
  5. Watch for vomiting and keep airway clear.


Signs and Symptoms: Deformity, swelling, discoloration, pain and tenderness.

  1. Do not move patient except in the case of life-threatening danger.
  2. Call 911 or local EMS providers.
  3. If EMS is not immediately available, ice or cold packs may help to reduce pain and swelling.
  4. If you must transport the patient, splint or immobilize fractured limbs in the position found.
  5. Continue to check for proper circulation and sensation and loosen splint if either is impaired or decreased.


Signs and Symptoms: Skin is broken and bleeding, bone may be visible.

  1. Call for help. Phone 911 or local EMS providers immediately.
  2. Control bleeding, but do not elevate area.
  3. Keep a close eye on circulation.
  4. Do not apply cold packs.
  5. Continually recheck circulation.
  6. Provide care for shock.
  7. Monitor airway, breathing and circulation.


  1. Check circulation and sensation below point of dislocation or sprain. If either is impaired, call for help. Phone 911 or your local EMS providers.
  2. Affix splint to injured area or otherwise immobilize the area in a position of comfort.
  3. Apply a cold pack to reduce swelling and pain and recheck circulation.
  4. Transport patient to a medical facility for treatment.
  5. Note that elbow and knee dislocations are emergency cases, as there is a high potential for nerve damage.


Signs and Symptoms: Pale or bluish tissue color, sweating, chest pain, pressure or squeezing sensation. Pain may spread to one or both shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back; sweating, nausea, weakness and dizziness, shortness of breath, anxiety and denial of a problem.

  1. Call for help. Phone 911 or local EMS providers immediately. Ask for EMS equipped with oxygen; contact the patient's doctor.
  2. Insist on rapid care. Denial may be strong, but rapid care may prevent permanent damage or death.
  3. Place patient in a comfortable seated or semi-seated position, loosen all tight clothing; do not let the patient move around.
  4. If breathing stops, begin rescue breathing.
  5. If the heart stops, perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).


Signs and Symptoms: Weakness, loss of feeling or paralysis, usually on one side of the face or body; difficulty with vision or movement. Slow, noisy breathing (may sound like snoring); drooling or difficulty swallowing; tissue color flushed, then pale; pulse slow and strong, becoming weak and rapid; skin feels cool and clammy to the touch; ability to speak may be impaired; lowered consciousness level.

  1. Call for help. Phone 911 or local EMS providers immediately.
  2. Allow patient to assume position of most comfort.
  3. If patient is unconscious, place on the affected side in the recovery position (on the side with legs bent, bottom arm under head).
  4. Continue monitoring airway, breathing and circulation until help arrives. Be extra vigilant to keep airway open; patient may have difficulty breathing due to paralysis and lowered consciousness level.


Signs and Symptoms: Pale or bluish tissue color, moist, clammy skin, shivering, rapid, weak pulse, shallow, labored or noisy breathing, anxiety, nausea and vomiting, thirst, mental confusion or restlessness.

  1. Call for help. Phone 911 or local EMS providers immediately.
  2. Lay the patient down. Position according to injury. If head, neck, spine or leg fractures are not present, lay the patient on their back and elevate the feet and legs 8 to 12 inches. If head, neck, spine or leg fractures are suspected, do not move the patient unless extreme danger is present.
  3. If the patient has trouble breathing, place the person in an elevated position, using blankets or other objects to raise the head and back for easier breathing.
  4. Help the patient maintain a normal body temperature. If cold, warm the patient by putting blankets underneath as well as around the body. Do not overheat. If too warm, provide shade, loosen clothing.
  5. Monitor airway, breathing and circulation at all times. Do not underestimate the deadly potential of shock; it can be fatal.


  1. Call for help. Phone 911 or local EMS providers immediately.
  2. Relieve pain and prevent contamination using the following methods:

    For first-degree or second-degree burns with closed blisters:

    1. Wrap with a cooling burn gel compress or flush with cool water until pain subsides.
    2. Apply loose, moist, sterile dressings and bandage.

    For third-degree burns (full thickness burns) or burns with open blisters:

    1. Apply loose, dry, sterile dressing and bandage.
    2. Treat for shock.


Symptoms: Hot, red skin; very small pupils; very high body temperature (up to 105 degrees F). If patient was previously sweating from heavy exercise, skin may be wet. Otherwise, skin is hot and dry.

  1. Call for help. Phone 911 or local EMS providers immediately.
  2. Give nothing by mouth.
  3. Move patient to cooler place.
  4. Cool the patient fast by whatever method is available, such as drenching with a garden hose, fanning, using a cool bath or wrapping cold, wet sheets around the body.
  5. Treat for shock.


Symptoms: Cool, pale and moist skin, heavy sweating, dilated pupils, headache, nausea, dizziness, vomiting. Body temperature will be near normal.

  1. Move person into a cooler place and call 911 or local EMS providers.
  2. Treat for shock.
  3. Loosen clothing, cool patient by fanning and applying cold packs, wet towels or sheets.
  4. If patient is conscious and can tolerate fluids, provide about 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes.


  1. Keep patient lying down with feet raised 8 to 12 inches until recovery is complete.
  2. Loosen any tight clothing and keep crowds away. Maintain open airway.
  3. Bathe face gently with cool water, but do not drench the patient's face with water.
  4. Unless recovery is prompt, call 911 or local EMS providers.

This guide is a compilation of general first aid information obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Cintas cannot guarantee the medical validity of the information or the results obtained from using said information. Nor does Cintas represent that every acceptable safety procedure is contained herein, or that abnormal or unusual circumstances may not warrant or require further or additional procedures. Cintas assumes no liability for information provided in this guide. User of this guide releases Cintas from any loss or other liability incurred by user.