Safety & Security

Dothan Campus Medical & First Aid Information

Medical Emergencies

  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this section is to establish procedures to be followed when necessary to administer temporary care to a victim of an accident of sudden illness until the services of qualified persons can be obtained. The first response of any student, employee, or guest seeking aid for an injured or ill person must be to call 911 and the Switchboard, Extension. 111, or if after hours University Police at 334 685-1185, to request immediate medical assistance. Should the faculty and staff, student, or guest be on campus at times when the Switchboard is not operating, locate a telephone and dial 911, requesting medical care on sight and following directions of emergency personnel on the telephone and call University Police at 334 685-1185.

    Ft. Rucker Location personnel will follow emergency procedures established for that location.

    Zoll automatic AED (Defibrillators) are located as follows: Malone Hall (First Floor near the Harrison Room), Adams Hall (First and Fourth Floors near the elevators) and Library/Technology Building (First Floor hallway).

  2. Definitions/Explanations/Procedures
  3. The following information is provided in the event that faculty and staff, students, or guest administers temporary care to a victim until the services of a qualified person can be obtained.

    1. First Aid: The immediate and temporary care provided to a victim of an accident or sudden illness until the services of a physician can be obtained.
    2. Administration: Call University Police and 911 immediately! Do not attempt to administer first aid unless you have had a first aid training course from a qualified instructor. Make the patient comfortable, but avoid moving him or her as much as possible. Do not attempt to do too much. Use common sense. First aid kits, including gloves, are available on the first floor in each campus building. If a student, employee, or guest finds it necessary to render first aid, the use of gloves is strongly encouraged.
    3. Fainting: The patient will be pale and often covered with perspiration. The patient's pulse will usually be fast. Allow the patient to lie down and recovery usually occurs promptly.
    4. Shock: A patient may go into or be in a state of shock because of an injury to the body from burns, wounds, or fractures. A state of shock may result from electrocution or insulin (too much). If a person develops shock and remains in it, death may result, even though the injury ordinarily may not be fatal.
      1. The shock victim will feel weak and the skin will be pale and moist and cooler than usual. The pulse will be fast and weak, sometimes even imperceptible. The patient may be breathing faster than usual, occasionally taking deep breaths.
      2. Keep the patient lying down. If the victim is lying on the ground or floor, place a blanket beneath him and cover him according to the surrounding temperature. Do not cause sweating. In cold weather, hot water bottles or heating pads may be used. The utmost care should be taken not to burn the patient.
      3. If difficulty in breathing exists, the patient's head and chest should be elevated.
    5. Electric Shock: In a building, shut off the current at the switch. Separate the person form contact by means of a rated insulated "hot stick." Outdoors, with high tension wires, the danger to yourself is much greater. Telephone the power company to turn off the current before you attempt a rescue. Once the rescue is made, provide CPR if needed.
    6. Fractures: A fracture is a break in the bone. Never attempt to test for a fracture by having the victim move the part or attempt to walk. Keep the broken ends at rest and prevent the moment of the fractured bone. When applying a splint DO NOT manipulate the broken limb. Improvised splints should be carefully fashioned or selected.
    7. Sprains: A sprain is an injury to the soft tissues surrounding joints. Elevate the part. apply cold, wet applications or an ice bag during the first half hour following the injury to reduce the swelling. Keep the joint at rest.
    8. Wounds: A wound is a break in the skin. Wounds are subject to infection and bleeding.
    9. In a minor wound where bleeding is not severe, clean the injury, apply a dry, sterile, or clean dressing. In a wound that produces severe bleeding, the object is to stop the bleeding at once. Always, if possible, apply pressure directly over the wound with a clean or sterile dressing or cloth. Application of a gloved hand may be necessary for quick action in stemming a major blood loss.
    10. The use of a tourniquet in case of bleeding from an extremity is justifiable only rarely. The decision to apply a tourniquet is only performed when other methods fail or by a trained individual.
    11. Burns: Treat for shock. Relieve pain, and prevent contamination. The danger of infection is greater in second and third degree burns. The exclusion of air from a burn by the application of a thick dressing relieves pain. If your dressing is sterile, it will prevent further contamination. Do not break blisters. Treat as for shock.
    12. Liquid Stimulants: Do not provide water or other liquid to an unconscious or partly conscious person because it may enter the windpipe. Hot teas or coffee may be offered if the patient is cold. Stimulants should not be provided in cases of severe bleeding, suspected internal bleeding, or head injury.
    13. HIV: Human immunodeficiency virus is a blood-borne and sexually transmitted disease that destroys the body's immune system. It leaves a person defenseless to infections that are not normally a problem for healthy individuals. It is caused by a virus called HIV that attacks and destroys certain white blood cells that are the body's first line of defense against invading germs.

    HGB: Hepatitis B is a virus which attacks the liver which is blood-borne and sexually transmitted disease. This virus is more easily transmitted than HIV.

    1. When faced with an incident, you may not be able to determine with certainty whether an individual is infected with a communicable disease before taking appropriate action. While recognizing that the risk of infection is minimal, you are to exercise caution.
    2. Whenever possible, you should wear disposable nitrile gloves when doing any of the following:
      1. Handling items which may contain contaminated blood or body fluid products (hypodermic needles, syringes, bloody items).
      2. Cleaning up blood or other secretions that have contaminated floors, seats, and equipment.
      3. All employees who have a substantial chance of exposure to blood may request the Safety Coordinator arrange for them to have the hepatitis B vaccine, a three series injection, at University expense.
    3. Wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after removing gloves after contact with the subject.
    4. Carefully handle contaminated items. Contaminated items shall be double-bagged and closed tightly masking tape.
    5. Contaminated items to be disposed of shall be disposed of in an approved manner as directed by the Public Safety Director or Public Safety Coordinator.
    6. Clean up blood spills or other body fluids with regular household bleach diluted as one part bleach to nine parts water. Wear gloves during this procedure.
    7. A soiled uniform (by blood or body fluids) should be changed as soon as possible. Dispose of in a method approved by the Public Safety Director or Public Safety Coordinator.
    8. Though the danger of infection through bites is low, a person bitten by an individual should immediately encourage the wound to bleed by applying pressure and "milking" the wound. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.
      1. Seek medical attention at the nearest hospital.
      2. Report the event to the Public Safety Director or Public Safety Coordinator.
    9. HIV and HGB - Related Concerns of Personnel
      1. Human Bites: Person who bites is typically the one who gets the blood. Viral transmission through saliva is highly unlikely. If bitten by anyone, milk the wound to make it bleed, wash the area thoroughly, and seek medical attention.
      2. Spitting: Viral transmission through saliva is not likely unless visible blood is, present.
      3. Urine/Feces: Virus concentrations in urine and feces are low.
      4. Cuts/Puncture Wounds: Use caution in handling sharp objects and searching areas hidden from view. Needle stick studies show risk of infection which is low for HIV but higher for HGB. Seek medical attention and report the injury to the Public Safety Director or Public Safety Coordinator.
      5. CPR/First Aid: To eliminate the already minimal risk associated with CPR, use the bag mask. Avoid blood-to-blood contact by keeping open wounds covered and wearing gloves when in contact with bleeding wounds.
      6. Body Removal: Observe crime scene rule by not touching anything. Those who must come into contact with blood or other body fluids should wear gloves.
        Casual Contact: No cases of infection attributed to casual contact.
      7. Any Contact with Blood or Body Fluids: Wash thoroughly with soap and water.
      8. Clean up spills with 1:9 solution of household bleach (hypochlorite).

    Note: This section pertaining to First Aid is a guide only. Do not attempt to administer first aid unless trained by an approved instructor in a nationally recognized course.

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