VIII. MEDICAL EMERGENCIES

1. GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR HANDLING MEDICAL EMERGENCIES

These guidelines present simple and very basic actions to be taken during medical emergencies. There are emergency medical personnel readily available in the area and staff should not hesitate to call them. In reality, very few situations occur in the library that are life-threatening, with the possible exceptions of heart attack or stroke.

Each library should prepare for a medical emergency by:

A. Maintaining, in an accessible location known to personnel, a first-aid kit to handle minor injuries. The kit should contain assorted band-aids, peroxide or alcohol for cleaning, merthiolate, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, ointment or spray for minor burns, cotton gauze bandages, and tape.

B. Attaching the local emergency medical telephone number to every phone in the library.

C. Preparing and keeping an up-to-date list of staff having emergency first-aid training. Any staff member interested in attending a first-aid course during off-duty hours is encouraged to do so.

D. Maintaining a complete file of up-to-date "Personnel Emergency Medical Forms„ (PUF-15). These forms will identify staff allergies, medic alert information, etc. Completion of this form is voluntary. Headquarters will maintain a copy for all employees; branch libraries may maintain a copy for branch employees.

When dealing with medical emergencies, staff should keep in mind the following points:

A. More harm is done by untrained people attempting to give aid in an emergency situation than is done by no action at all.

B. Stay calm. An injured person will be upset and frightened and is dependent on you for help. Do not leave them alone, except to summon help. Reassure the person that help is on the way and everything will be all right.

C. Many minor injuries can be handled by library personnel. Two

important points to remember: (1) clean and bandage abrasions, cuts, etc., and (2) apply gentle pressure to bleeding.

D. Do not hesitate to call for emergency medical assistance if it is needed or if you are unsure. Be sure to state the problem clearly.

E. In a life-threatening situation, library personnel should begin assistance immediately. Don't waste valuable time searching for the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

F. Library personnel will not employ CPR techniques unless they hold current certification.

G. An injured or ill person who is conscious has the right to refuse medical treatment. His/her wishes prevail and library personnel have no further obligation. If, however, in your opinion medical attention should have been sought, have a co-worker witness with you the refusal for treatment. Document your incident report accordingly.

H. Unconsciousness is considered "implied consent" and the staff should call emergency medical personnel immediately.

I. If a patron bystander professes medical training and offers assistance, it is proper for library staff to yield to the better trained person. Prior to this person leaving the library, however, you must obtain their name, address, and telephone number.

J. Staff members are covered from civil liability through the "good Samaritan" statute, provided they give medical assistance in "good faith and in the exercise of reasonable care".

K. "Patron/Staff Accident & Illness Report" forms that are completed should be sent to Headquarters to the attention of the Branch Services Manager. Workmen's Compensation reports must be forwarded to Headquarters Business Manager.

Applicable PUF forms:

PUF-03 Workmen’s Compensation Report

PUF-10 Patron/Staff Accident & Illness Report

PUF-15 Personnel Emergency Medical Form

2. ILLNESS OR INJURY OF STAFF

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. In non-life threatening situations, notify the Person- in-Charge/Branch Manager. He/she will coordinate assistance. Call family member or contact person. If this person cannot be reached, it is permissible to transport staff member to a medical facility or home.

B. In life-threatening situations, provide immediate assistance utilizing staff with first-aid training. Call for emergency medical assistance. Be sure to state the severity and nature of the problem plus give precise location of the library and the easiest entrance into the building. Send a staff member outside to flag down the emergency vehicle. Inform the Person-in-Charge/ Branch Manager as soon as possible.

C. In cases of serious injury or illness, notify a family member or contact person.

D. All employees are covered by Worker's Compensation for job-related accidents and illnesses. To insure coverage, the employee must report any and all job related illnesses and accidents to the Headquarters Business Office within three (3) working days on the Worker's Compensation Commission's "Employer's First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease" form (PUF-03). You do not have to seek medical services immediately, but you do have to make a report for Worker's Compensation.

E. Complete "Patron/Staff Accident & Illness Report"; forward to Branch Services Manager.

3. ILLNESS OR INJURY OF PATRON

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. If a patron is injured or becomes ill and requires medical attention, the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager should call the emergency medical number. Library staff should never drive the ill or injured person anywhere for medical attention.

B. In all injuries of a serious nature, such as falls, broken limbs, shock, unconsciousness, epileptic attacks, the injured should not be moved. Wait for the paramedic team. Meanwhile, make the injured patron as comfortable as possible. Never put a pillow under the head of an unconscious person - this position could restrict the breathing passage. Do not try to restrain a person having a seizure. The object is to minimize injury with such actions as cradling their head with your hands, moving furniture so that he/she doesn't hit it, etc.

C. Staff should clear the area of bystanders. Remove any obstacles -- furniture, book trucks, etc. -- that may be in the path of the paramedic unit. Send a staff member outside to flag down the emergency vehicle.

D. Obtain the name of the injured party and a witness, in case there is legal action taken against the library.

E. NEVER ADMIT LIABILITY FOR AN ACCIDENT.

F. Hospital Emergency Room personnel will notify the family or contact person.

G. Complete "Patron/Staff Accident & Illness Report"; forward to Director within 24 hours.