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Emergency Care Scenarios

Situations such as those indicated below could be placed on task cards for students to:

  • Respond to in writing and discussion
  • Act out and treat
  • Brainstorm solutions in small groups

Students could also be asked to create their own scenarios. Newspaper clippings of local incidents can provide realistic scenarios. Consider scenarios that could occur in situations in which students might typically find themselves (e.g. at home, at school, at the lake, at a football game, in a mall, at a dance…). A variety of airway, breathing and circulation emergencies should be included to encourage proper assessment and response.

You might consider photocopying these Critical Incident Samples for student group work.

  • It is lunch time and all the students pile into the cafeteria. You grab a table with all your friends. You are sitting around the table eating, talking and drinking. Suddenly, Jane clutches her throat. She is not speaking, but her lips begin to turn blue. What do you do?
  • You are walking past your neighbour’s house on a warm summer day. Suddenly, you hear your neighbour frantically shouting that her son has fallen into the backyard pool. He can’t swim. When you reach the pool deck, you see his body beneath the surface. He is not moving. You are able to reach him and get him out of the pool, but he is unconscious. What do you do?
  • An elderly gentleman is sitting on a park bench. He begins to complain of chest pain. He says he has had it before. As you consider what to do next, you realize that his pain is increasing. What do you do?
  • You are visiting your grandmother’s house for lunch. She has just gone into the kitchen. Suddenly, you hear a loud thud. Upon entering the kitchen you see your grandmother on the floor. Her face seems to be drooping somewhat on the left side and she seems unable to move the left side of her body. What do you do?
  • A middle-aged fan at a hockey game has been very excited throughout the contest. After the opposition scores the go-ahead goal, he becomes extremely angry, shouting at the referee that the play was offside. In mid-shout he stops, clutching his left arm. He sits down and seems to be having difficulty breathing. He says it feels as though someone is standing on his chest. What do you do?
  • Your uncle is visiting for the holidays. You awake in the night to hear him walking around downstairs. When you go to see him, he complains of indigestion. You realize that he ate his evening meal very early and had nothing to eat later in evening. He is very pale and he appears to be short of breath. What do you do?
  • You are driving on a back road just after a thunderstorm. Up ahead you see a power line down. As you get closer, you see the body of a young woman lying close to the downed line. She is not moving. What do you do?
  • While playing in the gym, Elizabeth starts coughing very hard and leaves the gym into the change room. Knowing that Elizabeth always chews gum what would you do?

  •  Asthma attack
  • Choking in restaurant; person goes to the washroom and is found unconscious
  • Alone and choking
  • Wilderness scenario
  • Rural

1)  You are on a field trip to a local museum. You notice that Mrs. Jones, one of your  teachers, is standing very quietly. She does not look well. Speaking with Mrs. Jones you Recognize her pain might be cardiac.  (The 5 Ps of Chest Pain)

You React, getting someone to look for another teacher. If there is none, you get someone to call 911. You sit Mrs. Jones down and open a window so she can get some air. (Hazards and Holler and a little PLT)

Now that the paramedics are coming, ask Mrs. Jones about medications, allergies, etc… While you are doing that, ask someone else to go to the front door of  the  museum to guide the paramedics to where you are. (Visible with Information)

 2) Your allergic brother comes home from a friend’s house wheezing badly. He played  with a dog there and his asthma is severe. He is using his inhaler too often and not  getting better. You holler for your mom, who calls 911. You reassure him help is coming. You stay right with him. You tell your mom to bag his inhalers and go to the front to wave at the paramedics as they come down the street. (Hazards and Holler and a little PLT) (Visible with Information)

 Your brother gets sicker and suddenly you realize he is very quiet. He is  unresponsive and is not breathing. You are scared, but you start CPR. (Resuscitate)

 3) There is a fight in the schoolyard. A boy is down. You Recognize his airway is OK, he is breathing. You support his neck, making sure it doesn’t move. (ABCs)

 You React, yelling for someone to get a teacher and call 911. (Hazards and Holler and a little PLT)

 You send a friend to the front of the school to guide the paramedics. When the paramedics arrive, you point out the boy is wearing a MedicAlert bracelet. (Visible with Information)

 4) At a family dinner, you notice your grandmother is suddenly having trouble speaking.  She drops a fork and can’t pick it up. She looks ill. You Recognize she might be showing signs of a stroke. (The “P” Sign of a Brain Attack — Paralysis)

 You React, pointing out to everyone that Granny is sick. You note this could be a stroke. Your mom calls 911 as you help carry Granny to bed. (Hazards and Holler and a little PLT)

 While your dad checks Granny’s purse looking for medications, you ask your mom  questions. You write the answers down for the paramedics. Your brother moves the car out of the driveway so the ambulance can get close to the house. (Visible with Information)

 5) You and your dad are alone watching TV. You suddenly notice he doesn’t look comfortable. He says he has pain, which you Recognize might be a heart problem. (The 5 Ps of Chest Pain)

 You React, urging him to call 911. You tell him you are afraid for him and you let him  know about clot-busters. He says it is nothing, probably indigestion. He is sweaty and vomits. You decide to act on your own. You call 911. You help dad lie down. (Hazards and Holler and a little PLT)

 You leave him for a second to turn the porch light on so the paramedics can see the  address number. You ask your dad where his medications are. When the paramedics arrive, you tell them dad’s medications are in the bathroom. (Visible with Information)

 6) At a party, a girl is found unconscious in the backyard pool. Someone has lifted her to the poolside. You step up and say “I know CPR.” (It scares you a little that people are suddenly listening to you and doing what you say). You Recognize that this person is in cardiac arrest. (ABCs)

 You React, yelling for someone to call 911. (Hazards and Holler and a little PLT)

 And you Resuscitate, starting CPR. Be careful to support her neck, because you don’t know how she fell into that pool! You tell someone to get any information about  this girl. Who is she? Does she have a wallet? Does it have any medical information in it? You send someone to the street to flag down the paramedics and guide them through the house to the backyard. (Visible with Information) (Resuscitate)