Are you prepared for an emergency?
I have a medically fragile student this year-- a great kid who tries so hard to overcome insurmountable odds-- but I got him at the last minute, so have been kind of playing catch up (studying up on his illness, reading his very very long IEP, making adaptations since the IEP hasn't kept up with his condition, etc.). The other day he suddenly started bleeding from his nose while I was working with another student. And very quickly we had several problems.
It all ended okay-- one kid let me know what was happening, the kids all stayed calm, he stayed calm, I stayed calm, we all tried to distract him as another kid found paper towels. I called the nurse (thank GOD for nurses!) who came very quickly.
But I just want to say to you, Edusphere friends, it reminded me of a few things.
Please make sure you have the following items in your classroom, even if you DON'T have medically fragile students:
1. Non-latex gloves, several pair
2. Spare trashcan liners in which to dispose of biohazard waste
3. Gauze pads
4. Bleach wipes
Then, here's the first aid for a nosebleed (advice directed to the person who is bleeding):
1. Tilt your head downward toward your chest, NOT back (tilting your head back causes blood to flow down your throat where it could make you throw up or possibly aspirate it into your lungs). Place something beneath your nostrils to absorb the blood-- gauze, but at least a paper towel or a clean cloth if you can get it.
2. Place pressure with the last joint of your thumb and forefinger on both sides of your nose below the bridge-- think of it as a pincer movement rather than a pinch.
3. Breathe through your mouth calmly.
4. Maintain pressure for several minutes. If you feel faint, try to lower your head toward or below your knees and call for help.
You never know when you might need to know this stuff.