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Prevention and Treatment

First Aid Basics

While no one can predict an emergency, you can be prepared for one. Learning first aid is something you can do to be ready to handle an emergency.

General Emergencies

Victims who have trouble breathing or are bleeding heavily require immediate medical attention.
Treatment: Call 9-1-1 for emergency medical attention. Do not move the victim. Make sure the person has an open airway, so he or she can breathe. Apply direct pressure to stop bleeding. Remain calm until help arrives.

Early Heart Attack Care

85% of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack. Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC) is knowing the subtle danger signs of a heart attack and acting upon them immediately – before heart damage occurs. Learn more

Stroke Signs and Symptoms

Acting F.A.S.T. Saves Lives. Time lost is brain lost. Understand the signs and symptoms of stroke then act fast to reduce the risk of permanent damage from stroke.

  • FACE—Does one side of the face droop? Ask the person to smile.
  • ARMS—Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • SPEECH—Is speech slurred? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • TIME—If the person shows any of these symptoms, CALL 911, or go to the hospital immediately.


Symptoms: May vary, complications can be serious
Treatment: If a victim is unconscious, call 9-1-1 for immediate medical attention. Otherwise, call the Illinois Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for instructions. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed.

Cold-related Illness (Hypothermia)

Symptoms: Shivering, confusion, slow breathing and heart rate, slurred speech
Treatment: Move victim to a warm environment. Remove cold, wet clothing. In severe cases, call 9-1-1 for immediate medical attention.

Heat-related Illness

Symptoms: Weakness, headaches, nausea
Treatment: Get out of the heat, away from direct sunlight. Give fluids (water, sports drinks).

Bee Stings

Symptoms: Swelling, redness, warmth and itching at the site of the sting. Those who are allergic will have these symptoms in locations away from the sting site, hives and difficulty breathing.
Treatment: Cold compresses with an over-the-counter antihistamine help relieve symptoms. For those who are allergic, call 9-1-1 for immediate medical attention.


Symptoms: (1st degree) Redness and pain. (2nd degree) Blistering. (3rd degree) Deeply damaged, blackened tissue and open wounds.
Treatment: (1st degree) Keep skin moist and cool, not cold. Use aloe lotions or topical Lidocaine. (2nd degree) Follow treatment for first-degree burns for small burns. Seek medical attention for larger burns with blistering. (3rd degree) Seek immediate medical attention.