Time is essential during medical emergencies! Dialing 911 is still one of the most responsive methods for medical emergencies. However everyone may not be comfortable calling 911. While we can’t know what is going to happen in all situations, it is essential to contact emergency responders for medical assistance immediately! Our purpose is to educate and provide the skills needed to keep you and your fellow community members safe and alive. Additionally, you are protected by the “California Good Samaritan Law” and the UCSB “Responsible Action Protocol” in the Student Code of Conduct.
Prepare for Help to arrive; Someone must stay with the student in distress until responders arrive, End the party, Turn off music, Turn on lights, clear the residence, Check the scene/clean up if needed.
You’ve done the right thing by calling 9-1-1. Do not leave the person alone. There are a few things you can do while you wait for the ambulance to arrive. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for help or support.
Do NOT make them throw up. The person’s gag reflex is impaired and they can choke on their own vomit or accidentally inhale vomit into their lungs. This can cause permanent lung injury or death.
Do NOT force the person to drink coffee, water, or other beverages. Drinking other beverages will not prevent the absorption of alcohol into the blood-stream and it will not help.
Do NOT laugh, ridicule, provoke, anger or threaten the person.
Do NOT force feed them bread or other food. Alcohol depresses the nerves that control the gag reflex. Someone who is drunk will have a higher likelihood of choking on food. Alcohol is already in the person’s system so food will not help.
Do NOT give the person a cold shower. The shock may cause the person to pass out, and getting the person in and out of a shower increases the chance of them falling down.
Do NOT make the person walk, run or exercise. Alcohol has already been absorbed into their system, and forcing them to exercise will not help.