How to help save a life: Falling, choking, pet illness, fires, and allergic reactions.

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All this week on FOX43 we’ve been airing a special “Save a Life” series and the ways you can help people and pets who suffer from various injuries and illnesses. 


Winter is approaching and in the upcoming months more people will end up in emergency rooms for falls.

Whether ice is to blame, or tripping over your child’s new toy, doctors say it is a big concern especially when the victim is not talking.

“If they are not talking you have to be concerned about things like a stroke or heart attack or something that’s even more devastating than the fall,” Dr. Elliot Wentz, of Wesley Long Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina said.

If that is the case doctors say to call 911 immediately.  If the person can talk, experts say they are usually okay but to still see a physician in case further care is needed.


Choking is a leading cause of injury and death for children and the elderly.

Doctors say if you see someone choking, the first thing you should do is ask them if they can respond. If they can’t, “make a fish tuck in your thumb go just about the belly button then do a hard upward thrust in forcing the air out,” one doctor says.

That’s for an average adult. For kids, doctors say turn them over and support their weight. Then hold their chin and give them forceful back slaps.

They say to give five hard slaps between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand and don’t sweep their mouth with your finger. Doctors say that could make it worse.

Pet Illness and Injuries

Pets are like family, and like human, they suffer injuries too.

One veterinarian says cuts, lacerations and eating the wrong things are the most common issues for our four legged friends.

They say first call your vet when something is wrong. If it is a wound, they say to cover it with gauze.

If they eat chocolate, keep a bottle of hydrogen peroxide on hand.

“This does make dogs vomit, however you would always want to do that under the advisement of a vet,” Dr. Courtney Pierce, a veterinarian said. “Some things we don’t recommend having your dog vomit up so you would want to make sure you consult a vet professional before you did that.”

Another recommendation, keep a list of emergency numbers for your vet and a pet poison control center handy.

Extinguishing Fires

Fires are common, especially during the holiday season when people spend more time in the kitchen cooking and baking.

Fire experts say grease fires are very common and they say never use water to try to put out the flames. Water can actually make the fire worse.

Firefighters say using a fire extinguisher for a smaller fire is a good option but can require some practice. Just remember the acronym “PASS.”

“Pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle and sweep until the fire is out,”

Some other things to keep in mind according to experts, always know where an exit is and make sure you can easily get out. Plus, have a fire plan and change your smoke alarm batteries often.

As always, call authorities when you need help.

Allergic Reactions

Many people suffer from allergies, whether it is to peanuts or fish.

There are steps everyone can take when someone is having an allergic reaction. An allergist-immunologist says the first thing a person should do is look for an epipen and then use it on the person.

“It’s a really sharp needle, it hurts when you inject it, but it saves your life,” Dr. Jason Caldwell said.

The doctor says that if someone never use an epipen, there is no need to be afraid. They say to stay calm and remember to hold it into the leg for a full 10 seconds.

The epipen injects epinephrine into the blood stream.  It reverses the symptoms of anaphalactic shock, from swellings to vomiting.

Professionals say acting quickly and following the right steps can help save a life. They also mention that if someone uses an epipen on someone who does not need it, it will not hurt them.

As always, if there is a medical emergency, call 911 first.