Office of Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety

Medical Emergencies in Laboratories

 A. Major Accidents and Injuries

  1. If a serious injury or illness occurs, call 911.

  2. Give your name then briefly describe the location and the nature/severity of the emergency.

  3. Ascertain the safety of the situation. Never enter an unsafe area where you may also become a victim.

  4. Warn others nearby of potential risk to their safety.

  5. While you wait for emergency response units to arrive, render first aid promptly:

    • Keep victim still and comfortable. DO NOT MOVE VICTIM unless they are in danger of further harm.

    • Ask victim, "Are you okay?" and "What is wrong?"

    • Check breathing and condition of victim.

    • Assist in controlling serious bleeding. Always wear disposable gloves when assisting victim. NEVER PUT YOURSELF IN DIRECT CONTACT WITH BLOOD OR BODY FLUIDS.

    • Look for emergency medical I.D.

    • If clothing is on fire douse person with sufficient running water under a nearby safety shower if one is available, otherwise roll the person on the floor to smother the flames.

    • If harmful chemicals are spilled on a person, remove them by flooding the affected part with large volumes of water for at least 15-20 minutes. Any contaminated clothing must be removed.

    • Where chemicals have been splashed into the eye, the eyeball and the inner surface of the eyelid must be immediately flushed with tepid water for a minimum of 15 minutes. Eyelids should be held away from the eyeball while rotating the eye in all directions to ensure any contaminants are rinsed away behind the eyelid.

    • If possible where chemical contamination has occurred, determine the identity of the chemical and inform emergency medical personnel attending the injured party. Obtain the necessary MSDS sheets and send them with the emergency medical personnel.

B. Minor Accidents and Injuries

1. Within each department, an individual should be identified and designated as the person responsible for reporting injuries and related details to Human Resources.

2. All injuries to employees should be reported to HR on the “First Report of Injury or Illness” form within 24 hours of the accident.

3. Become familiar with the location of first aid kits. Report use of first aid supplies to the department where the kit is located.

4. The injured staff member should report immediately to the designated person in the department and follow the department's procedures for seeking treatment. NOTE: NEVER TRY TO DRIVE YOURSELF TO A HOSPITAL IF THE INJURY IS SERIOUS IN NATURE. CALL 911 FOR AN AMBULANCE IF THE INJURY IS BELIEVED TO BE SERIOUS IN NATURE.

5. Departments should utilize Covenant Clinic Arrowhead for paid employees. This includes all paid student employees, researchers, and graduate students when injured during the performance of their job duties. Arrowhead can be reached at 575-5600. If a student is injured as part of a non-paid activity, they should be referred to the student health clinic. The phone number for the student health clinic is (27)3-2009. It is important to call the health provider ahead of time. The name of the injured party and the nature of the injury should be provided. If the injury occurs after 5:00 PM, it will be necessary to transport the injured person to the Sartori Emergency Room.