Medical Emergencies

If you are confronted with a life threatening medical emergency on campus, call 9-911 and report the incident immediately. A second call should be made to Public Safety at x3666. Public Safety will respond immediately and begin an initial assessment of the patient pending the arrival of the ambulance. During the academic year, when classes are in session, St. Olaf Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) will also respond to the call. St. Olaf EMT’s are nationally trained and certified students who respond to medical situations in conjunction with Public Safety.

Minor injuries should be reported to Public Safety, who along with the St. Olaf EMT’s, will respond and assess the extent of the injury/illness. When appropriate, Public Safety will provide transportation to the Northfield Hospital Emergency Department. If a determination is made by Public Safety and the EMT on scene that an ambulance is needed, an ambulance will be summoned to provide transportation to the emergency department at Northfield Hospital.

Emergency Action Steps:

  • Check the scene for safety
  • Check the victim’s consciousness and breathing
  • Call 9-911 and Public Safety at x3666
  • Care for the conditions you find

When you call 9-911,  be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Telephone number from where you are calling
  • Type of problem ( heart attack, person fell, fainting, seizure, etc.)
  • Location/address of the emergency
  • Number of persons injured & care being provided
  • Directions to the site of the emergency


  • Have the person lie down and elevate their legs
  • Remove any obvious dirt or debris from the wound but not remove deeply imbedded objects
  • Apply pressure directly to the wound with a sterile bandage, clean cloth or even your hand
  • Maintain pressure until the bleeding stops


  • Remove the cause of the burn by flushing the area with cool running water for 20 minutes
  • Remove clothing or jewelry that had been contaminated by the chemical
  • Wrap the burned area using a dry, sterile dressing or clean cloth
  • If a blister develops DON’T break the blister
  • Rinse the burned area again with cool water and seek medical attention

Choking (Conscious Person):

  • If the person can cough, speak or breathe, encourage the person to cough and do not interfere
  • If the person cannot cough, speak or breathe:
  • Stand directly behind the victim
  • Make a fist with one hand, place the thumb side of the fist against the middle of the person’s abdomen, just above the belly button
  • Grab your fist with the other hand and give quick, powerful upward thrusts

Choking (Unconscious Person)

  • Place the person on his/her back. Open their airway and check for breathing for about 5 seconds
  • If the person is NOT breathing, give 2 breaths lasting 1 second each
  • If the breaths do not go in, reposition the airway and try giving 2 breaths again. If they do not go in, the airway is blocked.
  • Give 30 chest compressions by placing the heel of your hand at the lower end of the breastbone, just above the notch where the ribs meet. Place your other hand on top of the first hand and compress the chest down about 2 inches.
  • Open the person’s mouth and look for a foreign object. If you see one, sweep it out.
  • Give 2 breaths lasting one second each
  • Continue the cycle of 30 compressions, foreign object check and 2 breaths until the airway is cleared and breaths go in.


  • DO NOT move or restrain the person’s movements unless a dangerous object is nearby
  • Loosen any tight clothing
  • Once the seizure stops, turn the person on their side to let saliva drain out and allow to rest
  • Call 9-911 if the person has no history of seizures, has prolonged seizures or is injured
  • Check airway and breathing which may become blocked following a seizure
  • Do not give the person anything to eat or drink
  • Maintain body temperature by covering the person lightly if needed

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Important Phone Numbers

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