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Recognizing and Responding to Medical Emergencies

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) have the power to save lives and prevent harm when they have a clear understanding of how changes in a person's behavior, habits and physical condition can be a sign of a greater healthcare crisis. A DSP’s first responsibility is for the health and safety of the person they support. There are things that you can do proactively to support someone before an emergency happens, such as recognizing a person’s baseline. This means getting to know what is typical for that person so you can tell when there is a change in condition. Some important things to notice include a person’s usual blood pressure, weight, breathing, social interactions, bladder/bowel output, temperature, eating/drinking, chronic pain, activity levels, whether the person is taking blood thinner medications and sleeping patterns. When observing and evaluating, it is important to be able to record specific details about changes and communicate timely. Read the Health and Welfare Alert to the right to learn more.