This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

international bordercamp strasbourg

Medical advice for demonstrations

this item is available in: [en] [de] [fr] [it]

07.Jul.02 - General medical guidelines during demonstrations/actions from the medical team:

• Maintain solidarity. Never leave someone in trouble alone. If someone is on the ground, form a protective circle around them.

• If someone is immobilized and on the ground, cover them.

• Except where there is a major risk involved in doing so, do not move anyone who has received a shock to the head or the back.

• Quickly contact a medical team if you feel unable to cope. Shout "medical!"

• If absolutely necessary, dial 15 (Emergency Doctor) or 18 (fire and ambulance service) or 112 (from mobile telephones, specifying medical emergency)

• Remain with wounded persons until emergency services arrive. Speak to them and reassure them. Do not panic. Your panic is contagious and will heighten theirs.

When tear-gassed:

Before attending a demonstration, make sure you protect yourself.

• Wash carefully with vegetable oil soap: tear-gas and pepper-spray affect clean skin less. Do not use make-up or vegetable- and mineral-oil based face creams in the belief that you are protecting your skin: the effect is precisely the opposite.

• Cover your skin and hair as much as you can in order to lessen exposure to gases, using waterproof textiles as far as is possible. A scarf soaked in cider vinegar or lemon juice over your nose and mouth will diminish the effect of gases.

• Protect your eyes. Use sealed eyewear (such as diving goggles). If you can, avoid using contact lenses. Chemicals can get stuck between lens and eyeball causing damage to your eyes.

• Carry a bottle of water and/or phials of physiological salt solution (easily and cheaply available in France under the name "dosettes de sérum physiologique") in a gas-proof plastic bag.

After exposure to gases

• Stay calm. Do not panic. You are pretty tough. The effects of tear-gas can last from a few minutes to one hour, roughly. Gases may provoke breathing disorders. These do not last long.

• Do not touch your face or rub your eyes. Make your way to a place where the air is clean. Open your eyes, stretch your arms, breath slowly and deeply. Blow your nose and spit out chemicals ingested.

• Rinse your eyes and throat with water of physiological salt solution. This will ease the pain. To rinse your eyes more effectively, lean your head (or the affected person's head) back and slightly to one side. Take a bottle of water or a phial of physiological salt solution in one hand and with your free hand gently but firmly prise open the eyelid on the side to which the head is tilting (if the head is leaning right, open the right eyelid). Press your thumb against the eyebrow. Place the opening of the bottle an inch or so above the eye you are treating and sharply splash the eye. Aim the water from the inner corner towards the outer corner of the eye. Do not be afraid to splash a large amount of water (or solution). The object is to wash away any contaminating agents, not to dilute them. If you were merely to dampen the eye, the pain might increase. Repeat the procedure with the other eye.