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5.4 Medical Emergency

Last Modified: 08-Aug-2022 Review Date: 01-Jun-2019

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Legislation


​​To provide guidance to residential care workers dealing with potential medical emergencies.

Practice Requirements
  • All children in residential care must have an initial placement discussion on arrival. This should involve the district representative, residential care workers and child where appropriate to discuss potential medical issues and ambulance cover. 
  • At admission, the district must complete a Resident's Summary Sheet to inform the initial placement discussion. 
  • All residential care workers must receive up to date information about possible medical alerts for a child via the child's Residents Summary Sheet, the child's Residential Care Plan and specific safety planning if a child has a serious medical alert. 
  • All medical alerts must be identified clearly on the child's Resident's Summary Sheet and displayed in the office with a photo of the child that maintains the child's confidentiality. 
  • If a medical emergency has arisen for a child or staff member staff are to be kept informed via Critical Incident Summaries and handovers.
  • To support the provision of care for accidents or medical emergencies, Residential Care Workers are to maintain "Provide First Aid" accreditation in order to work shifts.   
  • All houses are to maintain an adequate workplace first aid kit that is stored in a designated office area. 
  • Residential care workers must respond quickly and professionally to provide the best care possible in the event of an accident or other medical emergency. 
  • All injuries sustained by children and staff, should be triaged and medical treatment received as appropriate to the seriousness and circumstances. 
  • Special consideration is to be given to head injuries as if left untreated or poorly managed, they have the potential to have serious and life-threatening consequences.  Therefore, all injuries must be triaged and managed in a timely manner which may include immediate medical intervention. 
  • Workers should be trained and familiar with emergency processes.  This includes the activation of emergency protocols (including the use of duress alarm if required) when an incident/event dictates. 
  • Workers should be familiar with local emergency contact numbers and the location of the nearest hospital or emergency facility.
  • All actions taken must be recorded within appropriate time frames, and all relevant parties informed as soon as possible.
  • SolvSafety is the approved incident reporting system for staff.  All hazards, incidents and near misses should be reported at the earliest opportunity.
  • Medical emergency management procedures shall be regularly reviewed in consultation with workers, with the updated versions communicated to all.

Each house is to have a list of emergency phone numbers visible and available as a poster in the staff office including:

  • 000 Emergency 
  • Poisons Line - 131126
  • Health Direct - 24 hr advice 1800 022 222
  • Mental Health Emergency Response Line (MHERL) Metro: Perth - 1300  555 788; Peel - 1800 676 822
  • Rurallink country after hours mental health service - 1800 552 002
  • Perth Children's Hospital Switchboard - (08) 6456 2222
  • Fiona Stanley Hospital Switchboard - (08) 6152 2222


  • Injuries to a child
  • If in doubt, call an ambulance
  • Ambulance
  • Anaesthetic Consent
  • Injuries to workers
  • Head Injuries (as per the Safety Alert in Related Resources)
  • Injuries to a child

    ​​If a child is injured, residential care workers should assess: 

      • the extent of the injury and the child's emotional reaction 
      • the need for assistance (for example, ambulance, doctor, MHERL,) and 
      • apply first aid.


    If in doubt, call an ambulance

    All medical emergencies must be recorded in the Log Book, the child's case notes and a Critical Incident Summary completed and emailed as per 4.8 Critical Incidents.   Immediately notify the Manager (On-Call if after hours) if the injury is serious.     

    For emergencies where medical help is required, the child's case manager (Crisis Care after hours) should be notified as soon as possible. 

    Where professional medical help was not required, feedback is provided as part of the case notes. Case notes must be sent to the child's case manager. 

    Note: Residential care workers must not notify the child's family. The child's case manager (or after hours Crisis Care) is responsible for notifying the child's family. 



    ​​In the case of serious injury or any other medical emergency, an ambulance should be used to transport a child to hospital.

    Where possible, residential care workers should follow the child and stay with them in hospital to provide support and help the child understand information.  


    Anaesthetic Consent

    Residential care workers must contact (or have medical staff contact) the child's case manager if local or general anaesthetic is needed. 

    Only Crisis Care can provide after-hours consent for anaesthetic

    Note: A doctor has the power to give medical treatment and anaesthetic if the situation is life threatening. 


    Injuries to workers

    • Assess the extent of the injury and the need for assistance (for example, first aid, doctor, ambulance). 
    • If in doubt, call an ambulance. 
    • Apply first aid - consider the urgency of the first aid needed and the adequate supervision of children and their emotional reactions to the situation whilst first aid is being administered. 
    • Notify the manager (on-call if after hours) if the injury is serious.
    • If the residential care worker member cannot fulfill work requirements then the other residential care worker is to look for shift cover, and if after hours contact the on-call Manager to discuss shift cover contingencies. 
    • Record the nature of the injury in the Log Book. 
    • Complete an online  incident report on the 'SolvSafety" icon via the Health and Safety Hub on The Common. This can be completed by the injured member of staff or by other residential care workers on shift as soon as possible. 


    Head Injuries (as per the Safety Alert in Related Resources)

    • ​All people (children and workers) who sustain a head injury, through any mechanism, should have the extent/severity of the incident triaged.  A colleague should monitor a staff member who has experienced a head knock for symptoms. 
    • Contact Health Direct – 24 hr advice 1800 022 222.  If in doubt, call for an ambulance. 
    • If a child or worker is rendered unconscious for any period due to a head injury, an ambulance must be called immediately.  If an ambulance is not available, alternative means shall be arranged to transport them to the nearest medical facility, irrespective if they regain consciousness or not.   The injured worker shall not drive any vehicle.
    • Children and workers who receive a knock to the head and do not suffer unconsciousness, headaches or dizziness should be monitored for symptoms.  Where no symptoms present, they can continue with their activities.  Immediate medical treatment should be sought should any symptoms become apparent, if necessary by ambulance as they must not drive any vehicle.  
    • Workers who sustain a head injury must ensure the Manager (On-Call Manager, is immediately informed about the injury and nature of the incident.  The Manager/On-Call Manager should seek details from the staff member and the other worker on shift about their presentation, symptoms and the extent/severity of the incident triaged. 
    • On the following day, the Manager (On-Call Manager on weekends/public holidays) must attempt to make contact with the injured staff member to provide support.  




Related Resources

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Policies

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