To check out your own medical emergency know-how, compare your responses to the following situations with the correct answers.

1. After breakfast, you notice a red welt that looks like a bite on your forearm. You suspect a spider bite.

A. See a physician immediately.

B. Rinse the wound with soap and water.

C. Rinse the wound and then place a tourniquet a few inches above the bite.

D. Squeeze the wound to remove venom.

Answer: B. The two spider bites to be concerned with are bites from a black widow spider (identified by a red hour-glass shape on its underside) or a brown recluse spider (identifiable by a dark violin-shaped marking on its back).

Bites from both these spiders should be treated as emergencies, especially if the victim is a young child. Most people claiming to have been bitten by a spider never see the spider. If you can't locate the spider, watch for signs of redness or blistering around the bite; abdominal cramping or nausea; chills or sweating; pins and needles sensations in the hands or feet; breathing difficulty or seizures.

Other spider bites are treated like most insect stings and bites - wash the wound with soap and water, apply an ice pack for 10 minutes, and if necessary, apply an anti-itch product, such as calamine lotion. With any bite or sting, a person who is allergic may develop a severe (anaphylactic) reaction, which can be life-threatening. Signs of anaphylaxis usually appear quickly and include severe swelling and breathing difficulty. Seek immediate medical care. Ask the victim if they carry an epinephrine injection device, if so, help give it.

2. A friend collapses while mowing the lawn on a hot day.

A. Move him into the shade, remove clothing, cover with damp towels or sheets, and vigorously fan.

B. Move him into the shade and apply cool, wet cloths to the forehead.

C. Splash water on him to revive him.

D. Give him a drink of water.

Answer: A. In low humidity conditions (less than 75 percent humidity) this is very effective in cooling a person. However, in high humid conditions (more than 75 percent humidity), evaporation is ineffective so you should apply ice or cold packs to the high heat loss areas - head, neck, armpits and groin.

3. Your father complains of a tightness in his chest and shortness of breath.

A. Have him lie down for 30 minutes to see if the symptoms go away.

B. Begin performing CPR.

C. Drive him to the hospital or call 911 immediately.

Answer: C. The symptoms suggest a heart attack. Studies have shown that quick treatment saves lives and preserves heart function. Don't delay seeking medical care; using the emergency medical services is the best method for transporting.

4. A neighbor falls from a ladder and lands with his leg extended in an awkward manner.

A. See whether he can stand on the leg.

B. Ask him to wiggle his toes.

C. Gently rotate the leg to check for a broken bone.

D. Gently probe the leg for pain or tenderness and check for feeling and/or a pulse below the affected area.

Answer: D. Deformity (awkward positioning), extreme pain on touch, numbness or lack of pulse below the site are all signs of a broken bone. Seek medical attention. A helpful sign of a broken ankle/foot is the inability to stand and take four steps, along with pain on the bones when pushed on. Toe wiggling is a test of nerve damage because of a spine injury.

More of "Would You Know What to Do?" will appear next week.