Encountering a medical emergency can be a scary experience if there is no immediate access to a medical professional. The first response when an emergency occurs is critical and can determine the victim’s survival. Knowledge of first aid tips is essential for people who would like to prepare for such unforeseen events.
First aid procedures are applicable for several emergency encounters like bleeding, choking, loss of consciousness, etc. When waiting for a medic to attend to the patient, particular techniques can provide immediate assistance. Some practices like ABC strategy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, etc., save lives.
An ABC strategy is necessary when the victim is suddenly unconscious or unresponsive to external stimuli. Very Well Health describes the ABC strategy as providing help to a patient by focusing on the Awake (A), Breathing (B), and Continue Care (C).
The focus on the awake state means if the victim is not stirring, you should try to wake them and if they are unresponsive, move to the breathing technique. Breathing emphasizes clearing the airway through resuscitation and chest compressions. Continued care focuses on repeating the assisted breathing techniques. If it still fails, you should call 9-1-1 to receive additional guidance.
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
CPR is a critical first-aid intervention to jumpstart a heart when it stops beating. The intervention is crucial because it can end up fatal for the victim if not treated with urgency.
The CPR involves vigorously pumping at the victim’s chest and allowing the chest to come back up naturally in between the compressions. The intervention should happen continuously until the medical professionals arrive. Should you get tired, have a trade-off on the pumping with someone else as resuscitation is only likely to occur through steady action.
Bleeding results from common accidents and can become fatal if not controlled. When bleeding occurs, mild or severe, it is essential to stop it by pressing against the wound. You can use a dry, clean material to apply pressure on the bleeding site until the victim receives professional medical attention.
You must note that blood transmits infections and, if possible, wear latex gloves when administering the first-aid. You must also wash your hands throughout the procedure or immediately after to prevent exposure to contagions.
Choking is a frequent occurrence in adults and children and knowing how to assist can save a life. You can tell a person is choking when they point to their throat, look blue in the face, or appear to be gagging/gasping. They may also tell you that they are choking.
You can administer a Heimlich maneuver on a choking victim. The procedure involves standing behind the person with your arms around them, fist-clench between their navel & rib cage, and make thrusting backward & upward motions. If it is a choking child, place them face down on your thigh, supporting the head and neck. With their head lower than their torso, hit the heel of your hand in the center of their back.
Seizures are uncontrolled, jerking movements of the body and occur for various reasons. The victim may have low blood sugar, high fever, a brain concussion, or epilepsy. Knowing first aid for seizures can give you control over the somewhat unnerving experience and also enable you to help the victim.
When a seizure occurs, lay down the person on the floor on their side and clear their airway. It is also essential to get rid of any furniture or items within their proximity that could harm them during an attack. You should avoid putting anything in their mouth until they gain consciousness to prevent choking.
- Broken Bone
Broken bones occur during high-impact accidents and it is critical to know first-response care. Such care avoids irreparable damage to the bones/body. If the injury is on the spinal column, head, hip, pelvis, or thigh, you must not move the person but call 9-1-1 immediately.
If it is a limb injury, use a splint and padding to immobilize the hand/leg. You can also ice the affected body part by covering the ice in a cloth and patting the injured site. If the damage to the bone is severe, elevate it to prevent further damage. You can also provide the victim with anti-inflammatory drugs for the pain.
Burns result from hot objects or direct heat, and the depth and size of the wound determines their severity. If the burn is severe, you should seek medical attention immediately. With moderate or slight burns, run cold water over the scar to flush out the burned area. Tying a light gauze bandage also helps but do not pop any blisters that may develop. For pain relief, you can provide ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Save a Life
Knowing the popular first-aid procedures could empower you to save a life. It is disconcerting to encounter an emergency and not know how to assist the victim. Learning a few first-responder techniques transforms you from a helpless spectator to one who gives the victim another chance to live.