Statistically speaking, emergencies happen every moment of the day. This means that everyone will likely witness or be in an emergency at least once in their lifetime. Most of the time, you can rely on calling 911, but you never know when a situation will take a turn for the worse, and having the right knowledge can help you save someone, or even yourself, from bodily harm. Let’s review the most important first-aid skills everyone should know to help you stay on the path of preparedness.
Heimlich Maneuver for Adults and Children
The Heimlich maneuver, now known as the abdominal thrust, dislodges an object blocking someone’s airway. For adults, food is a common cause of choking, but for children, the most common causes of choking are foreign objects. Due to the size differences between adults, children, and infants, the process of performing this life-saving maneuver varies. Generally speaking, you have about five minutes to dislodge the object before the lack of oxygen causes brain damage.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
One of the most important things you learn in CPR and first aid training is soft skills, such as confidence and communication. This is incredibly important in learning how to identify when someone needs CPR and determine if you’ve been successful. Ultimately, the goal of CPR is to restore cardiac activity. The process of performing CPR requires strong compressions that press down the entire sternum about five centimeters deep. In many cases, this will result in broken ribs.
If a person is bleeding from a main artery or vein, they have about 10 to 15 minutes before they go into shock and bleed out. In most cases, severe bleeding involves arterial bleeding, characterized by flowing, bright red, pulsating blood. Learning how and where to place a tourniquet can stop the bleeding and give you enough time to get the person to a hospital.
Setting a Splint
Anyone who’s ever broken a bone will tell you that the longer you keep the area unsupported, the worse and more painful the injury gets. If you’re close to medical attention, you may be able to get them to a medical facility in time, but if you’re far away, such as on a hike or outdoor trip, setting a splint can prevent the injury from worsening. Fortunately, learning how to set a splint is easy, and you can do it with many outdoor or household items.
There are three types of burns: first, second, and third-degree. You first have to be able to identify the kind of burn you’re working with to determine how to treat it. Generally speaking, first-degree burns need only loose gauze and topical treatment. With second-degree burns, you may need to run them under cool water to ease the pain, and it will likely take longer to heal. You should not touch third-degree burns, and you should take the person to the appropriate medical professional immediately.
Knowing these important first-aid skills can save lives and limbs, and many first-aid classes are available and easily accessible, so don’t hesitate to sign up for a local training course.