First aid is a crucial skill everybody needs to know. An emergency can strike any time, any place and knowing basic first aid procedures can help save someone’s life. You should be well versed with the procedures that need to be followed during an emergency. Since you will not have time to read the instructions, you should be able to react in the correct way until medical help arrives. Panicking and not knowing what to do can ruin someone’s chances of survival. You should be prepared with the techniques especially if your are looking after kids or the elderly. Here are a few situations that require first aid and the procedures you should follow in each situation.
1. When Someone Is Bleeding
For Small Cuts
Apply light pressure on the cut and the bleeding should stop within a few minutes. You can wash the cut properly and place a plaster on it.
For Deep Cuts
When someone receives a deep cut, profuse bleeding can occur. Such bleeding does not clot and the person runs a risk of bleeding out.
- Apply pressure on the cut with a sterile cloth or a ripped piece of cloth for 20 minutes.
- Elevate the wounded limb over the heart.
- Use a belt between the heart and wound to slow down blood supply to the area.
- Remove superficial dirt and debris but leave deeply embedded objects.
If bright red blood spurts out, it might be arterial bleeding, which can cause death. You should apply a lot of pressure on the wound with as many cloths as needed until medical help arrives. Do not attempt to clean the wound.
Nosebleeds can be caused by trauma to the nose or by
2. When Someone Is Choking
Choking can occur if the windpipe gets obstructed by chunks of food. You should perform a Heimlich maneuver in this situation.
- Stand behind the person who is choking.
- Place your arms tightly around the victim’s waist.
- Bend the victim forward.
- Hold somewhere between your wrist and your elbow of one hand with another hand very firmly.
- Thrust your hands backward with and upward movement.
- Repeat the procedure until the food is ejected from the throat.
3. When Someone Gets A Burn
- Place the burned part of the skin under running tap water.
- Take a cool, moist cloth and apply slight pressure on the burn.
- Clean the burn with mild soap and water.
- Apply a topical ointment on the burn.
Do not put ice directly on the burned skin.
4. When Someone Has A Cardiac Arrest
Cardiac arrest can occur when the heart stops sending blood to the body and brain. Death can occur within minutes. You should be quick and should perform a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). CPR will keep the blood circulating until proper help arrives.
- Place your one hand over the other and place them on the victim’s breastbone.
- Press hard so that the chest moves about an inch inward.
- Relieve pressure and repeat.
- Follow the beat of the Bee Gee’s song “Staying Alive” for the right tempo.
- Take a deep breath, pinch the victim’s nose shut, and blow
- Keep doing CPR until professional help arrives.
If the victim is a baby, use your fingers instead of your entire palm and apply less pressure.
You can perform CPR on a person who has been saved from drowning. First, check for breathing and a heartbeat. If you don’t notice any of the two then perform CPR until help arrives.
5. When Someone Is In Shock
When there is not enough blood flowing to the brain, a person can go into shock. Shock can occur due to accidents resulting in loss of blood, infections that result in loss of fluid, or due to allergic reactions. A person in shock may get cold, pale, sweaty, dizzy, disoriented, or faint. Breathing will be slow and the person can lose consciousness.
- Make the victim lie on their back.
- Keep the feet elevated.
- Keep the victim warm by
- If the victim vomits or bleeds from the mouth, make them move to their side.
Do not offer the victim water as it might cause choking.
6. When A Person Suffers From Hypothermia
When a person’s body temperature drops lower than the core temperature, probably due to exposure to cold temperature, they can suffer from hypothermia. Symptoms include uncontrollable shivering, drowsiness, bad muscle coordination, and slow breathing.
- Take the victim to a warm place.
- Take off the wet clothes.
- Wrap the victim in warm blankets.
- Give them hot drinks.
Do not give drinks containing alcohol or caffeine to the victim.
7. When Someone Becomes Unconscious
A person can become unconscious due to illness or injury. The victim will not respond to stimuli.
- Check the airways of the victim.
- Make the victim lie on their side.
- Place one hand below the victim’s head, and hand below their waist and roll the victim over, if they are face down.
- Raise their legs a feet above the ground.
- Check if the person is breathing properly.
- Loosen all belts and clothing.
- Perform CPR until help arrives.
Providing first aid to a person is only one step toward helping a victim. Always call 911 during an emergency, and do not try to take the entire matter into your own hands. Always be aware of your situation and provide your help when necessary.