Emergencies happen more often than people think. As we all know, in an emergency, every second counts. Knowing what to do to help keep a person alive while waiting for first responders can mean the difference between life and death. These first aid measures do not require any special equipment and they can be performed by any able-bodied person. Here are some first-aid skills that more people should know:
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the quintessential first aid procedure to master because it helps an unconscious person breathe. Prolonged oxygen deprivation is one of the most serious threats, since it takes only five minutes for brain cells to start dying. After 10 minutes, irreversible damage or even death may occur. CPR is administered to allow the victim to breathe, thus supplying the brain with oxygen. It’s for this reason that CPR should be administered for at least one minute before calling 911 and it should be sustained until first responders arrive.
Severe wounds usually lead to heavy blood loss. A common misconception is that people die from losing too much blood. This is inaccurate because the real cause of death is when a victim enters shock from the rapid loss of blood. This causes many essential body functions to fail. Stopping bleeding essentially delays the onset of shock, which helps preserve a victim’s life until emergency responders arrive.
The Heimlich maneuver is a method that dislodges objects that obstruct the victim’s airway. It’s easier for people to choke than you may think. Many people have been discovered dead on the bathroom floors of restaurants. If a person is able to cough, articulate, or breathe, that person isn’t choking and they will still be able to cough up the object themselves. Performing a Heimlich maneuver when it isn’t necessary can cause injuries to the victim.
An automated electronic defibrillator is a device that helps restart the heart. AEDs can be used without AED certification and they can be found in most public spaces because the machine guides users through the process through an automated voice instruction. However, it’s better to get an AED certificate for Good Samaritan Law coverage.
Burns need to be treated immediately due to the sustained pain that they cause victims and because of the high risk of infection. An infection will also progress into sepsis, which causes tissue damage, organ failure, and death. The primary objectives of burn treatment are pain management, dead tissue removal, and the prevention of an infection.
Pain management takes precedence, as extreme pain can cause the body to go into shock, which eventually leads to death. Removing dead tissue allows the skin to begin healing, and preventing an infection averts complications that increase the risk of dying. Those who suffer from severe burns are also more susceptible to hypothermia as the skin is unable to provide protection from the cold.
While it’s possible to learn these skills on the internet, the primary purpose of getting first aid training from training centers like Newcastle Training is so that your state’s Good Samaritan laws apply to you. These are laws that provide protection to responders from legal liabilities should they fail to revive or sustain a victim.