Among all the basic life skills, learning how to perform first aid often gets overlooked – whereas it is just as crucial as learning to cook or drive. Indeed, accidents come uninvited, and no one can help the injured more than a medical professional. But providing first aid immediately can reduce any fatal risk by a large margin. You don’t need intensive medical knowledge to provide first aid. Clear knowledge of the symptoms and a few rounds of practice are all you need to master the skills.
There are many health conditions that call for different methods of first aid. Below are five first aid skills you must learn for commonly occurring accidents.
1. CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
We’ve seen it in movies and TV shows – but very few of us know what goes on in the body of the person receiving the chest compressions. It is undoubtedly the most important first aid skill, and every adult should know how to perform it. If a person is unconscious and not breathing, you give them CPR to provide artificial ventilation for proper blood circulation and brain function so that the person wakes up.
Performing CPR might look complex, but it’s a series of well-defined steps. You need to apply a certain level of pressure on the chest for adults, whereas children require gentler pressure.
You can learn how to perform CPR. Various institutions provide first aid and CPR training under qualified professionals. Look for such institutions in your area or state and enroll in a suitable training program.
Choking can be fatal if not given immediate attention. It can occur to both adults and kids even if we think that the latter is more susceptible to it. When a person chokes, a food particle or object obstructs their airway, so they cannot breathe. Sometimes coughing can remove the object and free the airway, but in many cases, the person can’t get it out on their own. In serious cases, choking can make a person unconscious.
The best way to help a choking person is to perform a Heimlich maneuver on them – also known as abdominal thrusts. Hold them around their waist from behind and bend them forward. Create a lock with your hands. Then sharply pull the lock inwards and upwards against their midriff until the object stuck in their throat comes out. There are seven definitive steps of this maneuver that anyone can learn.
3. Heavy Bleeding
An injury to your artery or vein can lead to excessive bleeding. Failing to stop the bleeding can lead to unconsciousness, so it’s important to provide some first aid until medical help arrives. It is usually impossible to determine whether the person has injured a major artery or vein. The first step in stopping the bleeding is to apply pressure to the wound. Elevating the wound above the heart level will also slow down blood flow to that place and reduce the bleeding.
Using a bandage above or below the wound tightly can also prevent heavy blood loss. You can also learn about the four pressure points – the four major arteries – and apply pressure on them to reduce blood loss.
You can also get nosebleeds during winter which is not abnormal. Taking proper precautions and being prepared can help avoid them easily.
4. Concussion or Head Injuries
If not treated with immediate care, a concussion can become fatal fast. It is almost impossible to tell whether a head injury is something to worry about. So, even if it’s a tiny bump in the head from a small hit, you should try treating it as soon as possible.
The symptoms of concussion are very clear – headache, dizziness, confusion, and in extreme cases, the injured may become nauseous or even vomit.
The immediate step for a concussion would be to detect the symptoms. If you can confirm a concussion, contact medical personnel immediately. Once the injured has been hospitalized, they will have to take several tests to find out the severity of the injury. If the injured person is bleeding from the head, try to stop the bleeding as soon as possible.
Depending on their severity and level of damage caused, burns can be categorized into first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree burns. The first degree usually burns the top layer of the skin and heals in a few days. Second-degree burns cause blisters and require medical attention to be treated. Third-degree burns tend to be fatal and it can take months to treat them.
For first-degree burns, use cold water on the wounded area to reduce the pain and swelling. You can use a burn ointment for 5-10 days and use light gauze to prevent scraping the wound and protect it. Treatment for second-degree burns is the same, however, it might take 15-25 days to heal, and longer for any spots to vanish from the skin.
Third-degree burns require immediate medical attention. Do not attempt to take the burned clothes off of the victim. Cover the burnt area with a piece of sterile fabric and ensure they are breathing until medical help arrives.
Article Submitted By Community Writer