First aid is the assistance provided to a person who is injured or unconscious to avoid unforeseen fatal results. It is usually provided by someone nearby until professional medical help is available.
The goal of first aid is to prevent the condition from worsening and to preserve life, prevent further injury, and promote recovery.
This blog will go over several first aid practices that everyone should know. (choking, cuts, CPR, nosebleeding, and burns).
Basics of first aid
To be able to perform first aid, you need to have an idea of what is required to do and not to do. Here are some basic steps for providing first aid:
- Staying calm and reassuring the person that everything will be fine- if they are conscious.
- Checking the person’s airway, breathing, and circulation. If the person is not breathing, start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) immediately.
- Place the unconscious person in the recovery position IF they are still breathing.
- Apply direct pressure to the wound if the person is bleeding from a wound and you want to stop the bleeding.
- When treating a burn, place the area under cool running water for at least 10 minutes before applying a clean, non-adhesive dressing.
- If the person is experiencing an allergic reaction, use an epinephrine injector (if prescribed) and call for emergency medical help.
- If the person has a broken bone, immobilize the limb and apply ice to reduce swelling.
First Aid Basics you need to know.
There are a couple of people out there who have trained specialists to perform first aid. However, sometimes an injury or accident can happen when they are not around. During those moments, you need to step in and perform first aid until the victim sees a doctor.
This is why it is important for everyone to learn about first aid for common situations or accidents such as;
Choking is a common emergency that can occur when a foreign object becomes stuck in the throat and blocks the airway. Ensure you do something to avoid fatalities.
Here are some steps to follow if someone is choking:
- Stay calm and reassure the person.
- Ask the person if they can speak, cough, or breathe. If they can’t speak, cough, or breathe, they are choking.
- Encourage the person to cough. If the person is able to cough, they may be able to clear the object on their own.
- If the person is unable to speak, cough, or breathe, or if their coughing is not effective, perform the Heimlich maneuver.
- Put your arms around their waist while standing behind the choking person.
One hand should be made into a fist and held above the person’s navel with the thumb side facing their body.
- Take hold of their abdomen with your other hand as you quickly thrust upward with your fist.
- Till the object is expelled or the person begins to breathe, keep giving the thrusts.
Note: If the person becomes unconscious, call for emergency medical help and begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It is also important to remember that the Heimlich maneuver should only be performed on a conscious person.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving procedure that is used to revive a person who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped beating. CPR can help restore blood flow to the body and keep the person alive until professional medical help arrives.
However, it is important to note that CPR should only be performed on a person who is unresponsive and not breathing. If the person is responsive and breathing, do not perform CPR.
Types of CPR
There are two main types of CPR: traditional CPR and hands-only CPR.
1. Traditional CPR involves a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. Chest compressions are used to circulate blood and oxygen to the body, while rescue breaths are used to provide oxygen to the lungs. Traditional CPR is recommended for adults, children, and infants who are unresponsive and not breathing.
2. Hands-only CPR is a simpler version of CPR that involves only chest compressions, without rescue breaths. It is recommended for use in adults who are unresponsive and not breathing. Hands-only CPR can be performed by laypeople who may be hesitant to perform rescue breaths or who do not know how to do them correctly.
Both traditional CPR and hands-only CPR are effective at restoring blood flow and oxygen to the body. However, traditional CPR is generally considered to be more effective at reviving a person in cardiac arrest because it provides both chest compressions and rescue breaths.
Here are the basic steps for performing CPR:
- Check the person’s airway, breathing, and pulse. If the person is not breathing, or if their pulse is absent or very weak, start CPR immediately.
- As you do that, call for emergency medical help.
- Place the person on their back on a firm, flat surface.
- Kneel down beside the person’s head and neck.
- Place the heel of one hand on the person’s chest, in the center of the chest, between the nipples. Place your other hand on top of the first hand.
- Keep your arms straight and use your body weight to help you compress the person’s chest. Compress the chest to a depth of about 2 inches (5 cm) at a rate of about 100 compressions per minute.
- After about 30 compressions, open the person’s airway by tilting their head back and lifting their chin.
- Pinch the person’s nose shut and give two breaths into their mouth. Make sure to give the breaths over 1 second each and watch for the chest to rise.
- Continue with compressions and breaths in a ratio of 30:2 until emergency medical help arrives.
Note: It is also important to remember that CPR is only a temporary measure and that professional medical help should be sought as soon as possible.
Nosebleeds, also known as epistaxis, are common and usually not serious. They can occur for a variety of reasons, including dry air, allergies, trauma, and nose-picking. Most nosebleeds can be easily treated at home.
Remember not to tilt the head back during a nosebleed, as this can cause the blood to flow down the throat and potentially cause choking.
If the person has a nosebleed and is also experiencing other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or difficulty speaking, seek emergency medical help. These symptoms may indicate a more serious condition.
Here are some steps to follow if you or someone you are with has a nosebleed:
- Stay calm and reassure the person.
- Have the person sit up straight and lean slightly forward. This will help to prevent blood from flowing down the throat.
- Have the person gently blow any clots out of their nose.
- Have the person pinch the nostrils together and breathe through their mouth. This will help to stop the bleeding and keep the blood from flowing down the throat.
- Have the person hold the pinch for about 10 minutes.
- If the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes, or if it starts up again after stopping, seek medical help.
Cuts, also known as lacerations, are common injuries that occur when the skin is torn or punctured. They are common at home when people handle cutleries or use sharp objects such as razors.
Most cuts can be treated at home, but some may require medical attention. It is important to remember to wash your hands before and after caring for a cut to help prevent infection.
Here are some steps to follow if you or someone you are with has a cut:
- Stay calm and reassure the person.
- Stop any bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or bandage.
- If the cut is deep or long, or if it is on the face or neck, seek medical attention.
- If the cut is not deep or long and is not on the face or neck, wash the wound with soap and water.
- Apply an antiseptic solution to the wound to help prevent infection.
- Cover the wound with a clean bandage or adhesive bandage.
- Check the wound regularly and change the bandage if it becomes dirty or wet.
Note: It is also a good idea to keep a first aid kit on hand that includes bandages, antiseptic solution, and other supplies to help treat cuts and other minor injuries.
Burns are injuries that occur when the skin is damaged by fire, heat, chemicals, electricity, or radiation. Burns can range in severity from minor to life-threatening.
Remember not to apply butter, oil, or other home remedies to a burn as these substances can trap heat in the burn and cause further damage to the skin.
There are several things to consider before offering first aid for a burn:
1. Determine the severity of the burn: Burns can range in severity from minor to life-threatening. It is important to assess the severity of the burn before providing first aid. If the burn is minor and does not cover a large area of the body, you can usually provide first aid at home. If the burn is more severe or covers a large area of the body, or if it is on the face, neck, or hands, seek medical attention immediately.
2. Protect yourself and the person: If the burn was caused by a chemical, electrical, or radiation source, make sure to protect yourself and the person from further harm before providing first aid. Wear gloves, safety glasses, or other protective equipment as needed.
3. Remove any constricting clothing or jewelry: If the burn is on an arm or leg, make sure to remove any constricting clothing or jewelry that may be close to the burn. These items can cause further injury if they are left on.
4. Follow proper first aid procedures: Make sure to follow proper first aid procedures for treating the burn, such as holding the burn under cool running water for at least 10 minutes, covering the burn with a sterile, non-adhesive dressing, and keeping the burn clean and dry. Do not apply butter, oil, or other home remedies to the burn.
Here are some steps to follow if you or someone you are with has a burn:
- Stay calm and reassure the person.
- If the burn is minor and does not cover a large area of the body, hold the burn under cool running water for at least 10 minutes to help reduce pain and swelling.
- If the burn is more severe or covers a large area of the body, seek medical attention.
- If the burn is on the face, neck, or hands, or if it is a chemical burn, seek medical attention.
- If the burn is minor and not on the face, neck, or hands, and is not a chemical burn, cover the burn with a sterile, non-adhesive dressing.
- Keep the burn clean and dry, and change the dressing if it becomes dirty or wet.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help reduce pain.
First aid is very vital to avoid unforeseen problems. You can learn these first aid practices by taking a short course or watching video tutorials. However, it’s important to remember that first aid is only a temporary measure and that professional medical help should be sought as soon as possible. Specific first aid measures will depend on the situation and the type of injury or illness.
There are many resources available to learn more about first aid and how to provide it. It is also a good idea to take a first aid course to learn more about how to handle different emergency situations. Tell us in the comment section about any first aid service you have offered before.