Emergency situations can happen anytime, anywhere–and when they do, there’s often little time to research treatment methods.
Though the first step should almost always be to contact emergency responders such as paramedics, police, the fire department, etc. there are a number of first-aid procedures that everyone should understand. The importance of understanding these techniques is especially important to people who enjoy sports such as boating, skiing, etc. as emergency situations can crop up quickly, and professionals responders may not be able to reach the scene as quickly as needed.
This article will offer a brief overview of 3 basic first-aid techniques, as well as links to websites that offer further information. Of course, reading about a procedure on the internet is not the same as learning from a professional, therefore we highly recommend that you take a certified first-aid class, like those offered across the country by the American Red Cross.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR for short, is one of the most famous first-aid techniques. Though it is unlikely to restart the heart or restore consciousness by itself, (and is not as dramatically effective as movies and television may lead us to believe,) it can help maintain the flow of blood through the brain and the heart–thus extending the window of opportunity in which a patient can be resuscitated through defibrillation. The Mayo clinic offers extensive information regarding CPR, and asserts that even untrained bystanders can offer a basic form of hands-only CPR by giving roughly 100 chest compressions per minute.
The Heimlich Maneuver
If someone is choking on a foreign object, abdominal thrusts (aka the Heimlich Maneuver,) can help to save their life. You can read about the procedure at the Mayo Clinic website. Keep in mind that the universal sign of choking is to place two hands over the throat, and that choking victims should never run off to the bathroom or other private places in order to avoid embarrassment. There is mixed information as to whether the Heimlich maneuver is recommendable in cases such as drowning or asthma. A quick side note regarding choking, you may wish to check out this quick guide to choking prevention in children offered by the New York department of health.
How to Stop Severe Bleeding
Severe bleeding can lead to shock, loss of consciousness, and even death within a few short minutes. Thankfully, applying pressure or binding off a wound can do a great deal in order to prevent this. This brief guide to stopping bleeding offered by the British first aid society Saint John Ambulance is highly recommended.
Always Play it Safe!
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