Accidents can happen anytime, and knowing basic first aid can save a life; it is always better to have some knowledge in an emergency.
First aid is the initial medical assistance for an injured or sick person before professional medical help arrives. In this regard, basic first-aid knowledge helps reduce the risks of further complications or injuries. Knowing the right techniques for CPR and handling bleeding, burns, and fractures can prevent the situation from worsening.
Contrary to popular belief, basic first aid knowledge is important not only for medical professionals but also for normal people.
Even though first aid is not a substitute for professional medical care, it can help stabilize the person until they receive proper treatment.
With that in mind, here are a few first-aid tips everyone must know.
1. Keep the Basic First-Aid Kit Ready
Keeping a proper first-aid kit in your home, car, or workplace is important to provide immediate medical attention and prevent further complications.
Your first-aid kit should include the following.
- Band-Aids and sterile gauze pads
- Adhesive tape and bandages of various sizes
- Antiseptic wipes and ointment
- Tweezers and scissors
- Disposable gloves
- Instant cold packs
- Digital thermometer
- Pain relievers and fever reducers
- Oral rehydration solution
- Flashlight with extra batteries
Keep your first-aid kit in an accessible spot and check it regularly to ensure all items are sterile and functional. You can also keep a manual or guidebook outlining basic first-aid procedures to help you remember a procedure during an emergency.
It’s worth noting that certain medical conditions may require additional items in your first-aid kit. For instance, you might need a nasal cannula for someone with respiratory problems.
You can buy nasal cannulas online or physically visit a medical equipment supplier. In either case, we suggest consulting a healthcare professional to learn what to add to your first-aid kit based on your medical needs.
2. Essential First-Aid Tips
Knowing first-aid techniques can make a significant difference in saving a life; here are some essential first-aid tips that everyone must know:
- Calling for Help: In an emergency, call the professionals to save time and start the necessary procedures only if you know what you’re doing and can handle the situation. Remember, the faster the help arrives, the better the chances of a positive outcome.
- Checking for Breathing and Circulation: Check if the person is breathing and has a pulse. If not, start CPR right away.
- Providing CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique everyone should learn. It involves chest compressions and rescue breathing, which can help keep a person alive until professional help arrives.
The American Heart Association reports 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually in the US, where CPR, on the other hand, can increase survival chances.
- Handling Bleeding and Wounds: Apply pressure to control bleeding and clean the wound with soap and water to prevent infection.
- Treating Burns and Injuries: In case of a burn, run cool water over the affected area for at least 10-15 minutes. For minor injuries, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
- Dealing with Fractures and Dislocations: In case of a fracture or dislocation, immobilize and support the affected area.
- Try to remain calm: It is crucial to stay calm and focused during an emergency and act promptly. If you lose concentration and provide medical aid to someone while anxious or nervous, you will do more harm than good.
- Broken Bones: Just like fractures and dislocations, it’s important to immobilize the affected area to prevent further damage. Use a splint or immobilization device to keep the bone in place, and apply ice to reduce swelling. Seek professional medical.
- Electric Shock: The usual symptoms of shock include rapid breathing, pale skin, weak pulse, and confusion.
If you suspect someone is in shock, have them lie down with their legs elevated, cover them with a blanket, and call for professional help immediately.
3. First-Aid Tips for Specific Injuries
Knowing basic first-aid is crucial, but having targeted techniques for specific injuries can be the difference between life and death.
Here are some targeted first-aid techniques for specific injuries:
- Treating Nosebleeds: Nosebleeds are a common occurrence. Although they are not usually life-threatening, they can be uncomfortable. To stop a nosebleed, one should sit straight, pinch the nostrils shut, and breathe through the mouth.
- Handling Choking Incidents: The Heimlich maneuver is the most effective technique to dislodge the object blocking the airway. Stand behind the person who’s choking, place a fist above the navel, and apply upward pressure.
Dealing with Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. Over-the-counter antihistamines are great for treating mild reactions, but more severe reactions require immediate medical attention.
4. Dealing with Heart Attacks or Seizures
CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a life-saving technique for restoring breathing in someone who has stopped breathing or has no pulse.
To perform CPR, place the person on a flat surface and begin chest compressions. The American Heart Association recommends performing compressions at a rate of 100-120 per minute. If you’re not trained in CPR, call for professional help immediately.
As mentioned before, having targeted first-aid techniques for specific injuries can make all the difference in emergencies. One can save a life and prevent complications by learning to respond to particular injuries.
Basic first aid knowledge is a life-saving skill that everyone should have. Whether you’re at home, work, or out and about, accidents can happen at any time, and being prepared can help you react quickly and effectively. Even though first aid is not a substitute for professional medical care, it can help stabilize a person until they can receive proper treatment.
We urge you to take the initiative to learn first aid and encourage others to do the same. By doing so, we can create a safer and more prepared community. Don’t wait for an emergency; take action now and learn basic first aid. You never know when to use it to save a life.
We hope you learned something from this article. If you think we missed something, please tell us in the comments below. Good luck.