Published on: 04-Oct-2023
Emergencies come at unexpected times. One moment, you are sipping on your coffee, and the next, you find someone choking. Knowing basic first aid skills can be critically important in emergency situations.
Unfortunately, most people do not know basic first aid. They might have a basic kit with bandages and antiseptic, but knowing CPR or how to stop heavy bleeding can be useful so that you can take proper actions before emergency health providers arrive.
Here are a few basic first aid skills everyone should know:
Skill 1: How to stop bleeding
Bleeding is not always a severe injury, but can cause severe health issues if not attended properly. There are three types of bleeding in general:
- Capillary bleeding is a minor wound affecting capillaries. The blood oozes out; though not serious, they must be cleaned to avoid infection.
- Venous bleeding is an injury to the vein. When a vein is severed, more blood oozes out of the wound. In this case, blood steadily emerges, which is dangerous, especially if multiple veins are affected. Thus, a first aid kit is valuable if someone gets injured or wounded. It is essential to know how to assess and treat wounds properly, whether it is a minor scrape or a deeper cut. You can use an antibacterial lotion to clean the wound and proceed. First aid skill classes teach you to deal with all bleeding.
- Arterial bleeding is the most critical and dangerous type of bleeding. The blood comes out in spurts, and one needs to put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. In this case, the heart is pumping all the blood out of the body. Thus, put a lot of pressure on the bleed, so, apply pressure using a sterile and clean pad. Then, try to elevate the injured part above the victim’s head until help arrives.
Skill 2: CPR
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is an essential first-aid and life skill. You should only perform it if trained to do CPR. Otherwise, you can put someone in severe danger. This skill allows you to save someone’s life in under five minutes. In layman’s terms, it is providing mouth-to-mouth breathing and chest compressions to resuscitate someone. In short, if someone’s heart stops, CPR provides artificial ventilation to preserve blood circulation and brain function and help a person breathe.
Knowing CPR in an emergency can help someone live. Check with your local hospital, fire station, or The American Red Cross to learn CPR from an accredited source.
Skill 3: Paediatric choking response
Not knowing how to help a choking toddler is a harrowing experience for a parent or child caregiver. Thus, learning this basic first-aid skill can help keep your child from dying due to a food particle lodged in their oesophagus. Here is how to help a choking kid, in a nutshell:
- Hold the choking toddler face down with one hand. Support their jaw and neck with your palm. Slap them between their shoulder blades five times using the heel of your other hand. Do this till the object comes out.
- If that doesn’t work, turn the child over. Now, using two fingers, give them five chest thrusts. Your other hand should push the breastbone area between the nipples.
- Remember, as you try this, it is essential to call for emergency services.
Skill 4: Treating shock
People with severe bleeding and other injuries can go into shock, so knowing how to handle this is essential. But when it happens due to a bleed, try these steps.
- Apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
- Make the patient lay on their back while raising their legs over their heart. If they stop breathing, doing CPR is essential.
- Keep the person still and don’t move the person unless necessary.
- Keep them warm.
- Remove all tight clothing to help them breathe properly and clear their airways.
Skill 5: Treating a fever
You will be surprised that not everyone knows how to treat fever properly. Of course, if the condition worsens or is severe and you are near a hospital, see a professional. Here are a few ways to reduce a fever:
- Take a pain reliever according to directions
- Take a lukewarm bath
- Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
- Take an ice-water bath for high fever or put an ice cloth over the forehead