First Aid basics to use in an emergency

First aid basics

All people should ensure that they learn First Aid, as emergency situations will at some tome or other inevitably arise. Many times, however, people are clued up on how to only save the life of another, but hardly consider that they may find themselves in a situation where they need to save themselves.

So, what do you do if you are in an accident, or a victim to a crime and you are alone and injured?

Bleeding

If you are bleeding, your main concern is to stop the flow as quickly as you can. Check that there is nothing embedded in your wound. Press gently around the wound to ensure that there is no glass or debris inside. If there is, press firmly on either side of the object and build up padding around it before bandaging the wound to avoid putting pressure on the object itself.

Once you have checked the wound, apply pressure until the bleeding stops. Then use a clean cloth as a bandage and bind the wound firmly.

Burns

It is imperative to act fast with burn injuries. As fast as possible, place the burned area under cool, running water. Alternatively, apply ice, through a clean cloth or bandage, but not directly on the burnt area.

Carefully remove any clothing or jewellery, unless it’s attached to the affected skin. Cover the burn loosely with cling wrap; if cling wrap isn’t available, use a clean, dry dressing or non-fluffy material. Always wrap burns loosely, as the area is likely to swell.

Never apply creams, lotions or sprays to the burn.

Make your way to the emergency room as quickly as possible.

Choking

What do you do if you’re alone at home and you’re choking?

Make a fist with one hand and put the thumb side between your belly button and rib cage. Place your other hand on top of your fist. Lean over the back of a sturdy chair to exert more force into the push. This provides a hard pressure wave designed to drive air upward, providing enough force to propel the food out.

Richard Bradley, MD, professor of emergency medicine at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, told Men’s Health: “If you can cough or make any sound, that’s good news. It means your airway isn’t completely blocked off, so you have a shot at coughing it out. Try to cough as forcefully as possible, like you do when you’re trying to hack up mucus when you’re sick. Don’t try drinking any water to force the food down — it could make matters worse.”

 

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