Sometimes administering first aid is as easy as just slapping a Band-Aid on or taking some medicine and lying down. But there are also those serious, step-up-to-the-plate first aid that can mean the difference between life and death. These are the first aid skills that we all need to learn.
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR
Paramedics sometimes call death a cardiac arrest; and the main reason is that the heart is no longer working to pump blood into our body. A person suffering from a heart attack or a stroke is sometimes just a few minutes away from death and only a quick administration of CPR might be the only way to save the victim. This is why, on the scale of life-saving skills that we need to learn, CPR is at the top.
- Using an Epi-Pen
Anaphylaxis is a very difficult word to pronounce and one that has a very difficult and dangerous effect. The word pertains to a very severe allergic reaction that kills millions of people yearly. Whatever triggered the allergy – whether it’s antibiotics, bees, pollen, peanuts, shellfish or antibiotics, the Epi-Pen is the best way to combat anaphylaxis and give the victim a better chance at survival.
- Doing the Heimlich Maneuver
The fastest way to clear a choking person’s air way is through the Heimlich Maneuver. This three step first aid skill can literally save a life in seconds. It’s very easy to do and is always taught in CPR courses.
- Treating a Choking Infant
Babies are notorious for how easy it is for them to choke. They’re small but curious, always putting things in their mouths. Luckily, they’re not as built as the older kids and adults are yet so there are more ways to get things out of their airway.
- Stopping the Bleeding
Stopping bleeding in its tracks only requires two steps – put pressure and elevate. This is one of the most basic but easiest first aid skills to remember. Unfortunately, a lot of people are afraid of blood and tend to panic at the sight of it. Having a few first aid skills up your sleeves can help calm you enough so you’ll remember what to do in this situation.
- Treating Heat Stroke
This is a crucial skill to learn since a heat stroke can sometimes strike without warning. A critical step in treating heat stroke is knowing if it really is heat stroke. Some of the strongest indicators that one is suffering from heat stroke are a body that doesn’t sweat even though it’s hot, difficulty breathing, having hot and dry skin and being disoriented. If you think someone is suffering from heat stroke, best to call an emergency respondent and start packing ice on the victim.
- Treating Hypothermia
Hypothermia is similar to heat stroke, except that you’re cold instead of hot. The best way to survive hypothermia is to know when you’re getting it. Someone suffering from hypothermia will be shivering, have very low energy, breathing shallowly, have a weak pulse and have difficulty thinking. It’s often easy to treat hypothermia, you just need to slowly heat up the person.
Being prepared to save lives is a mindset that we should all develop, especially since we don’t know if or when a medical emergency will strike our family or friends. Some first aid skills just require quick thinking and quick action. Unfortunately, not all emergencies can be handled that way. Taking first aid and CPR courses is still the best way to ensure that you’re ready for anything.