What Everyone Should Know About First Aid

It’s all fun and games...until someone gets hurt. Be the one to save the day, or even someone’s life, by learning these basic first aid skills:

  1. Stopping heavy bleeding

Heavy bleeding can become life threatening very quickly. If the bleeding continues, then a clot is not forming, and the person can bleed out. Use a sterile cloth, or a piece of clothing, to apply pressure to the wound. Elevate the wound above heart level to slow bleeding. An especially dangerous cause of heavy bleeding is an arterial bleed, which can lead to death within minutes. Signs of an arterial bleed include bright red blood and pulsating. Make sure to apply pressure to these wounds and do not remove it until a medical professional is able to take over.

2. The Heimlich maneuver

            Choking can be caused by a blocked airway. A blockage in the upper airway can lead to respiratory arrest, so the airway needs to be cleared quickly. The Heimlich maneuver can be performed to remove a foreign object from the airway. Before performing the Heimlich maneuver, ask the victim if they are choking. They may not be able to talk if the situation is severe. To perform the maneuver, stand behind the choking victim, wrap your arms around them, put one fist between their rib cage and belly button, and your other hand over the fist. Thrust with your fist in an upward motion until the object is removed. Please note that this technique is only for adults.

3. CPR

            Statistically, a person is most likely to go in to cardiac arrest at home, so the chances are that learning CPR could save the life of one of your loved ones. CPR is simple to learn and remember. All you have to do is put your hands over the victim’s heart and push to the tune of the Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive”. Currently, the American Heart Association does not mandate that everyone learn rescue breathing to accompany this technique.

4. Administration of an EPIPEN or ANAPEN

            EPIPEN and ANAPEN are injectors that deliver a dose of adrenalin to someone who is experiencing anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction). The injection will narrow blood vessels and open airways in the lungs until the person is able to get to a hospital.

5. Using an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)

            An AED is a pair of electric paddles that are used to restart a heart after cardiac arrest. Training is required to properly use an AED, but classes are readily available at most places that offer CPR training, such as the Red Cross. Proper use of an AED on someone experiencing cardiac arrest can drastically increase their chances of survival.

Learning basic first aid skills can make a big difference in a time of crisis and potential save someone’s life. If you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury by someone else’s negligence or abuse, please contact the lawyers at Odierno Law Firm for a free estimate.