First Aid is always important, but there are some skills that all people should know and have in their back pocket to prepare for any situation. While it’s never a bad idea to continue your training in and understanding of first aid, a few first aid skills for you to know now are:
• Performing CPR – CPR should be at the top of the priority list when it comes to first aid skills to know. CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and what it does is gives you a way to help a person’s body to keep breathing as blood continues to pump through the heart in the event that either system stops. If a person drowns, is electrocuted, or chokes, performing CPR can keep their body and brain sustained until medical attention can be provided.
• Applying a tourniquet – If bleeding remains heavy even after being stanched with pressure, a tourniquet becomes necessary. When you apply a tourniquet, you essentially near-cease blood flow to an area, so it’s important to mark the time that a tourniquet was placed so that it can be temporarily loosened around every 20 or so minutes so further tissue damage isn’t experienced. Proper tourniquet application can help a person with a severe injury from bleeding out.
• Heimlich Maneuver – A person can choke at any time, and a choking situation can become a deadly situation rather quickly if the Heimlich maneuver cannot be performed. In the Heimlich maneuver, a closed fist puts pressure on the abdomen in concentrated thrusts, which forces the object from the windpipe and out of the mouth. There are different methods one may use to perform the Heimlich maneuver, and the one chosen depends on the person’s age and their state of consciousness.
• Recognize and treat shock – After a traumatic event, shock is something that will need to be watched for. During shock, one can expect a steep blood pressure drop that may lead to fainting and injury. Additionally, the lack of blood flow can cause organs to shut down if not treated properly, so raising a person’s blood pressure will need to take top priority. In instances of shock, raise the legs and try to increase warmth with blankets or extra clothing. Any tight clothing should be loosened, and if the person is unconscious, they should be placed on their side in the recovery position.
• Immobilize a broken bone – If a person needs to be moved with a broken bone, learning to immobilize the bone will help you to help them in lessening damage. Immobilization with a sling or splint is recommended, depending on the movement necessary and the bone that may be broken.