Can you save a life?   Leave a comment

More than half of us don’t have a clue as to what to do in an emergency — even if simple first aid skills are all that are needed, says a survey. This is worrying, as we should all have a basic understanding of what to do in potentially life-threatening situations.

In an emergency, the most important thing is to stay calm. There’s no excuse for not being prepared. After all, you’d never forgive yourself if you ended up in a situation where you could have saved a life if only you’d known what to do.

Know your ABCs
If someone loses consciousness, you should check…

Airways : Ensure there’s nothing in the person’s mouth. Then, open the airway by laying him/her on the back and tilting the head backwards.

Breathing: Listen for breaths and look to see if the chest is moving. If not, you should begin rescue breaths. Pinch his/her nose. Take a big breath. Cover the mouth with yours and breathe out. When the person’s chest rises, remove your lips. Repeat for five breaths — one every three seconds.

Circulation: Use your first two fingers to check the wrist or neck for a pulse. If there is no pulse, begin chest compressions — push on the centre of the person’s chest with the heel of your hand, then release. Repeat 30 times, at the rate of 100 compressions a minute. Continue giving two rescue breaths followed by 30 compressions until he/she start breathing or help arrives.

The recovery position: If someone is breathing, place him/her in the recovery position. Lay the person on his/her side, with one leg higher than the other so that the person can’t roll back or forward. Then tilt the chin up to keep the airway open.

Six emergencies that test your first aid skills

You’re out for a meal with a friend when she starts choking…
What to do: Bend her over a chair and slap her sharply between the shoulder blades five times. If that doesn’t work, ask someone else to call for help, while you try abdominal thrusts. Stand behind her and place your fist between her naval and the bottom of her rib cage. Grasp your fist with your other hand and forcefully press inward and upward. Repeat five times.
How serious is it: If she can’t breathe, speak or is going blue, it’s very serious as she is being deprived of oxygen.

You cut your finger deep while cooking
What to do:
Raise your arm above your heart and press on either side of the finger to block the arteries that run down the sides of each finger.
How serious is it: After 45 seconds, check if the bleeding has stopped. If it’s slowed to a gentle ooze, keep applying pressure until the blood clots. If blood is still spurting out and the cut is very deep, you may have hit an artery. Continue to apply pressure and get a friend or family member to drive you to your nearest casualty department.

Your teen comes home drunk and vomiting…
What to do:
Make your ward sit up. Don’t force him/her to drink water or to get into the shower. If the teen has passed out, lay him/her in the recovery position and watch over to ensure he/she doesn’t roll over.
How serious is it: Ask him/her if he/she knows what day it is. If he/she can answer while standing unaided, it’s probably not too bad. But if there’s no answer or he/she has passed out, it’s more serious.

Your husband pours scalding water on his hand…
What to do:
Cool the burn with cold tap water or milk for at least 10 minutes. Remove his clothing before any swelling starts, but don’t remove clothing stuck to the burn. Be careful not to touch the burnt area. Once cooled, cover with a sterile dressing to prevent infection. Any clean, non-fluffy material will do — such as a tea towel or freezer bag.
How serious is it: Minor burns heal quickly. But if he’s in severe pain, develops blisters or the burn is large, seek medical help.

A colleague has an epileptic seizure…
What to do:
Don’t touch or restrain him/her and never put anything in the person’s mouth. Remove all dangerous objects from the surrounding area so that the person does not hurt his/her self, and call for help. If you’re on your own, stay with the person and keep reassuring them that things will be okay. Once the seizure is over, put him/her in the recovery position and wait for paramedics.
How serious is it: Seizures have the potential to be fatal. So, you must act quickly.

Posted July 13, 2010 by Rajesh_Gandhi in action, idea, life, secrets

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