5 Questions to Know if You Have Good First-Aid Skills and Knowledge

When you are faced with an emergency, in most cases time is of the essence, so you have to act fast. Would you know what to do in different situations? Will you be ready for anything that comes your way in a crisis?

If preparing for emergencies now could possibly save someone’s life in the future, what could be more important than learning what to do?

Of course, nobody wants to think about these things, but the truth is disasters happen no matter what. This article can at least help give you some first aid basics for common scenarios while you can get a well-equipped first aid kit and more by visiting this website.

5 Questions to know if you have good first aid skills and knowledge

1. Do you know what to do if someone is unresponsive from drowning or other?

If you should ever come across someone who is unresponsive and you are the only one at the scene (or the only one, who knows what to do,) first and most importantly– do not panic and call 911.

Call out to the person and then try to tap or squeeze their shoulder, but do not attempt to shake them awake. Next, check to see if they are breathing. If you don’t see their stomach and chest moving, try tilting their head back to straighten out their tongue, since the muscles relax while unresponsive, and could cause the tongue to block the airway. Put your ear to their mouth and listen very carefully for breaths, you may also be able to feel their breath on your face. [1]

In addition, check to see if they have a pulse by placing two fingers lightly on the side of their neck right below the ear for ten seconds.

If no breathing or pulse is apparent, immediately begin chest compressions to pump blood into the brain and ventilation also known as, “rescue breathing” or “mouth to mouth recess cetacean” to fill the lungs with oxygen and keep everything going until help arrives. If there is a pulse, then there is no need for compressions only ventilation is required. [2]

For chest compressions, place one hand over the other in the center of the chest and push down firmly and continuously. After 30 thrusts of compressions, give two breaths into the mouth by pinching the nostrils shut and covering their mouth completely with yours. Then back to compressions and continue to switch back and forth until help arrives or the person starts to breathe on their own.

2. Can you stop or control bleeding?

The number one cause of trauma-related preventable deaths is uncontrolled bleeding. This is very unfortunate since it is not very hard to stop or slow bleeding down enough to save a person’s life. Had someone taken the time out to read an article like this — as you are doing now — many victims would still be with us today.

Let’s start with what constitutes bleeding that is “life-threatening”

• Bleeding that continuously flows from a wound

• Bleeding that soaks clothing

• Part of an arm or leg is lost

• Blood soaked bandages

• A pool of blood on the ground

• Someone is unconscious or confused from extensive loss of blood

• Blood that spurts out

In the case of any of the above happening, you will have to take action immediately.

Start by calling 911 then remove clothing so that you will be able to see any wounds that are bleeding heavily. Do not attempt to remove anything lodged in the wound as this could cause it to bleed even more. [3]

Use a tourniquet by applying it two to three inches above the wound making sure to place it above joints. When using a tourniquet pull it tightly until the blood flow stops and then fasten it to stay in place. It is very important that you note the time of placement and let whoever takes over know the time since leaving it on too long could cause the patient to lose the limb.

If there is no tourniquet available, or something you could tie tightly above the wound, then apply pressure to the wound by placing gauze or a clean cloth over it, then using both hands to push down firmly and hold. If the wound is above the neck or very deep then you should stuff the gauze or clean cloth directly into it and again, keep a firm hold. In the case of the limbs, try to keep them placed above the heart. [4]

3. Would you know what to do if someone has a head wound/concussion?

Head wounds are common in disasters, especially tornados and windstorms. However, they can also occur while playing sports or during other activity. Some concussions can be severe while most are not. However, recent research has found that concussions may be worse than previously thought, especially when the person has had them multiple times. [7]

If you suspect that someone has a concussion because of a neck or spine injury, do not attempt to move him or her unless it’s necessary. If you must move the patient, do so very carefully while trying to keep the back and neck as stationary as possible to avoid further damage to the neck or spine. [5]

Another thing that you should not do if a concussion is suspected is giving the patient food or water since it could cause them to vomit and disrupt their breathing. [6]

When the head suffers a blow it can cause bleeding or swelling of the brain, which can be serious, but these are worse case scenarios. The first thing to do is, hold the patient's head between your two hands in the position the patient was already in to immobilize the patient's head.

Next, reduce swelling by applying ice packs or anything cold — like frozen foods — to the wounded area without pushing hard and keep the patient up and alert by asking a variety of easy questions such as, “what is your name?” and “what is today's date?” until help gets there. [7]

4. What would you do if a person were badly burned?

Being burned is no fun and the more severe the burns are, the more deadly they can be, not to mention painful. Fortunately, people can be burned pretty badly and still survive but may need help. Here is what you can do to help a burned victim.

• Determine the source of the burn first before approaching the patient. If the cause was electrical, then make sure the power is turned off before coming in contact with the victim to ensure your own safety.

• If the victim is not breathing, distribute rescue breathing shown above.

• Next, remove any belts, jewelry, or anything else wrapped around an area on the person’s body, as burns tend to swell rapidly.

• Wet bandages or cloth in cool water and use them to cover the areas that are burnt. Note: Never immerse burns that are severe in water as this could cause the body to lose its heat (hypothermia.)

• Try to elevate the wounded areas above heart level.

• Watch the victim for signs of shock, such as unusual breathing, pale skin tone, or passing out, and more.[8]

5. How would you handle a broken bone?

Each year, approximately 6.8 million people in the U.S. will break a bone. In fact, over their course of a lifetime, almost every American will break at least two bones. [9]

Fortunately, in most cases, a broken bone does not require emergency assistance unless the bone is severely protruding through the skin or is located in the neck, head, pelvis, or spine area, then it is serious business that will require immediate attention. No matter where the fracture may be, try not to move it, especially if the broken bone is in one of the more severe locations.

The following are good indicators of a broken bone/fracture…

• Excruciating pain

• Unable to move or bare down on the affected area

• The bone may look out of place, crooked, or misshapen

• In more severe cases, the bone may stick out of the skin and cause bleeding

• Swelling and/or bruising may become apparent almost immediately

• A tingling sensation or numbness may occur below the injury

• Shortness of breath is also possible

• The victim may feel nauseous

• The patient loses consciousness

Should any of these symptoms occur, call 911 before taking further action. If you are not professionally trained, do not attempt to align the broken bone as this can cause worse damage to nerves and blood vessels.

If the broken bone is located in a limb than you should make a splint out of something hard enough to keep the area immobilized like cardboard, hard plastic, or a stick. Stand it up next to the injured bone and tie something around it to keep it secured.

Moreover, elevate the injured area while applying ice packs to reduce swelling and pain. Try to keep the patient calm and comfortable by covering them with a blanket until help arrives. [10]

Conclusion

Although the above mentioned, are the most common risks that people face during an emergency crisis, there are plenty more and there also may be more ways to handle them, which you can learn about by simply searching in google.

Imagine all the lives that could be saved, if everyone were to learn these basic first aid skills. There is no better feeling than knowing that someone is alive today because of something that you did.

REFERENCES

[1] Learn first aid for someone who is unresponsive and not breathing – Red Cross

[2] CPR – 123 CPR

[3] Severe bleeding: First aid – Mayo Clinic

[4] What Everyone Should Know to Stop Bleeding After an Injury – Bleed Control

[5] Concussion – Health Line

[6] Emergency First Aid for Head Injuries – Family Education

[7] How to Treat Concussion – CPR Certified

[8] Burns: First aid – Mayo Clinic

[9] Fractures - MediNiche

[10] How to Provide First Aid for a Broken Bone – WikiHow

About the Author:

Conrad Novak is a proud father of two children. His journey as a prepper began when Hurricane Katrina hit and he lost his job due to the 2008 economic crisis. That made him realize that everything can change for the worst in a very short time. This experience was the detonator for him to pursue learning and becoming better prepared to face the kind of unexpected disasters that may occur at any point in our lives. You can read more of his content at SurvivorsFortress.com

Ted Thomas
 

Hi there, I'm Ted Thomas, an ardent adventure writer. I write for readers with a genuine interest in enjoying the great outdoors. By sharing my experiences camping, hunting and fishing, I hope to inspire others to fully explore the depths of their passion.

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