FIRST AID BASICS
Have you every felt like you’d be clueless in an accident scene? Do you avoid thinking about things like anaphylactic shock, drowning, and broken bones? Well, if you’re normal, you answered yes to all of these. I’m here to help simplify things! It all boils down to a few things. These are life-threatening. You have a little bit of time for everything else!
A FEW QUICK CHECKS:
0. In any situation, you will assess the area for safety. I call this step zero because it’s an intuitive check. IF THERE IS IMMINENT DANGER, GET YOURSELF AND THE VICTIM OUT. (ie: if you are in a burning building, get yourself and the victim out to safety).
1. Check a Response. If you’ve ever taken a CPR class, you’ll know that this part is when everyone looks crazy as we tap and shout at a plastic manikin! We’re looking at response to physical and verbal stimulation. If they’re not responding to you, or if they’re barely responding…send someone to call 911 and move on to the next step.
2. Check for Breathing. We’re not going to give them too long to prove they’re breathing. Check for 5 seconds (no more than 10 seconds).
- If they’re not breathing or only gasping, start CPR.
- If they are breathing, then take a moment to breathe before moving to the next step.
3. If the victim is breathing, they are alive! We’ll then move on to view other signs of injury or illness including bleeding.
- Our goal in First Aid is to stabilize and minimize harm to the injured victim.
- Our top priority is still their breathing status. If there are changes to their breathing, tend to that first.
- The level of consciousness can tell you a lot about what is going on inside, so keep a conversation going as you tend to the victim and note any changes.
- Obvious signs of injury, like bleeding and broken bones are next. If you suspect head, neck, or spine injuries, take caution not move the victim.
Of course, there are specifics to each injury/condition, but this is the starting point. In an emergency, always check the response and breathing first as these are life-threatening! We’ll go over specifics in posts to follow.
What emergency or injury scares you the most? Have you every been in a first aid emergency that you wished you had a little bit more understanding about? Share in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Jen Kroll Photography